Teesside Steel – The Final Years

Teesside Steel

Teesside’s steel industry was born in the 1850’s and died in October 2015. Steelworker Mike Guess took it upon himself to record the final few years of iron and steel making on Teesside.  ..the mothball, restart and eventual closing of iron and steelmaking on Teesside was something that I was not going to fail to record. It was almost an obligation to future generations..

As well as Mike’s beautiful book there is currently a new exhibition, Steel Stories at the Kirkleatham Museum.

 

The Redcar submerged forest

Let the country along the shores be viewed; see what timbers lie buried in the sands, the memorials of fallen forests…The whole shore at low water exhibits the stems of trees washed up by the roots, preserved to this day by the moss earth in which they lie. Hutchinson 1785-94

In 1871, due to shifting sands, the deposits were exposed in three or four locations and remained exposed for a number of weeks. During this time local people collected and the peat, it was reported to smell like a tannery when wet but when dried it was an excellent substitute for coal

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/crowds-flock-ancient-forest-redcar-14375305

Whinstone

Clock Tower 1

The Redcar Memorial Clock tower was designed by John Dobson and erected in 1913 in memory of King Edward VII. It is built of red engineering brick and concrete. The plinth is made of Whinstone, making it one of the few buildings in the area that utilises this local stone.

Clock Tower

Grey Towers in Nunthorpe, built for William Hopkins, and the former home of Arthur Dorman, is also faced with Whinstone.

The Iron Coast

Redcar in the fog sml

The Iron Coast feels different from anywhere else. There is a hard, quiet unhappiness about it, and the plain and seaboard tend to be avoided rather than explored. The young do their best to get away. Even a century ago Dickens, who was usually ready for anything and a good east-coast man, was too impatient here. he got out of the train at Redcar station with his carpet bag, looked quickly north and south, walked back to the platform and caught the next train on to Scarborough. Yet this small rag of the country has bred international heroes, saints, scientists and geniuses. It has twice raised armies that came within a thread of changing a dynasty and once ordered a clipping and reshaping of the powers of the monarchy that has survived nearly 800 years.

The Iron Coast.  Jane Gardam 1994

Think on..

 

The current government had an opportunity to save the blast furnace

Blast 1

they chose not to take it.

The blast

Unemployment across the Tees Valley is double the national average at 3.9%. The number of jobless youth is higher, at 5.2%, compared with the national average of 2.3%. And Middlesbrough has more deprived areas than any other local authority in the country, with almost half of its 42 neighbourhoods among the poorest 10% nationally. Source

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