Shelton Iron and Steel Co | Shelton Bar | Earl
Chronology of the Shelton Steel Works
|1841||4th Earl Granville began to
produce pig iron by smelting locally mined ironstone. Much of the pig from
the blast furnaces at Earl Granville's "Shelton Coal & Iron
Works" was converted into wrought (malleable) iron in the puddling
furnaces of an adjacent, but nominally separate business, the Shelton Bar
Iron Company (Granville had a large financial stake in this business).
|1841||The racecourse west of the
Cobridge Road (where horse racing had taken place since 1824) was closed
and coal and ironstone pits sunk on the site.
|1850||Earl Granville erected a bank of
blast furnaces on the west bank of the canal at Etruria, and further
industrial expansion on this site - sometimes referred to as the 'new
side' - brought considerable growth to Hanley in the second half of the
|1850||A mineral railway built to serve
the ironworks and Shelton colliery.
|1864||Passenger branch of railway
opened to Hanley.
|1873||Railway extended northwards (the
Potteries loop) via Burslem to Kidsgrove.
|1888||Open-hearth steel converters
installed on the 'new side'.
|1889||Earl Granville's iron and coal business finally amalgamated
with the Shelton Bar Iron Co. the new company was named Shelton, Iron,
Steel & Coal Co. Ltd.
|mid 1890's||The 'Racecourse Pits' were
employing over 800 men and boys.
Coking and by-products plant installed, which transformed the works into a
modern, fully-integrated iron and steel making complex.
|1920||The Shelton complex acquired by
John Summers & Sons Ltd, to provide them with raw materials (pig iron,
coal and coke) for their Shotton ironworks on Deeside.
Under Summers ownership Shelton was transformed into an extremely efficient, modern plant.
|1947||Shelton's coal operation
were nationalised as part of the National Coal Board.
At this time the workforce amounted to more
than 10,000. There were five coalmines on the site, steelworks and rolling
mills, a coking plant, blast furnaces and a bi-product factory.
|1951||UK Iron and
Steel making (including the Shelton Works) nationalised.
denationalised by the incoming Tory administration, effective 1956.
|1964||A £18 million scheme
commissioned consisting of a Kaldo steel converter, Distington continuous
casting complex and new section rolling mills.
In 1964 Shelton was the worlds first steel plant using 100% continuously cast production.
Iron & Steel Act 1967
The Iron and Steel Act of 1967 brought the 14 largest steel companies, representing about 90 per cent of the UK's steelmaking capacity, into public ownership as the British Steel Corporation.
|1978||Iron and steelmaking was
discontinued under the British Steel Corporation's rationalisation plans -
the blast furnaces and steel converter were closed.
The relatively modern section mills on the 'new side' survived and rolled steel blooms from British Steels Teeside Works.
Stoke was chosen as the site for the National Garden Festival in 1986. It was located around Wedgwood's Etruria and Shelton steel works, reclaiming an expanse of land devastated by the effects of heavy industry. The site is now Festival Park, a complex of leisure and business facilities attracting visitors from the Midlands area and beyond and contributing to the City's economic infrastructure.
In 1988, after a period of profound rationalisation, British Steel Corporation was privatised to become British Steel Plc.
Plc and the Dutch firm Hoogovens merged to
|2000||27th April 2000, Closure of the Shelton Works - last day of operation with loss of the entire workforce (almost 300).|
questions/comments/contributions? email: Steve Birks