Shelton Iron and Steel Co | Shelton Bar | Earl Granville Works



also see photos taken on the last day.

April 27th 2000 Newspaper article - from the Sentinel.


Buzzer signals last rites for men of steel
By Sentinel reporter Sarah Chapman

When the final buzzer went at Shelton Bar it reminded Jeff Cartlidge of what the Potteries was about to lose.
The 46-year-old steelworker saw sadness etched on the faces of his colleagues in the boilerhouse as the last 100 tonnes of steel rolled away.
It marked the end of more than 150 years of steel production in Stoke-on-Trent.
The end of an industry which, in its heyday, employed 10,000 people.
Jeff, of Chesterton, has worked at Shelton Bar for 11 years.
He had followed in his father's footsteps as a miner at Silverdale Colliery and was made redundant during the decline of one of the other industrial linchpins of the Potteries.
The father-of-two is one of more than 300 men made redundant with the closure of the Dutch-owned Corus plant and he will join many of them on a retraining programme.
He said: ‘‘It is a very sad day today. The atmosphere is terrible and that is a change from what it used to be when everyone was optimistic.
‘‘I have just heard the buzzer which signals the last steel production here and I have seen grown men choked up with sadness as they watched it roll away.
‘‘British Steel has given me a good life while I have been here.
‘‘Many workers have been re-located to other Corus operations in Scunthorpe and Teesside, but I decided to stay because I don't want to uproot my wife Wendy and teenage children Matthew and Michelle.
‘‘I hope to start retraining, but I am afraid my chances of getting a new job will be slim because of my age and because I have received good wages while I have been at Shelton Bar.
‘‘I was so glad to start working at Shelton Bar after being made redundant and there were plenty of jobs available then. It is sad that it will be wiped out, as the coal industry was, and I know I will never work in a place like this again where there is so much comradeship and a great atmosphere.
‘‘I have to stay here for a further week to help dismantle the place and I am not looking forward to doing that.
‘‘Many workers are still in shock about the fact they won't be working here any more. We still cannot grasp why such a big part of lives will be taken away.
‘‘Closing the section down was an emotional event. We all watched the last lot of steel roll away and some workers were fighting back tears. That steel will be cut up and we will all take a piece of it away as a memento of our time here.
‘‘A lot of lads will be starting new lives in South Yorkshire of the north-east as they continue working for Corus.
‘‘I face the stumbling block of starting again at an age I never thought I would be.''
At its height, 10,000 people were employed at Shelton Bar, where steelmaking began in 1841.
Cutbacks at Shelton began after the nationalisation programme which created British Steel in 1967.
The final blast furnace closed in 1978 and the site was cleared eight years later.
British Steel was privatised in 1989 when thousands more jobs went.
Dutch firm Hoogovens bought British Steel last year, then became Corus and the closure announcement soon followed.

PICTURED: Steelworker Jeff Cartlidge pauses to reflect on the last day of Shelton Bar

also see photos taken on the last day.

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