STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Edited

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Information about STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Edited
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Published on March 16, 2014

Author: wotec

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OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD : OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD http://occleston.com Weary Wally And my memories of employment at the Works. Walter Occleston OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Steel making came to IRLAM & CADISHEAD in 1911 in the form of form the PARTINGTON STEEL & IRON CO LTD. The name changed several times over the years before it finally closed but the most commonly known name was . The Lancashire Steel Corporation Ltd. Some of the following photographs are mine, some held by the I & C H S and a few from the web. Any of mine may be used for none commercial purposes with acknowledgement but others should be checked by the user for copyright . For anyone wanting more detailed information, an exceptionally knowledgeable book on Sixty Five Years Of Steel Making At Irlam was produced by Mr C. Wheaton. This can be obtained from local libraries or the Irlam & Cadishead Historical Society. My attempt with this presentation is just to show some of the pictures relating to the works which may be of interest. Comments and details in this presentation are given from memory and although I believe all are accurate there may be some mistakes, my memory is 84, unfortunately. Like that famous intellectual Homer Simpson says “ “New stuff keeps coming into my brain every day and pushes the old stuff out” OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD My 14 th birthday was 30 Dec 1945 and I started work for the LSC Ltd on 1 st Jan 1946 (leaving school at 14 for work was normal in those days ), It was promised that I would become an apprentice pattern maker in the foundry but due to the nepotism that existed in the company a nephew of a manager got the vacent position and I finished up as an oil lad in the locomotive dep't. This pleased me as my childhood ambition was to be an Engine Driver and the job enabled me to be in close contact with all the steam locomotives and the crews. It also allowed me to roam freely all over the works, (without supervision), It did not please my father who was an Engine Driver on the Manchester Ship Canal Railway. He wanted me in a “Proper Trade” as he called it. I didn’t imagine at that time that I would spend two years there then leave to get a proper trade (apprentice engineering fitter) at Whitefield Bros a local Cadishead engineering company. Then later national service in the REME and a second trade as Vehicle Mechanic before eventually going back to L.S.C Ltd to work as a Labourer, Overhead Crane Driver and eventually as Training Officer Operatives. I think in total I spent about 19 years with the company The works once employed 5500 people at it’s peak shortly before steelmaking ceased at the works. It came into being solely because of the building of the Manchester Ship Canal that drained and made available land through which the rivers Mersey & Irwell once flowed. This eventually enabled iron ore and other raw materials to be shipped in bulk from abroad, and unloaded directly to the works wharf at IRLAM. A big advantage over other steel producing competitors around the country./ The works finally became uneconomic when the increased cost of transporting materials, mainly iron ore, from abroad required the use of bulk carriers that were too big to get through the locks on the Manchester Ship Canal. The British Steel Corp first ended steel making at the Irlam works in 1974 because of this reason and not solely as a politically motivated closure as most of the effected people believed. It was the start of the end for British heavy industry in Irlam although the No 2 Rod & Bar Mill was kept in operation for a few more years employing hundreds rather than thousands of operatives. This mill operated by obtaining billets transported by rail from the Scunthorpe steelworks for rerolling into rods, mostly for the wiredrawing industries. Inevitably this also became too costly to beat the competition and this mill closed in 1979. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The site for the Partington Iron & Steel Works at Irlam. Royles Engineering works & St Teresa’s Church in background. One can see the boggy ground conditions due to the meanderings of the rivers Mersey and Irwell W. Occleston picture. Feb 1910 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The site of Partington Steel & Iron Co. works Construction, This picture shows the type of ground the works was to be built on, the rivers Mersey and Irwell snaked all over the Steelworks site before the Manchester Ship Canal was constructed. W. Occleston picture 12th Aug 1911 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Steel from Pearson & Knowles Coal & Iron Co Warrington, for the Partington Steel & Iron Co. construction carried on Cheshire Lines Flats. Notice the haystack and farm wagons still on site and the still almost new railway bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. W. Occleston picture 20th Jul 1911 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction begins. I think the labourers had to stand very still for the photographer ! You can tell who is the boss by the hat. The tower in the background is the control tower for Irlam Locks on the Manchester Ship Canal. W. Occleston picture 1911 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The Main Office building the location of the boardroom and home of the bigwigs. The covered portion on right was the pay office where in Jan 1945, at the age of 14 yrs, I received my first pay packet as an Oil Boy in the Loco Dept. When I left that job at 16 I was on £3.75 per week, When I started at Whitfield Bro' as an apprentice fitter I started on £2.50 per week. At that time I never dreamed this building would eventually finished up housing the Apprentice Training Dept where I would have my own office. After the works closure. I bought the works managers oak toilet door which served as the back door on our house for many years. W. Occleston picture 1911. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction W. Occleston picture 1911 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction - No weather protection for the loco driver. W. Occleston picture 1911 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction - Fred Dibner would have loved these. Looking beyond the chimneys you can see the line of buildings that are along the old A57 through Cadishead & Irlam. To the right you can make out the clock tower and chimney of Royles Engineering works which was in Irlam but to the right of that the buildings are in Cadishead . W. Occleston picture 1911 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction W. Occleston picture 12th Jul 1911 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Construction of Rolling Mills W. Occleston picture 9th Mar 1913 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction. The buildings and the chimney visible over the railway embankment belong to the Co Operative Society Lard & Soap works which is in Irlam. W. Occleston picture 22nd Jul 911 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Works Construction W. Occleston picture 2nd Dec 1911 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The New Slag Plant. Slag from the works was used to manufacture paving slabs at one time and also went into tarmac production. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Not certain if this picture was in my collection or if I obtained it elsewhere, I tried to improve it but it is a double exposure. Can't make out what is in background. W. Occleston picture ? ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co 0-4-0 Engine “ Simon “, it can be seen tipping slag in next picture. W. Occleston picture 1912 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD 0-4-0 Engine “ Simon “ tipping slag. This practice would light up the sky at night for the next forty or so years and the slag bank would eventually reach to Liverpool road Cadishead. During the war we anticipated the German bombers would have a field day as the glow from the bank would be seen for many miles. They tried to arrange it so tipping was usually during daylight hours but when a furnace had to tap they had no choice. In the event, as far as I recollect, only one string of bombs fell across Cadishead and the Steelworks but when slag fell into standing water the bang was heard for miles, and it was just like a bomb falling. W. Occleston picture 1913 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co Ltd, Locomotive Steam Crane “ PETER “ It seems to be built on same type loco as “SIMON”. I don’t think this was still there when I was but I seem to remember a very large rail crane, much larger than this one which I think was called Mammoth or something similar and I believe that was diesel driven. W. Occleston picture 22nd Jul 1911 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD A Partington Steel & Iron Co Steam Crane - Judging by roof it has helped build the works. They were still using a couple of steam cranes not much better than this when I started on the works in 1945. I was given a ride on one but the open gearing was a bit too close to ones hands for comfort and you got nasty fumes from the boiler. I seem to remember that they had steel cables rather than chain for lifting and one had to be very careful passing a working crane because the cab could swivel unexpectedly, without warning, well out into the walkway. The driver could not see behind the cab and although they had a watcher passers by had to be very agile. W. Occleston picture 1912-13 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This type of engine is fitted with a fresh air cab. Note the solid buffers and no coal bunker ? This was not the case on the locos I knew, I don’t remember any solid buffers. There were many changes made to a lot of the engines in works over the years especially fitting better cabs for protection for the drivers so this could be one of the loco’s I knew but with a different cab. W. Occleston picture 1911-12 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Locomotive cabs slowly improved for the driver. Between 1945/46 as a 14yr old oil lad it was my ambition to drive every loco on the works. They had 23 steam locomotives at that time and I managed to drive 21 of them at least for a few yards, some of them quite a lot further than that. Only one loco No 23 was nice and shinny like this one when I was there as a lad but I never drove that one. W. Occleston picture 1916 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD I don’t know the number of this engine but more than likely it had a new cab fitted after the date of this picture, the round dome looks like No 14 did at a later date, if so I might have been in its firebox as a teenager. This is a good illustration of the slag tipping method. You can just see the chain on the other side of the ladle which was attached to the uncoupled engine. When pulled the ladle tipped and molten slag poured out followed , hopefully, by the hardened shell, one of which can be seen beside the ladle. If it had solidified and stuck anything could happen, the shell bursting spraying molten slag , chain breaking engine shooting forward, derailment etc. ICHS or web picture 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co Rolling Mills - Slag Plant to the left. This photograph looks very much like it was in 1945 when I began working here. The shed near the Loco was the type built for the drivers and shunters in various places around the works and it was from these location I used to take some of the Locomotives and get coal & water while the drivers ate. I didn’t mind that It was hard work, I got the pleasure of driving the engines a few yards and sometimes much further to get a better type of coal . I often wonder what would happen nowadays if a 14/15 year old was allowed to drive off in a steam LOCO ? W. Occleston picture 1930’s ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Most pictures from here on are from the 30’s + when the works expanded the old steel plant and later built a second called the No 2 plant. This plant had a large mixer furnace holding over 100 tons of molten iron brought in ladles by rail from the blast furnaces. This was more efficient than using pig iron as before because the temperature and composition of the iron could be controlled closely in furnace. The whole mixer furnace was then tilted rather than being tapped like a fixed open hearth furnace to pour the molten metal into a ladle which the new 100 ton overhead ladle cranes then picked up the ladle to transport and pour the still molten iron into the open hearth steel furnaces. The Lancashire Steel Corporation was established in 1930 to acquire Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Co Ltd, the Partington Steel and Iron Co Ltd and the Wigan Coal Corporation Ltd. In 1930 they became a public company and two years later they acquired Whitecross Co Ltd of Warrington and Pearson and Knowles Engineering Ltd, acquisition of many others followed. In 1951 came nationalisation under the Iron and Steel Act and by 1967 it was then one of the 14 largest steel companies that became The British Steel Corporation . PowerPoint Presentation: Partington Steel & Iron Works 1935 The dotted yellow line shows the courses of the Irwell/Mersey before the Manchester Ship Canal eliminated the meanderings. The fuzzy lines near to Ashfield Grove represent the slag bank and shows the extent to which the bank encroached almost to the old A57 Liverpool Rd before tipping there ceased. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Not certain of date of this picture but it must be after the Lancashire Steel Company was formed. Most of the wagons are Parting Coal & Iron but some of the newer LSC wagons are intermixed. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD “A” Furnace Interior port end – During a period when I worked in the yard gang (known as Tickles Gang) we were often sent in these places during furnace relining or patching to remove damaged brickwork, even though the furnaces were still to hot for safe working. You could always tell that when your saw bodies jumping out the charging doors with their boots on fire. No health & Safety then. W. Occleston picture 2nd Feb 1931 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD “A” Furnace construction stage side W. Occleston picture 31st Jan 1931 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD “A”. Furnace assembling overhead crane and hot metal charging equipment. The overhead crane is in the background the one nearest is the furnace charger crane that picks up the pans of scrap or other materials and inserts them through the furnace doors. Workers ran the risk of being knocked over by these cranes but with reasonable all round vision for the driver it didn’t happen often. When the new steel Plant was built the chargers were floor mounted with restricted vision for the driver and covered the whole area of the furnace front. The furnace men and passing people ran the risk of being not only knocked over but being crushed as well. The overhead type were fun to drive the floor mounted ones nasty. W. Occleston picture 21st Apr 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Not sure which furnaces are seen here but on the far one you can see the pattern for the molten metal launder which will be fitted for pouring hot metal into the furnace. You can also see a 90t Ladle in front of the furnace into which the furnace will be tapped. W. Occleston picture 18th June 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD “H” Furnace - construction completed W. Occleston picture 21st April 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD “A” furnace in operation - judging by the date and the furnace staging in front being so neat and tidy, I would think this is the first lighting and charging of this furnace after the construction was completed. W. Occleston picture 17th Jan 1933 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD A furnace in operation - judging by charging doors this must be one of the old furnaces, the size of the furnace crew is about right but of course there are other workers needed to keep the furnaces supplied with ores etc and to remove the steel produced from the furnace. ICHS or web picture ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Installing the new Cogging Mill, the actual cogging rolls would fit here where the large frame is, with the area behind developed into the Soaking pits. Here the 4 tone steel ingots would be heated to white hot and lifted by overhead drawing cranes to be place on the cogging mill rolling platform W. Occleston picture 1930’s ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Installing the new Cogging Mill. Years later I was driving the overhead crane that runs in front of this control box I was concentrating on the load when some instinctive impulse made me look upwards to see an electrician and his mate sat having sandwiches with their legs over the crane rail track. An emergency stop sent the load swinging wildly and the juddering of the crane wheels along the track shook years and years of accumulated dust from the roofing burying the whole bay in a dirty black cloud. My language to the two stupid men is not fit to print but they were very very lucky. W. Occleston picture 1930’s ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Installing the new Cogging Mill W. Occleston picture 1930’s ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The new Cogging Mill finally working W. Occleston picture 13th Jan 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Ram & Coal Levelling Machine on Coke Ovens. Another machine I managed to have a go on although it wasn’t so clean in 1945 . I think drivers liked to show off to a 14yr old. This machine lifted a door off an individual coke oven and pushed the white hot coke out to fall into the tipper wagon at the front of the ovens. Seen in next picture. W. Occleston picture 22July 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The Coke Ovens cooling bed First discharge of coke. The Cooling Tower at the end was the source of the great clouds of steam that were seen for miles around Irlam for many years. The Loco is Electric. I rode on this but I never manage to drive it. I did manage to unload an oven when it was replaced by a steam loco while this Electric Engine was undergoing repairs so I experienced pushing the wagon of red hot coke into the tower at the end to be doused with water then reversing to drop the load onto the sloping bed leading to a conveyer belt. I would guess this picture is of the first use of the new ovens. W. Occleston picture 10/08/1932 Not a picture taken at LANCASHIRE STEEL WORKS: Not a picture taken at LANCASHIRE STEEL WORKS I have included this picture to give some idea of how coke was pushed out of an oven into the steel wagon which ran it into the water tower to be quenched with cold water before being tipped out onto the cooling bed shown in the last slide. This very similar to IRLAM but there were more ovens on that plant. The driver had to judge the speed that the coke fell to ensure an even layer when it was later tipped out onto the cooling bed . Web Picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Coke Oven Charger – This machine ran along the top of the long line coke ovens to refill the individual ovens after they were discharged. It has not been in operation long judging by the cleanliness. I never went on top the coke ovens as a lad but did later in my training Officer days, the sulphur fumes given of were ghastly, I don’t know how some men stuck the conditions working there for years. W. Occleston picture 24/10/1930 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - Health & Safety ? A most dangerous way of shunting but still practiced in 1945 when I joined the company. It shows all the dangerous tripping or trapping hazards faced anyone walking along the railway tracks, many places were still like this in the 40s although it had improved by the 60s when much more attention was paid to safe working priactices . W. Occleston picture 1912-13 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Partington Steel & Iron Co. - More dangerous shunting. They were still doing this in 1945. They used me occasionally to switch the points after the loco passed to send the wagons down a different track. The Shunter had to be quick to unhitch the chain or the wagon was derailed. Sometimes I acted as Shunter coupling and uncoupling wagons with a shunting pole, the coupling links were heavy but the knack was the swing and twist. I learned to ride the stick shoved in over the brake lever, a very dangerous practice but to a teenager exciting. W. Occleston picture 1912-13 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD General view - 18” Rolling Mills - Taken from near the Slag Plant W. Occleston picture 1911 / 13 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The underslung crane, all drivers hated this crane but I thought it great when I drove it, for the first couple of hours, then I hated it too, it was one of only two types I did not like driving. The design of the thing was so bad it was like being on a ship in a storm and you had trouble keeping to your feet, it was Scary! You could put the jib through into the next bay to work on the teaming platform. If you picked up anything heavy the cab tilted a swung at least five feet, if you had a load on and if you had to stop quickly the jerk and swing nearly threw you overboard. After my time as a crane driver the cab fell of completely and I believe the driver was killed. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD A Charger loading a pan of scrap into the open hearth furnace. I only drove one of these for a couple of shifts but I filled the scrap pans hundreds of times with a magnet crane on the new steel plant. At least on this type the driver could see all around his machine for safety. On the new steel plant, because of the need for 100 ton ladle cranes to fill the furnaces with molten iron, they had to be floor mounted and the charger carriages covered the whole area of the furnace front staging. The drivers view was very restricted and he had to depend on the furnace operatives and any passing people to protect themselves from danger. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Tapping a 90t Open Hearth Furnace On No 1 plant. Not certain which furnace it is. Once in the fifties as a relief driver on the ladle cranes I had the only crane in operation and three furnaces tapped close together time wise. There was so much molten steel and slag about I finished my shift dressed only in my underpants and I think I lost half a stone in weight. The view from my cab was like Dante's Inferno but I didn’t have time to panic fortunately even though it was my first time on this type of crane. W. Occleston picture 23rd Feb 1933 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Inside the Foundry, this is were I should have been employed at 14yrs as an apprentice patternmaker but works politics meant I finished up as an oil boy in the Loco Dep’t. A Managers nephew got the position I was promised. On this works it was definitely “ NOT WHAT YOU KNOW BUT WHO YOU KNOW” ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This shows the teeming of molten steel in to each mould in turn as it was when I was crane driving, In this method if things went wrong you only had 4 tons molten steel pouring out one mould. With a later method, pouring into a central opening to fill four moulds simultaneously, if the things went wrong you could have 16 tons of molten steel pouring out. It was not unusual to see the moulds welded to the bogie and the bogie welded to the railway track. Disadvantage in the old method you had to manoeuvre the ladle four times to complete each bogie . ICHS or web picture Not pictures of LANCASHIRE STEEL WORKS: Not pictures of LANCASHIRE STEEL WORKS I have just used these pictures to illustrate practices used at IRLAM. I drove Drawing Cranes a few times and a Stripping Crane often, I liked the stripping cranes they had a total of seven control handles and you were quite likely to be using five all at the same time. I became quit skilled and fast on this type. What I should mention is that one never got any training when going on a new type of crane for the first time. At LSC if you could drive one type it was automatically assumed you could drive any. As it was people from the general labouring gang that were often sent to cover for absent regular drivers it was not good practice, only luck prevented many accidents. web picture , Stripper crane removing moulds from 4ton ingots Showing moulds stripped from ingots by stripper crane and moulds reset for teeming. Drawing crane filing soaking pit furnace with 4 ton ingots Drawing crane taking white hot 4 ton ingot to the Cogging Mill. White hot 4 ton ingot ready for first pass through cogging rolls. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Pouring steel into moulds from 90 ton ladle on No 1 Steel Plant. When I drove this type of crane the steel had to be teamed directly into each mould in turn. Moving 90 tons of molten steel a few feet at a time without any swing wasn't easy and you had to get it right or you splashed the teemers with white hot molten steel. One of my “Big Head” moments was when a head Teamer said they liked me driving because they could trust me. If the teaming valve stuck open you had up to 90 tons molten steel pouring out the bottom of the ladle then you had to try to get to a safe place without killing anyone. I had this happen to me on both the old and new steel plants, that's when you really earned your money. The advantage of this method was that you only had to position the crane once to fill four moulds. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD 14” Bar Mill Rolling Rails W. Occleston picture 1930s ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The wharf completed, Rock breaker in foreground Dredger on right. During my time as a Crane Driver on the works the wharf cranes were the only type I did not manage to drive. W. Occleston picture 18th May1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD S.S. KALIX Unloading Ore W. Occleston picture 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD First consignment of Indian manganese ore shipped to the steelworks wharf. S.S. Malakand unloading. (The Malakand was bombed and blew up with an ammunition cargo in Liverpool 3rd May 1941 ) W. Occleston picture 15/12/1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD View of Steelworks wharf and ore dumps W. Occleston picture 21st Dec 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD S.S. Diplomat having unloaded at the steelworks wharf. ( The Diplomat was sunk by Submarine Torpedo Dec 1940 ) W. Occleston picture 23rd Jan 1923 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The wharf cranes unloading ore date unknown. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD H.M.S.. Watchman built 1917, passing the Steelworks wharf M.S.C. Dredger and Rock Breaker tied up to wharf. Destroyer, Tonnage: 1,100t light, Length: 312ft Breadth: 29ft 6in. Draught: 10ft 6in, German submarine U-1195 was sunk by HMS Watchman by depth charges on 7 April 1945 to the south east of the Isle of Wight W. Occleston picture 21st June 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD H.M.S. Watchman crew members 1918. Not the crew who would have been aboard in 1932 but it gives some idea of the crew size ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD H.M.S. Watchman crew members 1918 ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD H.M.S. Velox Passing the Steel Works Wharf. HMS Velox (D34) was a 'V' class destroyer built in 1918. She served in the last year of the First World War and was engaged in the Second Ostend Raid. ( HMS Warwick had struck a mine off Ostend and in danger of sinking. The destroyer HMS Velox was lashed alongside and survivors from Warwick, Vindictive and ML254 transferred across to the sound ship). During the interwar period she was refitted and served during the Second World War as a long range convoy escort in the battle of the Atlantic. W. Occleston picture 21st June 1932 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD LANCASHIRE STEEL Co – The new Rolls Royce Ambulance and it looks like a Vauxhall in the garage. W. Occleston picture May 17th 1932 PowerPoint Presentation: This picture shows Prince George Duke of Kent passing the ambulance. The film full title reads: "Irlam. Prince George - watches wonders of modern steel production at the mighty works of the Lancashire Steel Corporation. A Video can be obtained from British Path News and would cost but a sample can be seen containing this frame on their site. britishpathe .com/ The sample shows him watching the wharf cranes and at the blast furnaces. ICHS or web picture 1933 OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD A steelworks air raid shelter WWII. When bombs fell across the steel works we were told that one shelter had taken a direct hit but it was empty at the time. One bomb from the string that fell in Cadishead hit a shop on the old A57 on our route to school. It blew the back from the building and as we walked to school up Openshaw Lane we were able to see the furniture and a beds hanging out the rooms with no walls, I believe no one was hurt and although I didn’t think about it at the time the location of this bomb was just ¼ mile as the crow flies from where I lived in Hayes Road. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD An Air Raid shelter for the foremen near the blast furnaces, they had to stay on duty during air raids as it was unsafe to leave things unattended but It wouldn't have helped much other than protection from shrapnel from our own guns.! ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The next few slides are showing Steam Locomotives I was familiar with as a youth for which I make no apologies. When I found I could purchase pictures of most of the locomotives I had experience with on my first job at the Lancashire Steel Corporation I was delighted and they certainly brought back memories leading to me updating this presentation. Most of them are taken in the fifties and some even in the 60s when the poor things were waiting the for the scrap yard after years of faithful service. My two years as an oil boy with Lancashire steel Co helped me grow up even though at times my escapades nearly ended my future career. As the job entailed me going to every area of the works and I had an in-built instinct for exploring any place I shouldn't go, from under the valve arch beneath the furnaces to on top of overhead cranes. Climbing into railway scrap wagons looking for military scrap while they were on the move, jumping under or over the buffers of slow moving trains and boarding or alighting from fast moving locomotives, balancing on crane tracks With hindsight in later years I realise I was very lucky. I got no injuries during this time other than a few bruises and occasional frights but looking back I narrowly avoided Crushing, Falls from great heights, scalding, hits by molten steel, electrocution, run over by railway trains and possibly a few dangers I never even realised existed. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This one No 13 was still there in 1945 and it was on this one I experienced in my first derailment. I was sat on the brake handle and that was the first thing that hit the floor, as the driver and Shunter abandon ship I bounced off the cab roof and finished up flat on my back covered in the coal flying about. The track the driver was racing down was located where the new Irlam & Cadishead bypass now runs. As a teenager I though this was Great, “ I’d been in a train wreck”. It was only 2 hours later as shock set in and my bruises came out and I started shaking uncontrollably, that I thought perhaps it wasn’t so great after all. My treatment for the shock was a cup of strong tea but I had to finish my shift afterwards. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The oldest Loco was called “NELSON” the first loco I got a ride on after starting as oil lad. You didn’t need to look out of the windows because as it went along the frame flexed so much the cab and boiler parted company and you could watch the track through the gaps. Very different from the posh Manchester Ship Canal locos my dad gave me the occasional ride on as a kid. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Another of the oldest Locos was called “AJAX” very similar to NELSON but I notice, now I have the photos to compare, there are differences on the side. I didn’t get much riding on this one it was nearly always in the Loco Shed for maintenance as it had a very hard life tipping slag ladles. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This might have been the engine on which I experienced my third derailment though I can’t be certain. After helping the Shunter to change points the engine was running back light into the mill to collect a train. We both boarded as it passed us on the move and were on the first steps facing each other as we felt it leave the rails and we both baled out smartly to stand and watch it bounce along the sleepers for about 100yds with the drivers boots sticking out the doorway. By this time I was an old hand at self protection, the driver was OK eventually. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Engine No 4 is a good illustration of changes made to most of the smaller LSC engines during their working life. I don’t know the date of the first picture but any coal must be inside the cab. In the second picture taken on the slag tipping ground you can see a coal bunker has been added to the cab similar to the more modern 0-6-0 engines. W. Occleston picture No 4 locomotive, you can tell by the condition of the Cylinder Covers these slag tipping engines had a hard life, the track looks good here but in actuality when I was first at the steelworks the tracks in the breaker field and the steel plant were very uneven causing many derailments.. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Don’t know the date or the number of the loco but it shows the larger slag tippers that were eventually used in the works. You can also see the tipping chains better. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Have no outstanding memories about this loco but there was one the engine fitters called Droopy Draws. Looking at the buffers I wonder if it was this one. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD When I was there this engine seemed to be everywhere and was sometimes hard to find, most engines had areas of work and some cabin or place in the works were the crew had their break, I delivered oil etc to these places and some drivers came to the loco shed for their own oil but I never knew where this one was working from one week to the next. I think this must have been a spare engine that was just sent were needed at the time. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD When I joined the LSC reporting to the foreman in the loco shed I was told to wait in the little storage area till the present oil lad came back who would show me my duties but within 30 minutes or so I was inside the fire box of either this one No 14 or No 4. My task was to fit in place the heavy iron fire bars one by one until the firebox grating was complete. I then had to squeeze and crawl out of the firebox door to get out with needed assistance from the foreman. The very first experience of a fourteen year old in the first hour, of first day of working life. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD I don’t remember there being a number 24 but engines would be renumbered from time to time. I remember loco number 16 being away for several months at Warrington for complete overall. Much excitement when due back, I seem to remember it was much like this one but bright and shiny, gleaming with fresh paint but when it crossed the yard over the points to run backwards into the Loco Shed the middle axel broke and the wheel came off, the loco was towed away by Balneil and I never saw it again. One I didn’t drive. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD When I was Oil Boy this loco was the Yard Engine, it did all the odd jobs around the works. I got chance to drive this several times away from the yard where someone might see. (At least the engine was No 19, I assume it was this one). The driver was fairly young and friendly this might be the man his face seems familiar but after all these years it might just be my imagination. I don’t even know the date of the photo. I know he could talk the hind leg of a donkey and me into giving him extra oil & waste which management strictly forbade.. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Have to be careful once again here don’t have clear memories of this loco but the driver seems familiar. Most likely my imagination. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD No definite recollections W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This picture annoys me, No 11 seems to have a strong place in my memory but I can’t think why ? I seem to remember liking this engine and crew for some reason ? I wonder if this is taken outside the Loco Shed, the loco firebox bars at the trackside suggest it is. They would have been cast in the foundry and dumped anywhere convenient. You can just see a second engine alongside and the shed did have two pits when I was there. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD NEPTUNE was the smallest of the LSC engines. The two oil bottles you can see are of the type in use by me, one would contain thick black tar like oil and the other normal light engine oil. Supply of oil was a constant battle , management told me to keep my thumb in the measure and give drivers short ration, drivers of course needed it for good running and resented not getting enough. I was piggy in the middle, I admit I sometimes had to resort to forging stores requisition order forms to obtain enough oil to complete my rounds. I was even given strict instructions to skimp on the issue of cotton waste used to clean the engines and protect the drivers hands. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Balneil was the largest engine in the LSC Co fleet, I never got to drive this one as it was crewed by relations of the transport manager but I did ride it occasionally. The 060 locos couldn’t negotiate the sharp track curves in many of the locations on the works though they could pull much heavier trains. When any of these were derailed it was usually when they had tried to go round the tight bends and sometimes were fairly easy to re-rail as only one set of wheels left the line. The 040s tended to jump the rails completely and go for a bit of a walk. Again, although years later a picture that shows the state they allowed the trackside to get in. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Don’t seem to recall anything special about Number 22 but the newest loco on the works when I was there was no 23 similar in appearance to this one but all nice and shiny. I never drove or rode on that one. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This picture shows the scrap shed in the background. Doing a night shift on the Magnet Crane in here I found a locked safe amongst the scrap. Dreaming of great wealth I dropped the safe from a great height ten times and completely exhausted myself climbing down from the crane each time to see if it was open. It finally worked, it was open ! But no cash ! The contents were all the old board meeting records, contracts etc, from Wigan Coal & Iron, Partington iron & steel and Lancashire Steel Co. Lovely old documents in Copperplate Handwriting , large seals etc. I kept these at home for many years just out of interest but eventually they got dumped in the dustbin. With hindsight they would have been a valuable industrial record of Steelmaking in Lancashire and I always regretted disposing of them. ICHS or web picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD I think this was taken in the 50,s and it shows most of the steelworks site though not quite all. Most of the right hand side shows the Partington Coaling Basin and the railway lines are Manchester Ship Canal Co owned. At the bottom is the Lancashire Tar Works Ltd. All now gone and filled with a housing development. Right at the top is the Irlam railway bridge seen on the early slides. I can now drive my car through the arch of this bridge were my father used to drive his steam trains through . To the left of the Cadishead bridge at the bottom, there is now a new road tunnel for the Cadishead A57 by-pass. ICHS or web picture 195 ? PowerPoint Presentation: IRLAM BRIDGE TODAY. This is the bridge shown right at the top in the previous slide. Irlam locks in the distance. The Manchester Ship Canal Railway up to Salford ran through this bridge arch and were I once, as a child, I had a great thrill when dad gave me a ride on his Loco, I can now pass through in the comfort of my car but I can still smell and feel the bumps of that short journey every time I pass. CADISHEAD BRIDGE TODAY. This bridge on the right, is the one shown at the bottom in the previous slide. The Manchester Ship Canal railway ran through the second arch and on up to Latchford. Lancashire Steel Corporation had running rights up to |Hollings Green where there was another slag bank for tipping. This eventually disused slag bank ended up as material for the construction of the embankments to the new M60 motorway bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD The next few slides were taken by me as the last billet of steel was rolled in No 2 ROD MILL IRLAM & CADISHEAD and the works finally died. I knew many, many, people who worked for the steelworks having been employed for a total of nineteen years in various jobs and also involved in the On-Job training of Apprentices and Operatives. Sadly, I was also involved in having to arrange re-training schemes when the works finally closed with the subsequent redundancies. Unfortunately I never had a good memory for names and in later years have frequently been embarrassed by meeting (strangers ?) who knew me, and to the wife’s question “ who was that “ I could only say “I don’t know, I know the face but “. In view of the above confession I would be glad of any help anyone could give to identify any of the people in the pictures. If anyone has any old pictures of any kind relating the LANCASHIRE STEEL CO LTD I would love to include them in this presentation with acknowledgement. Any pictures donated would be returned to the donor after copying or passed on to the Iram & Cadishead History Society if so wished . weary1@occleston.com OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD I took the following photos as the last billet was rolled in number 2 Mill British Steel Irlam Works and the last coil came off the rolling line. This ended any connection with the steel industry that had existed in Irlam & Cadishead through two world Wars and beyond. A few names of those present on the last rolling day were given me by ex steelworkers but unfortunately were lost due to a failed hard disk in my computer.. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Frank Tully Mill Manager. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD After the last rolling the vultures moved in to strip the carcase. When this new rolling mill was built I drove a crane in this bay helping to build it, it was so new the power supply wasn't yet installed and I had a man below carrying the electric power cables for the crane up and down as the crane travelled. I saw it born and I saw it die after just a few years. In another capacity I carried out a full analysis of training requirements for all operatives in the mill. I believe that the management and unions used this analysis to establish wage rates although I was promised they would not be used in that way. It must have worked though because I believe that at the end of the last two years everyone up to the grade of head roller had been selected and taken on by the training department and all were taught their skills in house. W. Occleston picture 1979/80 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD I have forgotten who took the rolling machinery but it didn’t take them long to get it. I believe most of the apprentice training machinery and tools went to Shotton Steelworks Deeside. That is also where I sent film & projector equipment from the training dept including all the steel making films and safety films that I used to use in my training courses for Irlam operatives. Regrettably including some of the films we had about various experimental trials on No 2 steel plant at Irlam, which showed some of the operatives. W. Occleston picture 1979/80 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This was the end of that lovely main office you saw at the beginning, the bit just demolished was the apprentice training workshops after the management moved from the building to requisition the purpose built training block at the main gate. The windows visible under the crane jib was my office before I was moved back to the original training building where I started my career as a Training Officer Operatives only eventually I wasn’t testing job applicants or running training courses for employees but finding them external training courses after redundancy. W. Occleston picture 1979/80 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD A lot of good Engineers and Electricians got their basic training here. W. Occleston picture 1979/80 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Finally that grand building that stood for 69yrs was just a heap of rubble, and the sign on the gate says it all. The building on the left, one of the last few standing was the laboratory, I believe the persons responsible for some of the old glass plate photographs worked in this dept. W. Occleston picture 1979/80 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD This picture I took from the top of the lighting tower that once stood near the main gate, most of the works has been destroyed at this point and the chimneys stand like tombstones, the white one is the remains of the power house . Behind the tall chimney left of that one can just make out the Irlam Locks control tower you can see on the early pictures of the start of Partington Coal & Iron construction. Between the next two you can just make out a steam train which must be a MSC locomotive going towards the locks. W. Occleston picture 1979/80 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD When I took this picture it was early morning, deathly quiet as if in a graveyard and very hard to believe there was ever a very large thriving industrial steel company located here. Just a shell of slag from a tipper and a bit of piping gives a hint. Now in 2014 it is again an industrial site but with just the warehouse type modern sheds employing few people. W. Occleston picture 1985 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Orange line shows approximate area once occupied by the steelworks ICHS or web picture 2011 ? OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD In 1980 after dealing with training courses for redundant workers I was moved to the Warrington rolling mill working as Training Officer between that works, Ryland's wiredrawing works and Monks Hall at Latchford. A few years later and the Warrington works and Monks Hall closed too. At that time I was able to save a lot of the old photographic glass negatives that were getting destroyed. Most of the black & white photographs in this presentation I developed from those old glass negatives. In some cases they were dated but not all so I have guessed the approx date for some. The glass negatives, including many I didn’t develop. and several old 16mm steelmaking films together with some 8mm films I made as a Training / Safety Officer at the various works I kept for quite a few years at home. Eventually not having machines to show the films they went to the Salford historical archives , then at the old police station in Irlam. I was lucky that during the making of the Irlam College project “Marge & Steel “ I was able to obtain digital copies of two of the 8mm films No 3 about the movement of billet trains into the Rod Mill and No 6 showing the installation of new Rolling Stand at the Warrington works they brought back many memories for me. As far as I am aware the others have not yet been digitised so any interested parties would need to contact THE North West Film Archive . Who now hold these and arrange to view in original format. ( there would be a cost incurred) I don’t know who retains the glass negatives 8mm films made by me . LIFELINE - EMERGENCY ESCAPE FROM OVERHEAD CRANES . At Irlam Warrington & Monks Hall Works. (shows some operatives trying out the system BILLET BAY PROCEDURES: LANCASHIRE WORKS THE RAIL TRAFFIC SYSTEM, IRLAM WORKS THE DEMOLITION OF A FURNACE CHIMNEY AT THE IRLAM WORKS 1976 IRLAM WORKS - GENERAL SCENES AND LAST DAY Miscellaneous Bits INSTALLATION OF NEW ROLLING STANDS AT WARRINGTON WORKS 1976 A film on safety at the Warrington Works . I can’t recall the title but I remember some bits I shot in town centre.. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD POWER of the PRESS ! This item published in the British Steel News is not quite what it seems, the film unit is me and the film library equipment is what you see on the table plus one amateur 8mm film camera. The then manager of the training dept gave instructions that I should make safety and training films and gave me the camera and the viewer you see in the picture. When I asked about purchasing 8mm film stock his reply “oh just make some films we’ll buy film later”, Eventually I could purchase film stock but I had no lighting or audio editing equipment which seriously handicapped film production as you can imagine trying to film internal shots. I managed to produce some films and eventually use them but the quality was not great. As the department managers who promised to do the commentaries never obliged I had to write and record the commentaries, and become cameraman, scriptwriter, and editor. My voice was not really suitable for commentaries and I can never understand now why I once sported that silly moustache. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD Was there ever Steel Making at IRLAM & CADISHEAD ? Remaining slides are just odds and ends relating in some way to steelmaking at Irlam. 121 # Hopefully this section will be expanded whenever I can obtain any item of interest that may be relevant. OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD A photograph of one years apprentice engineers and electricians together with the training staff. W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD W. Occleston picture OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD: OLD PHOTOGRAPHS OF STEELMAKING AT IRLAM & CADISHEAD That’ s all for now unless I get more stuff. Walter Occleston Mar 2014

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