Objects | Industry


Photograph, Consett Men of Steel, 1960s

Durham County Record Office, Durham

Heavy Industry

1946 To Today

The Consett Iron Company was a giant in the steel industry.

Established in 1864, they purchased the assets of the failed Derwent Iron Company (founded 1840). Consett owes its existence to their decision to locate there, in close proximity to the Durham coalfield and local iron ore. Although local supplies of iron ore were quickly depleted, the works remained and grew, necessitating the import of iron ore by rail.

Consett became one of the world's leading iron and steel making towns; its name synonymous with iron and steel, providing steel for Blackpool Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Britain’s nuclear submarines.

The Company was central to the British steel industry, innovative and crucial to a range of linked industries like shipbuilding (a key product included steel angles for shipbuilding) and railways, making iron rails.

This photograph of the interior of a steel plant shows molten metal being poured from a blast furnace into a 25 ton casting ladle. The workman on the right has a pyrometer to measure the temperature of steam from the molten metal, 1960s. [reference D/Co 12/50/1]

On display at Durham County Record Office

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