Ebbw Vale Works 1935 – 2000, Part 1: 1935 – 1945


In the year 2000 or 2001, Ian Hobson gave this presentation to the Ebbw Vale Metallurgical Society. I don’t know whether he knew at the time that Ebbw Vale was at the edge of closure, but it seems like a fitting epitaph to the events that followed. This is part 1, which covers the period from 1935 to 1945.

INTRODUCTION 1935 – 1939

  • Ebbw Vale Steel Iron & Coal Company Ltd
  • Richard Thomas & Company Ltd

Sir John W. Beynon

Sir Frederick Mills

Sir William J Firth

THE NEW PLANT 1935 – 1939

  • Two reconstructed blast furnaces
  • Three Open Hearth Furnaces
  • Three Bessemer Converters
  • Continuous Hot Rolling Mill
  • One Three Stand – Four high mill for sheet production
  • One Five Stand – Four high mill for Tinplate production

FUNDING FOR THE PROJECT

  • £7 million Debenture stock at 4%
  • £3.75 million ordinary shares at 13/4d

CONTRACTORS

  • Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Sir Alexander Gibbs

Blast Furnace in Progress

Blast Furnace Completed

ESCALATION OF COSTS

  • Rescue package
  • Fall of Sir William Firth

Culvert

REOPENING OF WORKS

  • Commissioning of Hot Strip Mill – 3rd October 1938

Roughing Mill

Hot Strip Mill

WAR SERVICE 1939 – 1945

  • Maximum production – minimum scrap loss
  • Air raids
  • Modifications
  • End of war celebrations

Celebrations – the children arrive

The Assorting Bay, Cold Mill, prepared for the party
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