Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Redcar - Made of Steel"

While dashing along the M6 on Monday afternoon I listened to Radio 4 “Archive Hour” programme about a history of iron ore mining and steel production in Teesside. Some folk would have immediately switched over but if they did they missed something special (IMO). Check out BBC iPlayer here (7 days ).

At one time railway lines and iron bridges all other the world would have had “made in Teesside” stamped on them.

Production first began in Teesside following the discovery of nearby iron ore deposits. The mines were still producing ore until early 20th century while the steel production plant at Redcar was very recently put into mothballs to the despair of the local community.

The programme did not romanticise the physically hard, dirty and dangerous work of mining or being a steel worker but it did celebrate their strong sense of pride, comradeship and solidarity.

The programme reminded me of the closure of the main plant at Shotton Steel works in the 1980’s.  Check out my thoughts pre CONDEM gov.

Question: Do we need to have employment with such bloody awful working conditions to bring about a similar true sense of class and identity amongst working people?


Bill said...

My Dad tells stories of working on Teesside steel mills in the 60's - H&S wasn't very rigorous, men would kip under the beam rollers, and a ladle worth of molten steel nearly landed on him once.

Thousands once worked there, but in recent years it'll only have been a few hundred. The old Chemical plants are winding down - I don't see much hope for the area at the minute - the thought that it'll return to 80's levels of unemployment terrifies me.

Anonymous said...

its a disgrace that Labour lost this seat

especially as Lib Dem MP voting with hated Tories

Redcar people would never vote for that

The truth is Baird should have done more, she should have been arrestead standing up for Steel

Anonymous said...

What would Mo have done?