Monday, 10 August 2009

The Iron Dale 2

Inside the Central Melting Plant main building
This is the main building that produced the molten metal. A huge operation that ran 24hrs a day for years.
The cupola would be tapped for molten metal during the shift and the ladel's would be filled with the glowing metal and carried away to the spinning plants to be made into pipes.
This part of the plant is where my father in law resided as a works shift foreman. I could never fathom his shifts out even after years of trying to understand them. The workers at the plant in latter years became very flexible to meet production demands but sadly due to either market forces or just simply like other heavy industry here in the UK. It just simply was closed down.
These pictures show the sheer size of the companies molten metal production facility.
It was common to have many members of a family working there. Very often you could sit in the local club and have a pint with them and say have six men sitting around the table and probably count say 200 odd years service between them.

The large WELLMAN crane that hoisted and carried the ladles full of molten metal around the site. A very skilled job and imagine spilling 25 tons of molten metal on the floor wouldnt be like spilling a glass of water.

Two ladles, now rusting with decay. The dummies portray the size of them.

The cupola control room with the famous bench that the cupola's ( tenters ) would sit at waiting to tap the next lot of molten metal from the cupola. Working in extreme tempratures was what this job was all about. As soon as the cry went up of "Wind On" meaning oxygen was being pumped into the cupola the plant would come alive and the men would spring into action under the watchful eye of the shift foreman.

Looking down the main shop

The view from below the crane beams. The building housed two cranes. I presume one was a spare just in case of a breakdown. Without the cranes productuon would most certainly have grinded to a halt.

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