Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Iron Dale

The Erewash Valley was once a massive hive of industry. It was home to one of the largest steelworks in the country. My father in law worked there during the boom years and he also watched the decline of the once mighty steelworks before he retired a few years ago having not quite managed 50 years service. The site that once housed the mighty blast furnaces and steelmaking plants has all but disappeared and more recently the last part of the manufacturing process the Central Melting Plant and pipe making plants are starting to be demolished.
I am reliably told that at one time during my father in laws employment, 14,000 people worked for Stanton and Staveley which was formerly part of British Steel. In more recent years the buisness was aquired by Saint Gobain Industries.
The site is being re developed. Whether that will be a good thing or not is up for debate but from a personal point of view It saddens me to see all this heavy industry disappear.
I have started to take a few pictures of the plant as it gets demolished. The site is now just a stockground for ductile pipes that are imported here from Saint Gobains overseas operations.
Next time you wonder how your water arrived to your tap it would have most certainly have travelled down a pipe manufactured from this site.

The CMP plant in its original form

Central Melting Plant supplied all the spinning plants within the site. Locomotives transfered the molten metal 24hrs a day 7 days a week.

A ladle transfering molten metal
A more modern picture of the plant

A pipe stacking overhead crane

The plant nestling in the valley

A view that will soon be very different

Backside charging area being demolished. These backside cranes were used to transfer scrap steel into the charging area that supplied the massive cupola housed within the main building.

Side view of the scrap stocking area

Keep out. A sign of the times with Health & Safety. I remember when not many years ago you could simply wander through the works and watch what was happening.

The shearer starting to expose the overhead crane beams and colums.

Two more overhead pipe stacking cranes. These two large cranes lifted the largest pipes that the company manufactured.

The building called ( The citadel) which refurbished the company's large ladle's that carried the molten metal around the site. Spare ladel's would be re lined and repaired and then put back into service. This building took two days to demolish.


  1. thank you so much for these demolition photos all i used to work there then it closed please when you get a chance will you take some more demo shots fantastics shots thx

  2. I'm working my way backward through your blog posts, and these photos and your commentary truly resonate for me. I lived in Detroit for many years and witnessed the decline of heavy industry there, and in the other automotive centers around Michigan. Back in the 1980s I drove along the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, awed by the vast, abandoned steel mills there. I gather that most of them have been demolished now. You might be interested in the "Pennsylvania Rust Belt" site:

    You're doing good work, documenting the process of deindustrialization.