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18 June 2014
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Immigration and Emigration
Aerial view of steel works in Corby
Steel works in Corby

© Steve Purcell
Tartan toon

Corby facts of steel
---Corby is sited over one of the world’s largest ironstone fields---Corby’s heraldic arms include a gad, or ingot, of steel held in a raven’s claws---Evidence suggests that ironworks existed in the area before Roman times---Corby was granted Royal Charter in 1568 by Elizabeth I; believed to be as a token of gratitude after her rescue by -Corby men after she had fallen from her horse in Rockingham Forest
The results of the 1881 population census showed Corby in Northamptonshire to be a village with a population of just 785. The workforce was comprised of around 100 men working in the former railway brickworks; but this was soon to change. The downturn in the fortunes of the Scottish steel industry, centred in the Clyde Valley, paved the way for a significant migrant workforce to cross the border.

Scots steel growth

The arrival in Corby of the new Lloyds Ironstone Company in 1907, with the subsequent building of two blast furnaces in 1910-11, did not initially lead to an increase in the population. However once the third blast furnace had been commissioned in 1917, the workforce grew to around 800: most of whom lived in old Corby and surrounding villages.

Stewarts and Lloyds
Stewarts and Lloyds
© Steve Purcell
Stewarts and Lloyds was formed in 1903 with its head offices in Glasgow and they acquired the Corby Works in October 1920. In 1932, it was announced that Stewarts and Lloyds were to build an iron, steel and tube making plant at Corby, and construction work started in 1933. It was then the most advanced integrated steel production plant in England. The prospect of jobs resulted in a huge influx of unemployed men and their families to the town.


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