had been discovered by John Vaughan, the principal ironmaster of Middlesbrough
and this prompted the building of Teesside's first blast furnace in
for ore was booming - spurred on by the rapid expansion of the railways
being built in every part of the country, notably between Stockton
the years, more blast furnaces were created to meet this growing
demand and, at the turn of the century, Teesside was reckoned to
be producing one third of the UK's iron output.
growth of industry was felt beyond the foundry gates with Middlesbrough's
population up to 20,000 by 1860, with the iron industry playing
a key part in the town's growth.
1862, Gladstone visited the town and remarked; "This remarkable
place, the youngest child of England's enterprise, is an infant,
but if an infant, an infant Hercules".
the time the 1870s rolled around Middlesbrough had competition -
steel was the metal of the moment and Sheffield became a key competitor.
Middlesbrough moved with the times and Bolckow and Vaughan opened
a plant in the town.
first, imported ores were used but, by 1879, it was possible to
use local iron ores thanks to a new conversion process developed
by Sidney Gilchrist Thomas.
remarkable place, the youngest child of England's enterprise,
is an infant, but if an infant, an infant Hercules
steel was being used in structures around the world - from railway
tracks to bridges.
Bridge in London, The Hong Kong Shanghai Bank headquarters, the
Dessouk bridge which spans the Nile and the Limpopo Bridge in Rhodesia
are all made of Teesside steel.
and Vaughan, however, weren't the only or first producers of iron
around the Tees.
Stockton Iron Works, Portrack Iron Works, Teesdale Iron Works, Pease
& Partners Tees Iron Works and Normanby Iron Works were all producing
iron at around the same time and earlier.
the latter 1800's, competition from abroad forced many to join forces
resulted in the emergence of Dorman Long, who in the 1880's switched
to steel production and by 1898 had added a bridge and construction
works and steel erection businesses to its growing empire.
development of the iron and steel industry on Teesside in turn gave
rise to other industries that could use the end product produced
from the industry.
Two of the main iron and steel using industries to grow in the Teesside
area were engineering and shipbuilding.
saw the formation of the Teesdale Ironworks, which eventually was
to become one of Teesside's most well known engineering companies.
company was taken over in 1859 by Thomas Head and Joseph Wright
and with the later addition of Joseph Ashby and Thomas Wrightson
and the retirement of Joseph Wright, the company eventually became
known as Head Wrightsons in 1866.
had long been an industry on the Tees even before the emergence
of the Iron and Steel industry in the 1800's.
the ships of this time were constructed of wood and it wasn't until
the iron and steel came to the fore that shipbuilding really took
off on the Tees.
this was a far cry from Middlesbrough's early days.
1800 it did not exist and Stockton was just a
small port, shipping farming produce to and from Redcar, a small
Teeside's steel industry is a shadow of its former self, the complementary
industries attracted to the region, especially petro-chemical companies
The question is, how long would they remain if the steelworks were
could or should be done to safeguard the steel industry or is it
inevitable that factories will close in the long-term?
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