3. A Steel Revolution


3. A Steel Revolution!
Having destroyed most of our recent industrial past, thank goodness we at least preserved the furnace and the story of how Abraham Darby, in 1709, revolutionised ironmaking and paved the way for the great Industrial Revolution. This is real industrial archaeology!

Buddha walks into a library ...

Area #1: The Industrial Midlands, Coalbrookdale

I can write no better an introduction to the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron than to quote from the opening display:

“Iron is everywhere – it is the fourth most common constituent of the earths crust. It is in our blood and part of a healthy diet. Iron is in our vocabulary and there is a word for iron in almost every known language. Iron is taken to represent strength and steel as a symbol of determination. Iron is a part of everyday life and a basic component of the world in which we live now. Our world is a product of the Industrial Revolution which gathered pace from 1700 and in which this corner of Shropshire was to play a major role.”

“The history of ironmaking stretches back over 4 thousand years but some of the most important events in the development of ironmaking…

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1. Steel and the death of a Cumbrian community.


1. A Personal Tale of Steel …. and it’s death!
How did the steel industry die an undignified death in Britain? What was the effect on communities? This is a repost of a personal story that was to repeat itself 15 years later and kicks off 3-4 articles about the disappearance of steel manufacturing and its history. It will be followed by a Reblog from a follower who recently visited a closed but preserved steelworks in Alabama, USA.

Buddha walks into a library ...

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It was largely elemental work -with fire, water and earth and [this author’s perception is that] it tended to shape the characters of those who undertook it -and lots of blast furnace workers were more than a little alarming to encounter at first meeting, but few were anything but totally transparent, moral, straightforward and, above-all, kind, caring and sociable individuals.
Quoted from Norman Nicholson:A Literary Life, by David Boyd.

The Ironworks at Millom in Cumbria was much more than the economic furnace of the town, it was the heart and soul of the community. And when the fire of the last blast furnace was extinguished in 1969…… the community died too!

img_1306My grandparents migrated to Haverigg towards the end of the 19th Century from Cornwall, a tin mining family who sought work, a new life, survival, as the tin mining industry declined and died. They brought their mining skills, their…

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Tour of England #1 Industrial Midlands: Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron


Coalbrookdale is a truly significant place in the history of the Industrial Revolution. It was here that Abraham Darby changed ironmaking by using coke instead of charcoal and his original furnace is preserved as a historic reminder.

Postcard from England #3: Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron


The industrial area south of Telford has 10 museums mostly celebrating Englands contribution to the Industrial Revolution. Many contain preserved factories or reconstructed workshops relating to coal, clay, brick, iron, tiles, pottery, but there is one that celebrates something significant and world changing that happened thanks to the ingenuity of one man in particular, though … Continue reading Postcard from England #3: Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron