Steel Company of Wales
The Steel Company of Wales was formed in 1947 as a public company to modernise the South Wales sheet and tinplate industry.
1947 Planned to build two tinplate works in the Swansea and Llanelli districts to meet demand and soak up some of the labour made redundant at the old style works. Started clearing the site at Velindre (Swansea) in 1947 but work was put on hold and the site at Trostre (Llanelli) was developed as it was felt that the need for work was greater in the Llanelli area than in north Swansea.
1951 Trostre came into production and work on the Velindre site recommenced.
1956 The Velindre works were commissioned when each of the three works operated two modern continuous tinning lines.
1960 Advert shows the Cold Strip Mill, built for the Velindre Works by Davy-United.
1961 Main works at Abbey Works, Port Talbot and branch works at Margam (Port Talbot), Trostre (Llanelly), Velindre (Swansea) and Orb Works (Newport). Employ 25,000 persons.
In 1967 the Steel Company of Wales were taken over by British Steel and with further developments each works operated with four electrolytic continuous tinning lines, producing one point two million tons of tinplate per annum.
At its peak Velindre works employed more than 2,000 and it was considered to be the 'jewel in the crown' in British Steel, having the reputation for higher yields with fewer complaints than the other two works.
1980 Following increased worldwide competition it was decided in December 1980 that one of the three tinplate works would have to close and Velindre was elected.
1981 A total of 1,300 people were made redundant in March 1981, though 138 were found jobs at Trostre. This left just 768 on the Velindre site.
1989 Production was gradually run down until the works finally ceased production in 1989. Another 108 were given jobs at Trostre, and a small workforce were kept on for a short period to clear the site
Sources of Information
- Hansard 19 February 1951
- The Times, 22 January 1957
- The Times, 15 March 1957