Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,365 pages of information and 245,906 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide


1850. The Wilden Works.
April 1903.
Dec 1921.
Dec 1921.
June 1923.
August 1926.
November 1926.
December 1926.
February 1929.
December 1929.
October 1931.
1933. Wilden Iron Works.





Col. Sir W. Charles Wright.

1934. The Panteg Works.


Aug 1935.
January 1939.

of Wind Street, Swansea. Works: King's Dock, Swansea; Mansel, Port Talbot; Wern, Briton Ferry.

of 3 St. Helen's Place, E.C.3.

Midland Branch: Wilden Iron Works, Stourport-on-Severn.

1902 The company was established and registered on 7 April, to acquire the businesses of iron and steel manufacturers, and colliery and iron proprietors, of E. P. and W. Baldwin, Wright, Butler and Co, Alfred Baldwin and Co, the Bryn Navigation Colliery Co and the Blackwall Galvanised Iron Co[1]. Alfred Baldwin was the first chairman and his son Stanley was managing director. Stanley had sole responsibility for the Midland Division which accounted for about one quarter of the turnover[2]

Furthermore Roger Beck (1841-1923) would also become a significant shareholder as well as a director of Baldwins when it was created, also through amalgamation, in March 1902. [3]

The other directors of Baldwins, apart from Beck, Alfred Baldwin, M.P and his son Stanley, were John Roper Wright, Isaac Butler and S. Lammas Dore. Part of the Baldwins' amalgamation involved the Primitiva and Monges iron ore mines in Spain and Portugal. Roger Beck had a long and profitable relationship with Wright and Butler and then also with the Baldwins.[4]

1906 Acquired and re-opened the Port Talbot steel works, Glamorgan[5] with Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co, which were incorporated as the Port Talbot Steel Co[6]

1914 Iron masters and colliery proprietors. Specialities: round, square and hoop iron; bar, angle and tee steel; black and galvanized sheets, tinned sheets, tinplates etc. The company has its own blast furnaces and steel works and numerous factories where steel bars are converted into a variety of metal sheets. Employees 6,000. The following brands are important features of the company's output:

  • In galvanized sheets: "Phoenix" corrugated, plain and best sheets for seaming and working-up; "Lion and Crown" best dead flat galvanized sheets.
  • In black sheets: "Vale", "Shield" and "Lion and Crown" dead flat and suitable for trunks, pipes etc., "Plough", a cheaper brand for ordinary use.
  • In tinned sheets: "Baldwin-Wilden", "Cookley K" and "Lion and "Crown" made in best coke finish and heavily-coated charcoal finish for dairy work, gas meters etc.
  • In tinplates: "Cookley K", "Cookley CSS" or "Wilden", "Wolverley", "Unicorn", "Cookley Coke" and "Stour"; and for Welsh tinplates "Kemys", "Kama", "Keblah", "Kaolin", "Karoo", "King's Dock, Swansea" and "Galles". [7]

1917 Work started on new steelworks at Margam with government support; the foundations for three blast furnaces were laid although only two were actually completed.

1918 Baldwins acquired control of the Brymbo Steel Co[8].

1918 New private steel company formed by Baldwins, their bankers and associates; it was called the British Steel Corporation; it had acquired the Briton Ferry Works and extensive land between the Swansea docks and the Neath River to host blast furnaces and coke ovens[9].

1918 Two 70 ton open-hearth furnaces went into production at Margam; the steel went to Port Talbot Steel Co for rolling.

1919 the British Steel Corporation was acquired by Baldwins which then would have more productive capacity than any similar undertaking in the U.K.; Baldwins was also said to be planning to move into the manufacturing side of the steel business[10].

1920 Steel making subsidiaries included[11]:

Other steel works were:

  • Swansea Hematite Iron and Steel Works, Landore;
  • Elba Steel Works, Gowerton;
  • Panteo Steel Works, Newport;
  • Netherton Works, nr Dudley

Sheet, tinplate and galvanizing works:

as well as coke ovens at Landore, Cwmavon and Port Talbot, and by-product plant at Margam, plus 8 collieries, 3 iron ore mines, 2 quarries, 2 brickworks, and 2 tube works as well as works in Canada.

1920 Two blast furnaces were operating at the new Margam steel works by mid-year[12]

1925 Baldwins, in conjunction with Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co built a new tinplate works at Crymlyn Burrows, Swansea[13]

1926 Colonel Sir William Charles Wright was chairman.[14]

By 1927 Baldwins had acquired the Brymbo Steel Co, the Coytrahen Park Colliery Co, the Cribbwr Fawr Collieries, the Taff Rhondda Steam Navigation Coal Co, and the Ton Phillip Rhondda Colliery Co in South Wales, as well as other metallurgical and allied companies[15].

1927 See Aberconway Chapter 17 for information on the company and its history.

1930 Amalgamation of South Wales Steel works with those of GKN to form British Iron and Steel Co.

1934 See Baldwins: 1934 Review

1935 Sold the Eaglesbush Tinplate Works to Metal Box Co

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for Welsh Tinplate Works. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. D.328). [16]

1937 Steel sheet manufacturers[17].

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1945 Baldwins and Richard Thomas and Co merged creating Richard Thomas and Baldwins, an organisation of some 27,000 employees.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. Biography of Stanley Baldwin by Stuart Ball; ODNB
  3. (Cardiff Times, 24 March 1888, p.6; South Wales News 8 March 1889, p.2; The Cambrian 12 April 1889, p.6; Evening Express 5 March 1902, p.2; South Wales Echo, 10 June 1891, p.4).
  4. Philip Kuhn (Dec 2017)
  5. Alfred Baldwin's biography: ODNB
  6. The Times, Aug 28, 1908
  7. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  8. The Times, Apr 26, 1918
  9. The Times, 30 October 1918
  10. The Times, 21 January 1919
  11. The Times, Jun 06, 1921
  12. The Times, Jul 08, 1920
  13. The Times, Dec 19, 1925
  14. The Engineer 1926/11/26
  15. Aberconway Chapter 17
  16. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert pp666 and 667; and p331
  17. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  • History of the Steel Industry in the Port Talbot Area 1900-1988 [1]
  • Parry, S., 2011, History of the Steel Industry in the Port Talbot Area 1900-1988. University of Leeds, School of History; PhD
  • Sakula, A., 1985, Marcus Beck Library: who was Marcus Beck. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 78. December 1985, pp.1047-1049