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John Lysaght

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1891. St Vincent's Iron Works. Photographed in 2017
St Vincent's Iron Works, 2012
August 1911.
September 1913.
October 1914.
Nov 1919.
Dec 1921.
Dec 1921.
August 1926.
Aug 1935. Great Western RailwayGWR Centenary.
1936. Name plate.
Dec 1939.
August 1944.
September 1947.
1951. Soaking Pits.
1952. Scunthorpe Works.

Galvanising and sheet steel maker;

of St. Vincent's Iron Works, St Philips, Bristol;

of Swan Garden Works and Osier Bed Works, Wolverhampton;

of Orb Iron Works, Newport; and,

of Normanby Park Steel Works, Scunthorpe.

1857 Company established in Bristol to galvanise sheet iron by John Lysaght

1860 Lysaght established the St Vincent's works, also known as the Netham Ironworks, occupying 4 acres of what had been the St Philip's works of Acraman and Morgan. By the 1890s they fully occupied the 13 acre site. The flamboyant office building dates from 1886 [1], and is now home to the head office of renewable energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan.

1864 Employing 29 persons

1878 Employing 400 persons

1878 Bought the Swan Garden Iron Works in Wolverhampton

1879 Lysaght visited Australia and formed the Victoria Galvanised Iron and Wire Co

1881 John Lysaght's was incorporated as a limited company.

1892 Advert: of Bristol and Wolverhampton. [2]

1895 Opening of Orb Works, Newport [3].

1901 The company was registered on 28 November, to take over the business of a company of the same name, manufacturers of galvanised and black sheet iron and steel, iron and steel buildings, bridges, etc. [4]

1906 Selected Scunthorpe as the site for a new blast furnace plant and rolling mills, because of its abundant ore reserves, from which to produce sheet bars for the company's works at Newport[5].

c.1912 Installed an engine from Galloways at their Orb Works, Newport.

1912 John Lysaght's plant was opened to the north of Scunthorpe away from the main concentrations of iron works and existing quarries[6]. The works consisted of ironstone mines, 96 Semet Solvay coke ovens, with an output capacity of 3,000 tons of coke per week, two blast furnaces of 700 tons per week capacity, four forty-five-ton basic open-hearth steel furnaces, and a 400-ton metal mixer, with steel rolling mills[7].

1913 A third blast furnace was put into operation at Scunthorpe[8].

1914 Galvanizers and constructional engineers. Specialities: galvanized sheets, galvanized wire netting, tanks, hollow ware, black steel sheets, constructional steel work. [9]

1917 a fourth furnace of 1,000 tons per week capacity was put into blast at Scunthorpe[10].

1919 Lysaghts were still in control of various branches of the business but the Trustees of the late John Lysaght sold the ordinary shares (the great majority of the issued shares) to the chairman Mr Seymour Berry and his friends[11] (D. R. Llewellyn, and Viscountess Rhondda).

1919 The Lysaghts had owned two rolling mills, Swan Garden and Osier Bed, in Wolverhampton and knew the Sankeys. It was suggested to George H. Sankey that Berry would buy Sankey shares. Lysaghts acquired a controlling interest in Joseph Sankey and Sons Ltd of Manor Iron Works, Wolverhampton, Albert Street and Bankfield Works, Bilston, and the Hadley Castle Works, Wellington. Joseph Sankey retained its own identity[12]. Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd became the sole subsidiary of John Lysaght Ltd. On 3 December, Berry became the new chairman of Sankeys; Llewellyn also joined the board[13].

1920 Guest Keen and Nettlefolds acquired John Lysaght including the works at Newport ("the largest and best equipped in the UK for manufacture of black and galvanised sheet"), large constructional iron and steel works at Bristol, and five blast furnaces and an up-to-date steel works and adjoining ironstone reserves at Scunthorpe. This purchase also included the whole of the ordinary shares of Joseph Sankey and Sons. Mr Seymour Berry, chairman of John Lysaght, and another director would join the board of GKN; 2 GKN directors would join the board of John Lysaght [14].

1921 GKN had acquired most of the preference shares in John Lysaght as well as 99% of the Ordinary shares [15].

1922 A fifth furnace of 1,200 tons per week capacity was put into blast at Scunthorpe. The steel plant could produce up to 5,000 tons of finished steel per week much of which went to the plate mills of South Wales [16].

1922 Installed an engine from Galloways at their Orb Works, Newport.

1929 The galvanizing works was transferred from Bristol to Newport; finishing would still be done at Bristol[17].

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

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1942-5 Re-built five locomotives with parts from Peckett and Sons.

1946 British Rollmakers Corporation acquired the rollmaking interests of John Lysaght Limited.

1947 John Lysaght's Bristol Works were formed as a private company

1951 Scunthorpe works nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain[18].

1951 The Lysaght Works of Steel Company of Wales were nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain [19]

1955 Private sale of John Lysaght's Scunthorpe works by the Holding and Realisation Agency to GKN including the wholly-owned subsidiary Scunthorpe Rod Mill Ltd. [20] [21]

1966 The Lysaght name was still in use by GKN to identify works such as Scunthorpe [22].

1971 John Lysaght (Australia) Pty Ltd was restructured by GKN as a joint venture with B.H.P. so that its development at Westernport could be financed separately from the parent company [23].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'Under His Own Sheets: The Lysaght Story' by Raymond Holland BIAS Journal 30 1997 (Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society)
  2. Wolverhampton Red Book and Directory, 1892
  3. The Times, 1 October 1919
  4. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  5. The Industrial Base of Scunthorpe [1]
  6. The Industrial Base of Scunthorpe [2]
  7. The Basic Industries of Great Britain by Aberconway: Chapter IV
  8. The Basic Industries of Great Britain by Aberconway: Chapter IV
  9. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  10. The Basic Industries of Great Britain by Aberconway: Chapter IV
  11. The Times, 1 October 1919
  12. The Times, 14 November 1919
  13. Wolverhampton Archives [3]
  14. The Times, 27 August 1920
  15. The Times, 16 September 1921
  16. The Basic Industries of Great Britain by Aberconway: Chapter IV
  17. The Times, 10 October 1929
  18. Hansard 19 February 1951
  19. Hansard 19 February 1951
  20. The Times, 31 January 1956
  21. The Times, 29 June 1956
  22. The Times, 6 April 1966
  23. The Times, 16 April 1971
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978/9. ISBN 0-903485-65-6
  • Made in Bristol by David Bolton. 2011. ISBN 978 1 904537 91 5