Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,136 pages of information and 245,598 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.

United Steel Companies

From Graces Guide
1934. Central Research Department.
April 1943.
June 1944.
October 1945.
Sept. 1946.
April 1947.
November 1947.
January 1948.
February 1948.
March 1948.
May 1948.
July 1948.
1955. Creep-Testing Machines.[1]
December 1955.
1956. Blast Furnace "Queen Victoria" at the Appleby-Frodingham works.
March 1961.
July 1961.

of 17 Westbourne Road, Sheffield, 10. Telephone: 60081 (7 lines). Telegraphic Address: "Unisteels, Sheffield". (1937)

The United Steel Companies were a steel making, engineering, coal mining and coal by- product group based in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire [2].

1918 Formed at the instigation of Henry Steel of Steel, Peech and Tozer, who became the first chairman. By exchange of shares the new Company acquired various other companies:

Later acquired other companies including[4]:

1920 On the death of Harry Steel, Albert Peech became chairman. [5]

Modern continuous-rolling mills were put down at Templeborough for the production of strip and bar as Templeborough Rolling Mills; for this purpose United Strip and Bar Mills, a subsidiary Company, was formed. But by 1922 the plant was idle[6]

1926 - December. By the end of the year, The United Steel Companies had eight furnaces working - five at Templeborough and three at the Ickles. The possession of heavy stocks of raw material enabled the firm to resume work quickly. Both basic and acid steel were being produced and for a time the chief bulk of the output was needed for the company's own mills and other plant.[7]

Much progress had been made with the erection and equipment of the new plate mills of the United Steel Companies at Appleby, Lincolnshire. During the strike workmen were giving the finishing touches to the plant, and work was expected to start for the beginnings of 1927. The mills were stated to have been among the largest in the country, and obtained their steel from the United Steel Companies' works at Frodingham. The Appleby plant originally consisted of blast-furnaces only, which were used for sealing with the iron ore from the company's adjacent properties. The extensions were started during the war, when the Appleby Co, in compliance with a request of the Government, undertook the construction of blast and steel furnaces, and modern mills for the rolling of plates for shipbuilding and tank purposes. A Government subsidy was given, amounting, it is understood to £650,000. The total cost of the extensions was around £4,000,000 in 1926.[8]

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

1930 Became a public company.

1934 Opened the Central Research Department at Stocksbridge, to carry out research into the various processes involved in the production of quality steel.

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for 'Service to the Steel Industry'. Irons and Steels (special and ordinary qualities), in strip, wire, bar and plate forms. Forgings, Railway Materials, Road Vehicle Springs, Constructional Steelwork, Sheet Piling, Civil Engineering Caastins, Pre-cast concrete Products. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand Nos. D.713 and D.612). Of Westbourne Road, Sheffield. [9]

1937 Steel and iron manufacturers. [10]

1937 The Sheffield Coal Co, owners of Birley Collieries, Brookhouse and North Staveley collieries, was bought by the United Steel Companies. This also included coal by-product operations at Orgreave and Brookhouse, suppliers of Metallurgical Coke for Blast Furnaces.

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1944 The Kiveton Park Colliery Co was taken over, with reserves from, amongst others, the Barnsley seam being an attractive proposition. The facilities also included coke and coal by-products (including gas). The colliery interests became part of the National Coal Board at nationalisation. The coke ovens closed in 1956 and the colliery in 1984.

1944 The central laboratories were transferred to the new Swinden Laboratory at Rotherham

In 1945 the mining portfolio was increased with the purchase of the Shireoaks Colliery Co the colliery being just over the Nottinghamshire border. As with all their collieries, this became part of the National Coal Board in 1947.

1948 The Yorkshire Engine Co was bought by the United Steel Companies Limited. With United Steels wanting new locomotives following the end of World War II the opportunity arose to purchase the company at a good price and also a suggestion to centralise the engineering workshops which would serve their steelworks at Templeborough (Rotherham) and Stocksbridge.

1951 Nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain [11]

1952 Acquired Santon Mining Co of Scunthorpe from Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain[12].

1953 USC retained one third of the shares in the first nationalised company to be sold by the Iron and Steel Holding and Rationalization Agency, namely Templeborough Rolling Mills [13].

1953 Public offer for sale of the shares in the company held by the Iron and Steel Holding and Rationalization Agency; United Steel was the largest steel producer in the UK, accounting for 13.5 percent of national output, and owned iron or mines, coal carbonizing plant and chemical enterprises as well as iron and steel plant[14].

1961 Barrow Steelworks (for which the company had been operating agent since 1942) was acquired from the Holding and Realization Agency [15].

1961 Employed 37,700 persons in the group. 26 subsidiaries. Manufacturers of carbon, alloy, stainless and special steels, hematite and basic iron; billets, blooms, slabs, forgings, bars, hot and cold rolled strip, tyres, wheels, axles, rings, wire, laminated and coil springs, watch springs, stainless steel sheets, plates, joists and sections, rails, sleepers, fishplates; umbrella frames; derivatives from coal carbonisation; constructional engineering; ingot moulds and iron castings; locomotives. [16] [17]

Members of the group included:

1967 The iron and steel works on nationalisation became part of British Steel and the mining interests passed to the National Coal Board. The coal by-products plants came under the ownership of a subsidiary, the United Coke and Chemicals Co. The works, at Meadowhall, closed.

1968 Structural steelwork. [18]

More recently the steel interests at Rotherham, Scunthorpe and Stocksbridge became part of the Corus Group and all the mining interests were closed, the last, at Treeton, in the 1990s.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. Volume VIII. Engineering. Oxford University Press, 1955.
  2. [1] Wikipedia
  3. Obituary of Henry Steel
  4. The Times, 26 October 1953
  5. The Engineer of 15th October 1920 p380
  6. The Times, Oct 10, 1922
  7. The Engineer 1926/12/24
  8. The Engineer 1926/12/24
  9. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert p665; and p427
  10. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  11. Hansard 19 February 1951
  12. The Times, 26 October 1953
  13. The Times, 5 August 1953
  14. The Times, 26 October 1953
  15. The Times, 8 July 1961
  16. 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises
  17. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  18. The Engineer 1968/06/07 p874