Clydebridge Steel Works History
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Initially only about Clydebridge Works, still open but greatly reduced in size, this site now includes an industrial history of other Colvilles / British Steel / Corus / Tata / Liberty House iron and steel works in Scotland, such as: Dalzell 1871-present and still producing high quality heavy plate, Clyde Iron 1786-1977, Hallside 1873-1979, Glengarnock 1843-1985, Lanarkshire 1889-1979, Blochairn 1850-1962, Wishaw 1859-1930, Ravenscraig 1953-1992.
Although steel is no longer made in Scotland in bulk, two works remain where steel plate is rolled, cut and heat treated: Dalzell and Clydebridge.
Dalzell steelworks in Motherwell was started in 1871 by David Colville. It quickly gained a reputation, supplying steel for a replacement bridge after the Tay Bridge disaster, and two thirds of the steel for the Forth Bridge, one of the first major steel structures in the world. Dalzell quickly grew to be the largest steelworks in the country. During WW1 Colvilles took over and enlarged Clydebridge and Glengarnock steelworks and, run from Dalzell, Colvilles went on to dominate the Scottish steel industry.
Clydebridge Steelworks in Cambuslang, at the East End of Glasgow opened in 1887. Integrated with Clyde Iron Works in 1939 it was one of the giants of industrial Scotland, and its' steel plates, together with those from Dalzell, were formed into many of the most famous ships built on the River Clyde (and elsewhere) including the Lusitania, Mauretania, Queen Mary, HMS Hood, Queen Elizabeth, QE2. The adjacent Clyde Iron Works, which operated from 1786 to 1978, was where the hot blast process was invented, in 1828, by James Beaumont Neilson. This one invention lead to a rapid increase in iron manufacture and the growth of industry and wealth in Scotland.
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