150 years of the Shelton Works - page 32



The last cast from No. 4 Blast Furnace on 22nd June 1978
The last cast from No. 4 Blast Furnace on 22nd June 1978


In 1967 the steel industry was nationalised, this time with companies being taken into state ownership in their entirety as parts of the British Steel Corporation, which was to remain until November 1988.

The new Corporation, under all of its Chairmen, sought efficiencies, and for Shelton, the first of these was the closure of the coking plant in May 1968. After that Shotton, once relying on Shelton for iron, was now to supply coke to Shelton.

A further closure came in June 1971, when Shelton's 18-inch mill finished work.

Company policy was to concentrate its activities on large sites with access to deep water for the import of foreign raw materials in enormous quantities. 
Clearly the odds were heavily against Shelton in such a scenario.

However, for most of the Seventies, the people of the Potteries engaged in a dogged and stubborn resistance to the spectre of closure. By them having a forward and open approach which led to the site being virtually used as a test bed for the industry with trials being carried out on spray casting, slab casting, and the production of dog-bone sections via the continuous casting method. This latter development reduced the work to be carried out in the rolling process in order to produce the finished product.
The dog-bone section is a development which today's steelmakers in Japan have only recently achieved.