First Made of Steel Workshops

Made of Steel

Wednesday November 28 2012

Today First informal workshops at Colour Your Life at the Lodge in the Consett/Blackill Park.

Nice venue and the two groups were really nice: positive with interesting stories. A great source of oral history.

Here is a random selection of comments:

I worked in Quality Control, checking the quality of the steel… I had to go to night classes to know the make-up of the materials…it was very hot work. I’ve still got the scars off the hot metal. When the Works closed it was very difficult initially but it’s better now.

I worked in the Brick Works… about two hundred men worked there in three shifts…they used the ‘shapes’ (bricks) for lining the furnaces in the Steel Works…
I left the area and by the time I came back the whole place was gone…it was the heart of the community.

Nobody left Consett. I remember one lad went down to London for another job and after a fortnight in London he came home and asked for his job back…The Works was like a family.

An uncle was killed in the Works…there was eight of them and they were buried in lead coffins…they didn’t know (at the time) what impact burying them after they had been gassed would have. They’ve got headstones paid for by The Works.

Red Dust: I remember walking home with me eyes closed and not being able to see a thing…I tapped me hand against the railings so I knew where I was going….

After the Works closed it was hard for about ten years and lots of lads I knew moved away….. now it’s a nice place to live.

I came on a school visit to Consett and I thought it was like Hell. It’s different now. I moved here from Newcastle and I love to see the moors.

I’m looking forward to the next session on Tuesday December 11th

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