#589 – Brierfield Mill revisited – Etchings

I was revisiting my photographs that I took at Brierfield Mill in 2016 for a potential image sale, and I came across these that I took. I’d ‘starred’ them in my Lightroom catalog but had never processed them so, five years on, I thought it was about time. I’m told that although they were removed…

#588 – India Mill Chimney, Darwen

My recent photos of the hilly landscape of Rotherham, and Jack Delano’s photograph of the Pittsburgh steps brought to mind the town of Darwen, a short drive from the Lancastrian flatlands of Chorley where I live. Like many northern towns, Darwen is in a valley, with some brutally steep streets heading up to the moors…

#587 – Steeltown Landscapes 2

Unlike the sprawling, overwhelmingly oppressive landscape of the steelworks at Scunthorpe with its acres of cooling towers, blast furnaces, coke ovens, conveyers and other artefacts of industry, the visual landscape of the Aldwarke steelworks in Rotherham is more generically industrial. Like Scunthorpe, it’s not easy to photograph from directly outside, you have to go on…

#586 – Steeltown Landscapes 1

I posted a few photos a while back of Rotherham, a South Yorkshire steel town and neighbour to its more celebrated neighbour Sheffield. Britain once had many steel towns but there are relatively few now. The steel industry in Britain was once enormous and employed hundreds of thousands of people, and the economies of many…

#585 – Industrial Tourism – Scunthorpe 6

Since my last visit, two major buildings had come down – the Heavy Section Mill (which was disused when I visited in 2008) and the Plate Mill (which was in use until 2015 and demolished not long after). The site of the Plate Mill is now empty or used as hard standing for container storage….

#584 – Industrial Tourism – Scunthorpe 5

To the South East of the site are the enormous rolling mills and the almost as big Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) plant. The rolling mills are nearly a mile long, and while the BOS plant isn’t as long, it is rather tall, and is said to be 4 metres higher than St. Paul’s Cathedral (which…

#583 – Industrial Tourism – Scunthorpe 4

The blast furnaces are the beating heart of the steelworks, providing iron that is converted to steel elsewhere on site. The four blast furnaces – AKA the four queens Victoria, Anne, Mary and Bess – are not all in operation currently due to a recent drop in demand but are the most visual representation of…

#582 – Industrial Tourism – Scunthorpe 3

Not only is it the enormity of the site that can be hard to get your head round, the enormous complexity of what is passing before your eyes can be confusing also. Beyond the basics of iron making, I’ve very little clue as to what else goes on so have no idea what these miles…

#581 – Industrial Tourism – Scunthorpe 2

One of the key ingredients required for iron making is coke. Huge quantities are required and a constant supply is made on site at the coke ovens. The site has two coking plants (Appleby and Dawes Lane), but only the Appleby plant – the oldest, ironically – is used now. The pungent smells and ancient…

#580 – Industrial Tourism – Scunthorpe 1

An old drinking buddy of mine in Bolton was enormously clever and was sponsored through his chemistry degree by British Steel, as it was still called in the mid-1990’s. After inevitably getting a first, he decided not to take a job with them as he “didn’t want to spend his life in a steel works…