A Steelworks Memory by Leslie Lowes

Via a comment on our Facebook group

Leslie Lowes writes

My abiding memory of Consett Iron Company is my bedroom ceiling in Blackhill glowing reddish pink, as the red hot slag was tipped at night. asWe could at times, i smell it as well.

Later as a college student, I worked there in summer vacations as a platelayer, repairing company railway tracks.

The work introduced me to the Low Yard, just beneath the Grove Bridge.

It was heavy work, but with cheerful workmates, whose banter lightened the weight of heaving 30lb-a-yard rail into place on the sleepers.

I earned my vacation pay for sure, but I also learned the value of men who turned up every day for a day of heavy graft, with relief after work on a Friday night, with a couple of pints in the pub.

They were good at dominoes, too.

Respect too for our chargehand, Bill Lysaught, a Limerick man, who had great humour and a ready whit.

Those two summers have always remained with me throughout life, and part of the reason I broke down in tears hundreds of miles from Consett, when I learned in 1980 that the company was to close.

It had always been close to my heart.

The History of Consett Steelworks project would like to thank Leslie for sharing this memory

if you have a memory or story to share please comment or get in touch

Low Yard at Consett Steelworks picture by Craig Oliphant kindly shared on Facebook group and also on the wonderful http://www.southpelawjunction.co.uk website managed by John Donnelly
Slag being poured shared by Steve Shields

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