Archive centreWhitehaven
TitleBritish Steel Corporation, CORUS and predecessor companies
DescriptionComprises records of the British Steel Corporation, the United Steel Companies, the Workington Iron and Steel Company, the Harrington Iron and Coal Company, Cammell, Laird and Company, the Moss Bay Hematite Iron and Steel Company, the Distington Hematite Iron Company, Beckermet Mining Company, the Bigrigg Mining Company; the St Helen's Colliery and Brickworks Company, the Risehow Colliery, Coking and By-product Company, the Egremont Mining Company, the Moresby Coal Company, the Cumberland Storing Company, the United Coke and Chemicals Company, Workington Blackstone Slag Limited, the Distington Engineering Company, the Workington Harbour and Dock Board, Harrington Coke Ovens Limited and the Maryport Motor Benzole Company.
The records include: title deeds for land in and around Workington, Egremont and Beckermet; minutes from company directors and committees; production records for the steelworks and the mines showing the levels of production and quality testing; files relating to various projects; financial records; material printed by the companies, such as Works newsletters; a large number of maps and plans and a very large number of photographs.
Access conditionsOpen
ContextBritish Steel came into being in 1967, with the nationalisation of the United Steel Companies. The steelworks in Workington were initially a part of the Midland Group, but in 1970 became a part of the Teeside and Workington Group of the Corporation, which they remained until British Steel became part of CORUS in the 1990s. There had been steelworking companies in and around Workington since 1856, although many only operated for a few years. In 1909 the remaining companies - the Workington Iron Company, the Harrington Iron and Coal Company, the Moss Bay Hematite Iron and Steel Company and the Workington operation of Cammell, Laird and Company - amalgamated to become the Workington Iron and Steel Company. This became a branch of the Sheffield based United Steel Companies in 1919, with the Distington Hematite Iron Company joining them in 1922.

The steel making industry's presence in West Cumbria was greater than just the steelworks. Subsidiaries and companies bought over by the corporation included: the Beckermet Mining Company; the Moresby Coal Company; the Egremont Mining Company; the Risehow Colliery and Coking Company; the St Helen's Mining Company and the Bigrigg Mining Company. The United Coke and Chemicals Company, based at Lowca, was owned by the British Steel Corporation, as was Workington Harbour and Dock. Some earlier companies are also included within the records, such as the Cumberland Storing Company, which was independent in theory, although many of its board members were also on the boards of the steel making companies.
ArrangementAs far as possible, the collection has been arranged by company, and within each company the records are catalogued by type. This has not been possible for plans or photographs, so these have been listed separately and are found at the end of the catalogue.
Catalogue levelFonds
Subject termsIron and steel industry

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CodePerson/Corporate namesDates
NAX300British Steel; Beckermet Mining Company; Bigrigg Mining Company; St Helens Colliery; Risehow Colliery; Egremont Mining Company; Moresby Coal Company; Cumberland Storing Company; United Coke & Chemicals Company; Workington Blackstone Slag Limited; Distington Engineering Company; Workington Harbour & Dock Board; 1967-19991967-1999
CodePlace names
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