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★ Steel

53,590.  The prim building with its thick carpets was built for tidy and genteel officials with tidy and genteel routines.  It has suddenly become the central powerhouse of the steel strike.  As with the miners’ strike exactly eight years ago, the motivating power behind the action has shifted to South Yorkshire ...

 

A great tussle is already joined between the powerhouses at places like Rotherham and Stocksbridge and the slow-witted pessimism in many other steel areas.  (Steel & Trade Union & Strike & Industrial Action)  Paul Foot, article 1980 'The Rotherham Lads Are Here!'

 

 

53,591.  You see blokes on the picket line you’d never have dreamed would be there.  And often they’re the ones who have the best ideas about what to do next.

 

I suppose most of the blokes still feel that this is just part of ordinary life.  But I must admit for me it’s like living history.  I feel that one day I’ll be telling those children’s children what it was like being in the Great Steel Strike of 1980.  (Steel & Trade Union & Strike & Industrial Action & Solidarity)  Tom Bartholomew

 

 

53,592.  Give them cold steel, boys!  Lewis Addison Armistead, American army officer, attributed

 

 

53,593.  Why was Sheffield king of the steel and cutlery business? ... Location, location, location.  (Steel & Industrial Revolution & Great Britain & England & Industry)  Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations: Cutting Edge e7

 

53,594.  In the seventeenth and eighteen centuries Sheffield had over a hundred and sixty mills.  ibid.

 

53,595.  After three or four hours the lid would have been opened and the puller-out would wrap his lower body in water-soaked cloth, a water-soaked leather apron, position himself over the furnace – not a pleasant job – then the crucible would have been pulled out.  ibid.

 

53,596.  Sheffield not only had supplies of iron, coal and water, it now also had the steel industry which was ideally placed to exploit the steam engine.  ibid.

 

53,597.  1856 when Henry Bessemer invented a process for producing mass-produced steel.  ibid.

 

 

53,600.  The decline of the steel industry here in America has matched the growth of the Chinese steel industry.  (Steel & China)  Justin Rowlatt, The Chinese are Coming, BBC 2011 2/2

 

53,601.  But there are a few steel companies who are thriving here.  (Steel & China)  ibid.

 

53,602.  China has called the tariff abusive protectionism.  (Steel & China)  ibid.

 

 

53,603.  You’ve got to have steel in you somewhere.  Alan Bates

 

 

53,604.  Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living.  (Steel & Courage)  Douglas Malloch

 

 

78,751.  Concrete has been used as a building material for over four thousand years ... It can be moulded in almost any shape ... Steel is unbelievably strong under tension.  (Home & Miracle & Materials & Invention & Build & Steel)  Everyday Miracles: The Genius of Sofas, Stockings and Scanners I, BBC 2015

 

78,757.  Plywood is another everyday miracle ... The glue bonds with the woods fibres and sets hard ... Strength, flexibility and mouldability ... The Mosquito was the fastest aircraft in the world, and the secret to its success was that it made almost entirely of plywood ... All because of the remarkable properties of plywood.  (Home & Miracle & Materials & Invention & Build & Steel & Wood & Furniture & Aircraft & Manufacturing)  ibid.

 

 

90,872.  For Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher the steel strike epitomized all that was bad about the British economy.  (Thatcher & Steel & Strike)  Thatcher: The Downing Street Years I: Woman at War, BBC 1993

 

 

92,959.  The British Steel Corporation brings together the UK’s fourteen main steel-producing companies.  (Wales & Steel)  Huw Edwards, The Story of Wales VI: Wales and Britain, BBC 2012

 

 

108,347.  British steel was far better and cheaper than American steel a century ago but high tariff barriers made it possible for Andrew Carnegie to set up the world’s first billion-dollar corporation.  Noam Chomsky, Neoliberalism and the Global Order, lecture Yale University 25th February 1997, Youtube 1.09.54

 

 

109,476.  One in eleven steelworkers died while on the job, often from a lack of sleep.  (Working Class & Class & Repression & United States & Solidarity & Industrial Action & Strike & Trade Union & Labour & Poverty & Steel)  Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA I: Divide and Rule, 2015

 

 

133,406.  In the 1990s strange things began to happen in the small town of Corby.  Mothers began to give birth to children with severe deformities.  As the number of cases grew, the mothers demanded to know why this had happened to their children.  This is the unknown story of the worst child poisoning case since Thalidomide.  A case that changed our understanding of the dangers of air pollution.  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  Horizon: Toxic Town: The Corby Poisonings, BBC 2020

 

133,407.  ‘Mothers all from the same small area all of whom had given to birth to children with very similar deformities.’  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.  Stephen Bevan, Sunday Time journalist  

 

133,408.  The waste sites were located on land where the town’s steel works once stood.  Corby started life as a village but in the 1930s one of the largest steel plants in Europe was built.  But in 1980, faced with huge government cuts, the steel work shut down, leaving 11,000 people unemployed.  Corby Council devised a plan to regenerate the town (1983).  This tiny council took on the biggest land reclamation project in Europe with a ten-year regeneration programme to help bring Corby back to life.  But demolishing a steel work is a complex process: steel making generates toxic waste that must be carefully disposed of.  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.    

 

133,409.  As this story spread, more and more mothers started coming forward.  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.

 

133,411.  ‘It was such a cover up.’  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.

 

133,412.  With the Council claiming no evidence of a cluster, the mother’s fight for answers seemed to be over … ‘My reading the article in the Sunday Times was complete happenstance … I had back in the day worked in the steel works.’  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.  Des Collins, solicitor      

 

133,413.  ‘It isn’t normal for secret documents to turn up; it’s like something out of a John Grisham novel.’  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.    

 

133,414.  The advice included that the contractors cover their lorries and make sure no dust is created particularly on public roads … ‘Lorries weren’t covered with sludge raining out of the back of these dump trucks.  All the roads in this area are judged covered in this silt.  And that’s where things went pear-shaped … a tremendous amount of pollution over the whole of the district.  That is basically a toxic soup of dust hanging over a town … over many many years.’  (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.  Environmental health officer       

 

133,415.  18 families were now involved in the fight for compensation, and they were finally ready to go to trial … A case that had never been proven before: ten years after their battle began, all 18 mothers made their way to court … The judge visited the reclamation site … The issue of how far the dust could travel … [Corby Council] were hit with a legal bill of almost £15. It was the first case in the world to rule that air pollution could harm babies in the womb.      (Pollution & Poison & Steel & Local Government & Town & Dust & Law)  ibid.

 

 

 

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