Aerial Photographs of The Works

A selection of clear aerial views showing some very good detail. They are undated but where possible an idea of when the photographs may have been taken is indicated.

NOTE : When you have clicked on an image it can be further enlarged by clicking again on the arrow box at the bottom r/h corner. To close the image simply click on it again.


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Overall View Looking North

A very good view of the works. The Millfields Road runs west to east, from left to right, at the top of the picture with the ‘Tarmac’ road bridge over the canal clearly visible at the top left. The electrified main railway line can be seen at lower left to right with a diesel hauled train of coke wagons approaching the south end of the melting shop. Probably dating from late 1960’s. See next image for a ‘zoomed in’ section…


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A Closer View

A close up from the preceding photograph with labels showing various locations – including the now famous blast furnace office! My home for twelve months in 1973-74. It looks as if the works must have been on shutdown since none of the melting shop’s chimneys are trailing their usual ‘banners’ of red smoke.


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Another Close Up

From the same ‘shoot’ as the previous picture (note the freight train on the main line in the same position) but now we are closer in and looking more or less due east; the rectangular ore stockyard directly below with a good view of Elisabeth and the back of the melting shop.


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Looking West

A superb shot, again from the same roll of film as the others, giving a great overall view of the works and surrounds. Thank you Daren K !


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Bilston Works

A dramatic shot looking south-east with at least five of the open hearth furnaces operating. Elisabeth looks to have received some new paintwork and the mixing bay roof of the melting shop also looks fresh; possibly taken in late 1967. A great picture.


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From Elisabeth looking North East

A very clear picture. The white building just visible in the left foreground is the staff and management canteen adjacent to cooling towers with the Mechanical and Engineering Stores to the right. Water storage tanks are at the top with the so-called ‘Polish Camp’ hostel huts visible at the top left next to the sports grounds.


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From Elisabeth looking East I

Now we are looking in a more easterly direction with the windows of the Chemical Laboratory in the immediate foreground. The Ladle Repair Shop is to the right with the long North Casting Bay building running behind. The large building beyond is the Finishing End while the eastern end of Bilston is in the distance. Given the elevation and composition, this photograph was probably taken from the very top of Elisabeth and using a zoom lens. Compare to the next, colour picture.


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From Elisabeth looking East II

This was taken from the main top landing or ‘bell deck’ of Elisabeth looking over the cast house roof in the same direction but without any zoom, taking in more of the foreground surroundings whilst the buildings in the previous picture are in the background. The long brown building with open windows on the lower left is the ‘Blower House’ which supplied the blast to Elisabeth.


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View Looking South West

A good view taking in part of the iron ore stockyard with the railway line for slag ladles to Tarmac curving past to the right crossing the new bridge over the canal adjacent to the BR main line (See also: Gallery/Works Locomotives).


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Elisabeth

A good view of Elisabeth and the cast house taken from the gas holder. The three gas scrubbing towers are in the foreground. Date unknown but most likely mid 1970’s.


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Elisabeth, Staff Canteen, and Blower House

Another shot from the same location. Visible above the cast house is the general office, the staff canteen is the white building where three windows can be seen with a long blue roof. The blower house is the long brown building in the foreground. To the middle right can be see the main entrance (in the smoke from two silver chimneys) with the blue panelled training centre at the far right.


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Looking North East

The Engineering Stores is in the immediate foreground and Engineering Workshop is just behind the brown brick building. The big blue shed behind the workshop housed the Lindemann swarf crushing machine and the rather shabby brown streaked shed with ramp is the pig casting machine. Note the blast furnace bells and hopper in the bottom right foreground.


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View Looking East

Overlooking he roof of the rolling mill. For a close up view of and information on the buildings in the L-H background see the final image below.


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Looking South

From the top of the gasholder is a view of five of the open hearth furnace chimneys. The dark ‘banding’ discolouration, a feature of these chimneys which developed over time, is clearly visible on four of them.


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Inter City passes Melting Shop

A London Euston bound express passes the south end of the melting shop on what looks to be a sunny summer’s day. This picture appears to have been taken at the same time as the other image in this section given that the chimneys are similar in appearance.


Elisabeth Under Construction #1

East Side

An excellent photograph and whilst not strictly speaking an ‘aerial picture’it is nevertheless an elevated view. The wall of the Finishing End runs along the right whilst in the far distance can be seen Number 1 scrap yard. The two blue apex roofs to the right are No’s 2 & 3 scrapyards followed by the more weather worn roof of the Mould Preparation Shop (sign not quite discernable). Lines of stored slag ladles can be clearly seen in the foreground. The cars appear to be an Austin/Morris 1100 having just crossed the tracks, whilst parked on the right is another 1100 (with vinyl roof) and a Ford Corsair.


Bilston steelworks transport repair shops

Loco Repair and Traffic Control

(Caption courtesy of loco Fitter Roger Deans) In the foreground are the fire, ambulance and works police offices. The facing right side was the office of Walter Ricketts, Chief of police. To the left was the break room for the police/ambulance/firemen. Behind is the garage for the fire engine and ambulance. The blue shed with the door open was the drivers cabin (and break time ‘casino’). This was for mobile plant drivers only – not loco drivers or shunters.

Larger background buildings, L to R : this was known as the ‘brick shed’and for the majority of the time it was empty and used as winter storage for mobile equipment. When major work was being carried out on the blast furnace it was used as a brick store for the refractories. To the right of that, the building was split in two, facing was the stores for loco tyres and other larger loco and mobile spares. Behind that was the mobile repairs (not locos). To the right of that section with the two sliding doors is the Loco Repair Shop. The first door was to the electrical dept with access through that to the main loco workshop. To the right is the main entrance to the main workshop and pits. At the far end of this was the service bay (previously the steam crane dept).

The buildings to the right were the platelayers cabin, and behind that their office. The top floor was the radio control room, the lower was a break room for loco drivers and shunters.”