Elisabeth was relined six times in her lifetime, the periods in between were called ‘campaigns’. A ceremony was always held to mark the occasion of being re-lit and the commencement of a new campaign. These were as follows:
First Campaign December 1954 : Lit by Miss Elisabeth Stewart, daughter of Chairman of Stewarts & Lloyds.
Second Campaign March 1960 : Lit by Mr Frank Hartland, retired Blast Furnace Manager.
Third Campaign March 1963 : Lit by Miss Carol Dean, daughter of Mr Norman Dean, Blast Furnace Manager.
Fourth Campaign July 1967 : Lit by Miss Nicola Forster, daughter of Mr Godfrey Forster, General Manager Bilston.
Fifth Campaign August 1971 : Lit by Miss Elisabeth Saul, daughter of Mr Derek Saul, General Manager, Bilston
Sixth Campaign August 1976 : Lit by Miss Anita Hunter, daughter of Mr David Hunter, Blast Furnace Manager.
See below various documents and images, the first being the 1971 ceremonial leaflet prepared by Elisabeth Saul, parts of which are reproduced here. All the images after the 1971 pamphlet are of the 1976 reline. The colour images are taken from a film made covering the 1976 reline called “The Last Sentinel”. Since these images come from a film the resolution is poor and the pictures are not really suitable for the extra expansion option. At the end there are some better quality photographs of Anita Hunter performing the relighting.
See also “Relining Elisabeth Supplement” under ‘Steel News’
Relighting Ceremony 1971
Cover of Pamphlet and inside page issued for the relighting ceremony in August 1971. Elisabeth Saul was the daughter of then General Manager Derek Saul (see Steel News 1970-1972).
Relighting Ceremony 1971
Extract from the leaflet showing with a photograph of the first lighting – and an interesting moral tale of what happens if not lit by a female !
RELINE 1976: Conversation Piece
Great photo catching a discussion between Doug Martin, Drawing Office (nearest camera, left, with spark proof jacket white helmet), Blast Furnace Manager David Hunter, Assistant Transport Manager Ron Shelley and Mike Tranter, Carpenter and Platelayer Supervisor. The man passing on the far left in the white shirt is unidentified so if anyone knows please advise using the Contact form.
Elisabeth: Blow Down
Dramatic picture of Elisabeth under full blow-down procedure (see also’Relining Elisabeth Supplement’ under ‘Steel News’). Looking like an ocean liner under full power, quenching steam is being blasted through Elisabeth and ejected out of the top valve system in billowing white banners. This is also a good view of the central access ramp into the cast-house with iron ladle train bay to the left and slag bay to the right.
Hoisting The Hopper
The enormous hopper which houses the double-bell charging system is lifted up to the top for installation (compare to ‘Images of Elisabeth’ showing the original lifting of the hopper).
Hoisting the Bell Rod Assembly
An excellent sharp photograph of the bell rod assembly being carefully lifted skywards. The expansion option here works well and a spectators gallery can be clearly seen watching the progress! See further down this page for a colour shot looking down.
This must have been back breaking hard work – three layers of firebrick to be laid in what looks most likely to be the upper hearth area.
Tapping the ‘Bear’
By the end of a campaign the hearth is worn below the taphole and a pool of iron forms (known as ‘the bear’ or ‘salamander’) which can only be be removed by drilling another ‘taphole’ into the furnace. This is done beneath the cast house floor. Here we see the first trickle of iron which will be formed into ‘pigs’ for breaking up and removal.p>
Chief Blast Furnace Engineer Walter Freeman (right) sits back and listens to a progress update…
Preparations at the Furnace Top
A team of riggers from E.N. Wright, Corby, work on the main upper deck of Elisabeth.
Lifting the Hopper I
The new hopper to house the double bell charging system is hoisted up to upper platform level.
Lifting the Hopper II
Now comes the heavy work up top…
Painting the Stoves
Not for the faint-hearted !
Re-painting the Cast House
A fresh coat of blue paint is applied…
The new refractory lining is underway…
Building the ‘wall’
Made to look easy as the bricks are tossed between bricklayers.
More Steelwork for Topside
A large plate for the upper part of the furnace is lifted into position.
Sleeping on the Job
Stove painters take the opportunity to catch some sunshine and a snooze…
Raising the Bell
The bell assembly is lifted up from the cast-house floor and through the roof.
Heavy links connecting bell rods and lever assemblies at the top, Bell Lever Platform, level.
Some further views from the film…
Blast Furnace Manager David Hunter starts to say a few words whilst General Manager George Blakeley and others gathered to witness look on…
Help Please Identify
Ladies watch – but who are they? Anyone who knows is kindly requested to advise using the ‘Contact’ page.
More Help to Identify…
Any names of these watchers, again, please advise..!
David Hunter addresses those assembled around the furnace prior to relighting.
Anita and Lynne
Lynne Hunter (right) stands next to older sister Anita who is preparing for the big moment…
Last Minute Instructions
“Now just be careful where you put that flame” !
Preparing to bring Elisabeth back to life…
Recording the Moment
Ron Mundy takes a photograph…
The blazing taper is inserted into the tuyere port…
Relighting Ceremony 1976 – Photographs
Publicity photo of Anita Hunter ready, her brother Mark looks on…
The Moment of Truth
Anita leans into the furnace…
Lovely picture of furnaceman Joe Collier hoisting a happy and smiling Anita aloft in celebration, the packaging containing a gold pendant gift clutched in one hand.