Images of Melting Shop

A selection of images of the melting shop. Click and use the arrow keys to interact with the images.

Highslide JS

Old Tilting Open Hearth

A very interesting undated image from a glass negative held at the Wolverhampton Archives. Clearly one of the older, tilting furnaces, the launder (or spout) in the right foreground would tilt forward and downwards through the cut-out on the furnace landing in order to cast into a ladle positioned below.

Highslide JS

New Open Hearth Under Construction

Taken in 1966, this is possibly ‘H’ furnace being built by contractors, Wellman Incadescent Furnace Co.

New mixers taken from original SL slide

Mixers From Original S&L Slide

A few of the original transparencies from the Stewarts & Lloyds brochure (see ‘Brochures’) are preserved and this is one of the mixers, probably taken in 1965/66.

New Melting Shop View

New Melting Shop View

A very cluttered looking view of the Melting shop looking north with ‘B’ furnace on the left and the newly installed de-gassing plant just beyond. Again circa 1965/66.

Bilston Steelworks Melting Shop Landing

On The Landing

A good image of ‘H’ Furnace with flames jetting through the peep holes while workers appear to be clearing up excess ‘sand’ (used for fettling the hearth in between casts) from the rails directly in front of the doors. The rails are used by the scrap charging machines.

Highslide JS

Brand New Degassing Plant I

A very nice publicity shot of a pristine new Ruhrstahl-Heraeus de-gasser about to start work in 1965. Note that the ladle is actually resting in a pit with only the top two-thirds visible. It is supported by flat steel flanges below the studs for the overhead crane hooks.

Highslide JS

New Degassing Plant from Original S&L Brochure Slide

Another original image from the S&L brochure of the new de-gasser still looking fresh. Ladle 22’s next stop !

New Teeming


Ladle 22 is now being teemed into ingots. Bilston operated the ‘trumpet teeming’ process where the molten steel was teemed (poured) into a tube leading to a four-way manifold beneath the ingot moulds which evenly filled four ingots at once from the bottom up.

New Tapping


Furnace casting and we will follow the progress of ladle 22…

New Ingot Train

Ingot Mould Train

A train of ingot moulds in position for teeming.

New loco pulling ingot train

Ingot Train

Rare colour picture of one of Bilston’s ubiquitous yellow shunters with ingot moulds in tow.

New G Furnace Panel

‘G’ Furnace Panel

Another rare colour picture, this time of ‘G’ Furnace’s control panel.

Melting Shop from Overhead Crane

Melting Shop from Overhead Crane

From a ‘Steel News’ article about the rigours of the crane drivers job in handling the ladles from their lofty positions.

Portrait of a Ladle

Portrait of a Ladle

A very new looking ladle next to a very new and clean looking degasser.

Portrait of a Ladle

Jim Latham on the Furnace Landing

A pensive looking Jim Latham (right) with unidentified furnaceman

Portrait of a Ladle

‘F’ Furnace Control Panel

Compare with ‘G’ above – very similar of course. The buttons which controlled raising and lowering the three charging doors can be seen just to the right of the raised hand-wheel on the left. The hand-wheel just obscures the third door’s buttons (one to raise and one to lower). Instrumentation was by KENT control systems.

Furnacemen and control panel

Furnacemen and Control Panel

Possibly one of the series of photographs taken by Nick Hedges in 1977, unfortunately the men are unidentified. The long lever on the lower far right controlled which of the two ‘guns’ were firing, alternating every few hours to utilise the heat retained within the firebrick regenerating’chequers’.

Lime Hopper behind Melting Shop

Lime Hopper and Chimneys

A view of the lime receiving stage and loading tower at the back of the melting shop. The chimneys are those of ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’ furnaces from left to right.