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Topic: Re:Re : China Crisis - steel industry
Posted by: Cllr Sam Hearn
Date/Time: 21/10/15 11:16:00

Anyone remember the Ravenscraig Steelworks?

The following extract from a Guardian article dated 15th February 2002 and entitled Life After Steel makes interesting reading.

"There are two views of what has happened to Motherwell since Ravenscraig closed. One group sees it as a release from an industrial past that had become inhibiting: closure really was closure, the end of one era, the beginning of another founded on electronics, engineering and distribution. The other group believes it was a disaster and argues that the effects are still being felt, economically and psychologically. As inter-union arguments rage over telecommunications company EXi's offer to retrain redundant steelworkers in South Wales and north-east England, these areas will be looking to Motherwell - and the surrounding region of Lanarkshire - to see what their future holds and whether a new economy can, as the industrial Darwinists maintain, emerge from the ruins of the old.

The most forthright spokesman for the optimists is Tommy Brennan, a pugnacious 68-year-old who gave me a guided tour of the faceless new factories and call centres that have sprung up around Motherwell in the past 10 years. Brennan's view counts, because he worked at Ravenscraig for 31 years, and was works convener - the senior trade union figure - when it closed. Along with Reid and a dozen others, he once walked from Motherwell to London to plead with Margaret Thatcher to secure the future of the plant; unfortunately they arrived on the same day that the Westland storm broke and Michael Heseltine resigned, and she missed the appointment.

Brennan spent half a lifetime fighting for Ravenscraig; now he is glad to see it gone. "Lanarkshire is a healthier place now in every way," he says. "You can see the green in the parks; when the plant was going, the fields were all orange-coloured with dust. Our biggest problem in the late 80s and early 90s was that we had all our eggs in one basket. We were totally dependent on heavy industry. Now it's different: we have biotechnology, electronics, engineering, plastics; you name it, it's all here in Lanarkshire. The unemployment rate was 11.5% in Motherwell in 1991; today it is less than 6%."

Brennan's view is echoed by Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire, which has swish offices in Strathclyde Business Park a few miles outside Motherwell. "There is a range of opportunities now," says chief executive Liz Connolly. "It's easy to say that steel went and now we've got call centres, but that's an unfair reflection of what has actually happened in the past decade. What has replaced steel is economic diversity."

For Brennan, the cathartic moment was seeing the huge cooling towers blown up in 1996. "For two and a half years, nothing was done to the plant because British Steel was trying to sell it en bloc to south-east Asia. It was like a scar giving you a constant reminder of what had been. When it finally came to the day of demolition, we were all gathered in the car park and a reporter said to me: 'Tom, this must be a sad day for you,' and I said: 'No, it's not; I'm quite happy to see them come down because it means we can start doing something with the site. They're no longer any good to us.' "


Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 08:37:00 George Turner
   Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 09:22:00 Colin Jordan
      Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 09:34:00 Alastair Banton
         Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 10:06:00 Vanessa Smith
            Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 10:15:00 David Roberts
            Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 10:21:00 Richard Greenhough
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 10:30:00 Michael Brown
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 11:44:00 Keith Iddon
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 13:06:00 Vanessa Smith
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 13:51:00 Richard Greenhough
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 16:30:00 Vanessa Smith
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 17:06:00 Brian Coyle
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 18:03:00 Vanessa Smith
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 19:09:00 Brian Coyle
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:China Crisis. Dave's giving them 30b to help them ruin our economy further20/10/15 23:46:00 Richard Greenhough
                  Re:MCB News20/10/15 12:12:00 Richard Greenhough
                     Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 12:34:00 Michael Brown
                        Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 12:49:00 Richard Greenhough
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 12:52:00 Michael Brown
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 13:05:00 Anne England
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 13:16:00 Carl Wynne
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 13:22:00 Keith Iddon
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 13:48:00 Richard Greenhough
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 13:57:00 Brian Coyle
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 13:59:00 Julian Pavey
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News20/10/15 14:04:00 Richard Greenhough
                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News21/10/15 00:22:00 Julian Pavey
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News21/10/15 00:30:00 Michael Brown
                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News21/10/15 09:06:00 Colin Jordan
                                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News21/10/15 10:53:00 Cllr Sam Hearn
                                                      Re:China crisis - steel industry21/10/15 11:07:00 Richard Greenhough
                                                   Re : China Crisis - steel industry21/10/15 11:01:00 Richard Greenhough
                                                      Re:Re : China Crisis - steel industry21/10/15 11:16:00 Cllr Sam Hearn
                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:MCB News21/10/15 11:11:00 Richard Greenhough

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