Coalvilles/Clydebridge steel works

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Coalvilles/Clydebridge steel works

Postby Caltonboy » Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:45 pm

Does anyone have any pictures of the plant in all its former glory? i remember as a kid wandering down the clyde at cambuslang with wonder to see the mammoth machines and chimneys and to wallow in the sounds of heavy industry, changed days indeed.
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Postby Pgcc93 » Fri Jun 17, 2005 6:41 pm

Tsk! Tsk! Caltonboy..... you've been around here long enough to know that we cover most things on HG :wink:

A quick look at the HG Links on the main Hidden Glasgow page would have directed you to this comprehensive site.
Colvilles/Clydebridge steel works

Colin Findlays site covers the complete history and goes a bit further and some! You won't be disappointed 8)
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Postby Apollo » Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:44 am

I worked for a company that supplied a set engineers to relocate some of the plant (to Birmingham I think), and gave them a wee Allegro to run between here and there in. Three of the four got tanked up over the weekend, and gave the least experienced driver the job of driving one week. This coined the catchphrase "Fell out with fourth?" for years after. He drove all the way there in third gear, and wasn't going slow either. When the other guys woke up, they asked if he hadn't noticed anything odd, he admitted he thought it was "a bit noisy". On the way back, they reckoned to stop at each motorway service area for oil.

Another one filled the boot of his car with tins of welding rods from the store. When he got stopped on his way out by security, who looked in the boot, he said they were tins of corned beef, and offered the guard some. His luck was in as the offer was declined.
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Colvilles steelworks

Postby Dunky » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:25 am

You never know what you will find until you search. Whilst looking at the forum on the steelworks there was a link to another website pertaining to the steel industry,out of curiosity i went to the said site and on further searching within its pages i came across pictures of my grandfather. One of the pictures i remember seeing it hanging on the wall in his house, and my mother has a copy of it. never thought i would be looking at my grandfather on the internet,:)............ Many thanks to Pgcc93 for adding the link to the works site. I am more than sure my mother would love copies of these pics which i have saved to my pc and will send them to her in the very near future, and me here all the way over here in california and looking at pics of my grandfather in the early 60s.. this internet sure is amazing...

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Re: Coalvilles/Clydebridge steel works

Postby Toryglen Boy » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:42 pm

My grandfather, Phil Roberts, lived in Cambuslang all his life and worked at Colvilles steel works. He had a framed certificate on his wall that stated he'd worked there for 50 years. I think he retired around 1950. As children, we used to live in Knightswood and would visit him once a month in C'mslang, as it was (is?) called locally.

My abiding memory of the steelworks as a child, was of going back home to Glasgow on the country bus after a visit, in the dark, past the steelworks just as a shift had finished. The near-empty bus would then fill up to to the gunnels with excited noisey steelworkers, all dressed in absolutely filthy black work clothes or boilersuits and cloth bunnets as they came off their shift. The steelworkers all had a very peculiar sickly sweet smell about them too which filled the bus and which I'd never experienced before. Years later, I realised this unusual smell was that of fumes from the furnaces, and was probably from the coke in the furnace or that of the sulphur added to the iron ore that was being smelted.

My grandfather worked in Colvilles steelworks all through the First World War, as steelmaking was classified as a 'designated occupation' for the war effort, meaning that a steelworker was considered to be too important to be called up at that time and sent to the Western Front to fight. This probably saved his life during the carnage of that war. As my own father, Lewis Roberts, was born in December 1918, a month after the war ended, both he, and I may never have 'happened' had my grandfather not worked for the duration of that war in the steelworks.

My grandfather's own parents were from south Wales, and were natural, fluent Welsh speakers, as were many from that generation in and around Cambuslang at that time. These people had moved up from Wales to the Glasgow area to find work in the mines and steelworks in Scotland, when presumably work was scarce in the south. I estimated that they moved to Scotland around 1890 or thereabouts. They were from Gorseinon in the Swansea/Llanelly area of S Wales.

The nearby town/village of Newton, just along the railway line from Cambuslang to the east, was known locally as 'The English Village' at this time, such was the number of English miners and steelworkers who had come up to this area from England to find work in the 'New Town'.
Oh ye cannae shove yer Granny aff a bus.....'cos she's yer Mammy's Mammy!
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