SJ6903 : Blists Hill Victorian Town - the heavy gang

taken 6 years ago, near to Coalport, Telford And Wrekin, Great Britain

Blists Hill Victorian Town - the heavy gang
Blists Hill Victorian Town - the heavy gang
The crew that is about to operate the Ironworks is just waiting for the first heat of the day to be ready for rolling and hammering. This is physically demanding and potentially dangerous work and the museum is to be commended for putting on this amazing display.

Very few members of the public can have any conception what much of British industry was like and this goes some way to redressing that.
Hot Iron - Morton's Ironworks at Blists Hill
Generally twice a year for 2 or 3 days, the Blists Hill Museum operates its historic rolling mill, demonstrating how wrought iron was traditionally forged and rolled.
An original furnace is used to heat wrought iron billets, usually obtained from suitable wrought iron scrap. This is then hammered using the steam hammer into an ingot of a size that will run through the rolling mill (driven by a steam engine).
A hot bar will be run through the rolling mill several times to reduce the cross section to a desired size, either in the form of roughly square bar or flat strip. Traditionally, these bars or strips would be further rolled in the finishing mill which reduced the cross section even further, producing small rectangular bar or circular rod.
Today, the output is made available for historic restorations for which genuine wrought iron is the essential material.
Despite the cost of the operation - around 8000 litres of fuel oil alone is necessary to fire the boiler for the steam engine and hammer, as well as the furnace - no extra charge is made on the days when the event is held.
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Blists Hill Victorian Town, originally called Blists Hill Open Air Museum, was opened in 1973, and has been slowly growing ever since. Built on a former industrial complex in the Madeley area of Telford, it is one of ten museums operated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (LinkExternal link ).

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Blists Hill was an industrial region consisting of a brick and tile works, blast furnaces and coal, iron and fire clay mines. A short section of the Shropshire Canal runs across the site to the Hay Inclined Plane, which transported boats up and down the hill from Blists Hill to Coalport.

Many of the museum's buildings are recreations of buildings which stood in the area, replicas of those still standing elsewhere or original buildings that have been relocated to the museum. There are also features that were already part of the industrial site (eg the brick and tile works, the blast furnaces, Hay Inclined Plane, the canal etc).

More information can be found on the Ironbridge Museumsí website LinkExternal link
and this LinkExternal link Wikipedia article
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SJ6903, 409 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 4 August, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 7 August, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6940 0339 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:37.6439N 2:27.2103W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6938 0339
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Other Tags
Ironworks  Rolling Mill  Crew 

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