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British Industrial History

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Briton Ferry Steel Co

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Dec 1921.

of Briton Ferry, Glamorgan and Great Tower Street, London, EC3. Works: Aberavon; Ferry; Ffrwdwyllt; Melyn (T. and S.); Morriston and Midland; Resolven; Villiers; Vivian.

1846 George Davey and others, built the Briton Ferry Iron Works. Two blast furnaces were built at Briton Ferry.

A variable number of furnaces were in blast 1856-1913, smelting continuing until c.1914.

1860 The Briton Ferry Ironworks had 27 puddling furnaces and 3 rolling mills.

1860 Ferry-tinplate works was started (an independent works).

1865 The number of furnaces and mills had increased to 40 and 3, respectively.

1866 Presentation to Evan Roberts, mechanical engineer

1880 Briton Ferry maintained 43 puddling furnaces and 4 rolling mills working. It was one of several ironworks that were renovated and became a steelworks, erecting Siemens-Martin open hearth furnaces; it had its own tinworks on site.

1889 Incorporated as a limited company.

1893 New steel works: Albion Works, Briton Ferry.

1897 Three local companies, the Western, the Old Castle, and Briton Ferry Steel Co, formed the Llanelly Steel Co to ensure regular, relatively cheap supplies of bar.

1906 Blowing engine installed by Richardsons, Westgarth and Co‎

1914 Albion was acquired by Briton Ferry Steel Co Ltd.

1914 Steel manufacturers. Speciality: soft steel. Employees 450. [1]

1918 New private steel company formed by Baldwins, their bankers and associates; it was called the British Steel Corporation; it had acquired the Briton Ferry Works and extensive land between the Swansea docks and the Neath River to host blast furnaces and coke ovens[2].

1921 Ferry-tinplate works, an independent works, entered into working arrangements with Briton Ferry Steel Co in 1921.

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for Welsh Tinplate Works. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. D.328) [3]

1951 Nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain[4]

1956 Duport purchased Briton Ferry Steel Co from the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency[5]. As part of the deal, Neath Steel Sheet and Galvanizing Co became a wholly owned subsidiary of Briton Ferry Steel Co.

1967 One of the larger steel makers not subject to nationalisation[6]


A thorough account of the firm's history and activities is given in 'A Legacy from Victorian Enterprise - The Briton Ferry Ironworks and the daughter companies' by C. W. Roberts,[7]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  2. The Times, 30 October 1918
  3. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert pp666 and 667; and p341
  4. Hansard 19 February 1951
  5. The Times, 7 April 1956
  6. The Times, Apr 26, 1967
  7. 'A Legacy from Victorian Enterprise - The Briton Ferry Ironworks and the daughter companies' by C. W. Roberts, Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd., 1983
  • [1] Swansea and its Hinterland
  • The Engineer of 5th January 1866 p19
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978/9. ISBN 0-903485-65-6