Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Thomas and Baldwins

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May 1947.
March 1948.
July 1949.
August 1949.
Sept 1949.
February 1952.
March 1952.
May 1952.
July 1952.
November 1954. Silico-Manganese Spring Steel.
1955. A hand pack mill.[1]
November 1957. RTB.
1961. Spencer Works.
April 1962.
May 1962.
Sept 1963.
Sept 1963.
May 1964.
1966. Open-coil annealing plant for wide steel strip at the Ebbw Vale works.
1966. Four soaking pits at the Redbourn Works, Scunthorpe.

Richard Thomas and Baldwins of Wern Works, Briton Ferry, Neath, Glam.

1884 Private company created: Richard Thomas and Co.

1902 Baldwins was established, to acquire the businesses of E. P. and W. Baldwin, Wright, Butler and Co, Alfred Baldwin and Co, the Bryn Navigation Colliery Co and the Blackwall Galvanised Iron Co. [2]

1935 William Firth, chairman of Richard Thomas and Co announced that his company had purchased the assets of the Ebbw Vale Iron and Steelworks and that the first continuous hot strip mill outside the USA would be located there[3].

1945 Richard Thomas and Co merged with Baldwins Ltd creating Richard Thomas and Baldwins[4] an organisation of some 27,000 employees.

Later they decided to close the Wilden Ironworks (by then a tinplate works), declaring the workforce, many of whom lived in the village of Wilden redundant.

1951 Nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain[5]. This was the only company not de-nationalized by the Holding and Realization Agency.

1956 Acquired Partridge, Jones and John Paton Ltd from the Holding and Realization Agency[6]. Joint sales arrangements, and research and development with the Steel Company of Wales discontinued.

1961 Parent of 20 companies with 25,000 group employees.

By 1963 the company was the sole remaining nationalised steel company. It entered a bidding war with Stewarts and Lloyds over Whitehead Iron and Steel Co of Newport, saying it wanted to protect its market as Whiteheads, an independent reroller, was one of the major customers for slab produced by its new plant at Redbourn[7]. Baldwins was eventually successful.

1967 Became part of British Steel.

1968 Installed a 19-ton stripping crane made by Wellman Machines at their Ebbw Vale Works.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia. Volume VIII. Engineering. Oxford University Press, 1955.
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Times, 2 March 1936
  4. The Times, 30 December 1944
  5. Hansard 19 February 1951
  6. The Times, 22 January 1957
  7. The Times, 29 January 1963