The Media Archive for Central England is the public screen archive for the East and West Midlands. An independent charity and company based at the University of Lincoln, MACE acquires, catalogues, preserves and makes widely available moving image materials that inform our understanding of the diverse cultures and histories of communities between the Lincolnshire coast and the Welsh border.
This film is part of Free
Sad Day for Bilston
A steelworks and a workforce under the shadow of closure. Bilston faces a cold winter as it loses its traditional heavy industry.
From the collection of:
The union officials and workers are continuing to fight but the closure of Bilston steelworks appears to be a certainty by February 1979 when John McLeod visited for the current affairs programme Format V. The death knell was sounded two years earlier when the iconic blast furnace 'Elisabeth' was decommissioned. The workers face redundancy and the end of an era is typified by the old characters of the social club swapping tales over a pint.
Iron had been produced in Bilston since the eighteenth century. However, by 1979 the plant's days were numbered. The decommissioning of the blast furnace 'Elisabeth' in October 1977 meant that the production of steel would no longer be economic as iron had to be brought in. The final closure of the plant came later in 1979 with Elisabeth being demolished in October 1980.