Alternative Reference number1988/50
TitleEnglish Steel Corporation Limited, River Don Works, Sheffield and North Street Works, Openshaw, Manchester
AdminHistoryThe English Steel Forge and Engineering Corporation of River Don Works, Sheffield and North Street Works, Openshaw, Manchester was formed in 1928 to take over the steel interests in Vickers, Vickers-Armstrongs and Cammell, Laird and Company (except for interests in guns, ammunition and tanks).

The constituent parts from Vickers-Armstrongs were: River Don Works, Sheffield; Attercliffe works, Sheffield; Holme Lane Works, Sheffield; Openshaw Works, Manchester; Drop forging plant at Elswick. The constituent parts from Vickers were: Taylor Brothers and Company. The constituent parts from Cammell, Laird and Company were: Cyclops Steel and Iron works, Sheffield; Grimesthorpe works, Sheffield; The Yorkshire Steel and Iron Works, Penistone.

In 1929 ESC became a public company; Vickers held the majority of the shares and Cammell Laird held the rest. In 1934 a new company called Firth-Vickers Stainless Steels was formed to acquire the stainless steel interests of Thomas Firth and John Brown and the English Steel Corporation, which would jointly own the new company. Following nationalisation by the Labour Government in 1951, ESC became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain. Shortly after, this decision was reversed by the subsequent Conservative Government and the steel industry was denationalised again. By 1961 ESC was the parent organisation of 20 subsidiaries employing 16,000 persons. In 1967 the steel industry was nationalised again and ESC was incorporated into British Steel Corporation (BSC). Later, in the 1980s, BSC's associate company, Sheffield Forgemasters Limited, ran the former ESC plants.
DescriptionRecords of English Steel Corporation Limited:
Foundation and capital, 1928 - 1962
Management records, 1928 - 1969
Committee minutes, 1928 - 1967
Legal agreements, 1928 - 1954
Financial records, 1929 - 1970
Production costs, output and orders, 1921 - 1931
Plant and property, 1928 - 1969
Staff records, 1906 - 1932
Miscellaneous, 1930 - 1960

Records of other companies (including subsidiaries):

W.G. Armstrong Whitworth and Company Limited, Manchester, 1877 - 1930s
John Brown and Company Limited, Atlas Works, Sheffield, 1893 - 1929
British Steel Corporation, Special Steels Division, Sheffield, 1966 - 1976
Charles Cammell and Company Limited, Cyclops Steel and Iron Works, Sheffield, 1777 - 1916
Cammell Laird and Company Limited, 1890 - 1929
Cocker Brothers Limited, Nursery Wire Mills, Sheffield; also of Fitzalan Works, Sheffield, 1886 - 1971
Darlington Forge Company Limited, Darlington, 1929 - 1967
Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited, Atlas and Norfolk Works, Sheffield, 1970
Firth-Vickers Stainless Steels Limited, Staybrite Works, Sheffield, 1934 - c.1963
Industrial Steels Limited, Sheffield, 1922 - 1965
Industrial Steel and Tools (Private) Limited, Central Africa Federation, 1952 - 1964
Industrial Tools (Canada) Limited, Canada, 1949 - 1965
Modern Hardmetals Limited, Sheffield, 1949 - 1960
Montreal Steel Wheel Company Limited, Province of Quebec, Canada, 1948 - 1955
Isaiah Oldbury Limited, Reliance Works and Britannia Works, Wednesbury, West Midlands, 1901 - 1914
Portway Forgings (Wednesbury) Limited, Sheffield, 1948 - 1976
John Rigby and Sons Limited, Wire Manufacturers, Low Moor, Bradford, West Yorkshire, 1900 - 1926
Shepcote Lane Rolling Mills Limited, Sheffield, 1950 - 1966
Société Le Nickel (SLN), Paris, France, 1930 - 1939
Steel Manufacturers Nickel Syndicate Limited, 1901 - 1957
H.P. Tay Limited, Birmingham, 1936 - 1970
Taylor Brothers and Company Limited, Clarence Iron and Steel Works, Leeds; later Trafford Park, Manchester, 1905 - 1968
United Steel Companies Limited, South Yorkshire, 1910s - 1972
Vickers Limited, River Don Works, Sheffield and Barrow-in-Furness, 1805 - 1976
Douglas Vickers Scholarship Trust, 1908 - 1968

Other records:
Unidentified company records, 1867 - 1983
Memoranda and Articles of Association (various companies), 1901 - 1963
Papers relating to Trade Associations, 1910s - 1940s
Date1777 - 1984
Extent1,322 items
RelatedMaterialFor an overview of other records relating to English Steel Corporation Limited see: Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information, 'Iron and Steel Company Records at Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies Library', 2018 (available online -

Sheffield Local Studies Library:
English Steel Corporation house magazines: 'ESC News', 1947-1963 (incomplete series); 'ESC Review', 1965-1967 (incomplete series).
CustodialHistoryDeposited in 1988 by Sheffield Forgemasters, an associate company of British Steel Corporation, which ran the former English Steel Corporation plants from the 1980s.
AcquisitionSourceThese items were deposited by Sheffield Forgemasters in 1988.
ArchNotePreliminary list compiled by Chris Corker in 2014; catalogue prepared by Cheryl Bailey, Oct 2019.
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