Steel made at Ravenscraig found its way into the manufacture of hundreds of items. Heavy steel products such as trains, ships and bridges and things made of sheet steel like office equipment, vehicles and household goods. In fact, you needed steel to make the moulds and machinery that fashioned the products in the first place.
The majority of the steel produced at Ravenscraig was dispatched generally into other steel finishing plants such as Gartcosh (cold-finish) Strip Mill or Dalzell Plate Mill. However, Ravenscraig Steel will always be synonymous with particular manufacturers.
The Rootes Group (later Chrysler) opened their Linwood plant in 1963, primarily to manufacture the Hillman Imp, their rival competitor to the Morris Mini. The Linwood plant closed in 1981.
British Motor Corporation (BMC)
The BMC (latterly British Leyland) were, like Rootes persuaded by the then Government to build new vehicle manufacturing facilities north of the border to help alleviate large unemployment figures and also in some way justify to Colville’s the construction of their Hot Strip Mill at Ravenscraig, which they were initially reluctant to build. In 1961 the BMC’s new Truck & Tractor plant opened in Bathgate. The plant closed in 1986.
Other Associated Businesses
Did you know that Ravenscraig had a museum? Perhaps small showroom would be a more accurate description. It was a basement room filled with displays of products made from Ravenscraig steel, including the bodywork of the famous Hillman Imp.
More Car Manufacturers
Ravenscraig Strip Metal was used in the manufacture of other well-known car manufacturers including Ford, Rover and Volvo. Metal from Ravenscraig was sent to Shotton where it was zinc coated and then transported on to the car companies’ moulding plants.
Carron Steelyne Ltd
Carron Steelyne was one of the 3 companies which emerged from the Carron Company – the famous iron producers of the Carronade Gun and makers of such items as post boxes and cast iron baths.
Carron Steelyne was on the Ravenscraig books through their purchase of cold finished steel from Gartcosh which was used in the production of steel baths, sinks and cookers. They highly regarded the quality of the steel and openly supported the steelworks’ fight over threaten closures, citing that they would have difficulty finding another supplier within the UK as they had no confidence in other BSC plants to produce what they required.
J G Carrick & Co Ltd
J G Carrick & Co Ltd was founded in 1851 and is still producing industrial packaging today after 160 years in business. They are leaders in the manufacture of Steel Drums.
Ayrshire Metal Products
Ayrshire Metal Products started off life as the shipbuilding company Ayrshire Dockyards. In the 1930s they started to produce cold rolled steel forms including cladding, crash barriers and special sections for railway rolling stock. When visiting university students studying the steel industry came to Ravenscraig, they were always taken on a visit to Ayrshire Metal Products because of the diversity of goods that they produced.
The maker of steel-formed radiators, originally founded in 1936, Stelrad opened their Scottish factory in Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway in 1983. This factory has now since closed but the company are still in production and supply one of the UK’s most popular radiators: the Elite.
Fraser Agricultural (Rothienorman) Ltd
Fraser Agricultural Ltd was a manufacturer of agricultural equipment including trailers, muck spreaders, vacuum tankers, feed mixers and many other products. The rights to Fraser products were acquired by Hunton Legg Ltd in 2005.
Icetech Freezers Ltd
Icetech Freezers are based in Castletown on the North coast of Scotland. They manufacture freezer products under the brand name Norfrost and were a major customer of Ravenscraig steel, buying between 3-6,000 tons per year. The company are still in production today.