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Hadfields Steel Works

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The steel bridge to the side entrance of Meadowhall Centre, is known as "Hadfield Bridge". It is an original from Hadfields. Shardlows workers used to go straight from the night shift and support Hadfields workers, during the big srtike in the 70s.(20,000 every morning from all over the country) Big Dan Norton told them there was a job for life for those who broke the strike. (Sounds Familiar). Of course they all lost their jobs. The land had already been sold. Hadfields was closing no matter how many denials "Big Dan made. In it's hey day 10,000/20,000 worked there. Specialists in railway lines and points. My friends Dad was a Fitter, making the points. Oh, there still is a Vulcan Road.

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East Hecla Works closed down not long after the national strike of 1980. There was quite a lot of bother on the picket lines at the time, as many private sector steel workers kept working. The site was cleared in the mid-eighties I think.

 

Hadfields also took over Brown Bayley's old works on Leeds Road, near the baths. My dad worked there for a bit in the seventies.

 

That factory remained derelict for some years, and was finally cleared for Don Valley Stadium. I have some pics of both factories somewhere.

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Vulcan road is still there.It is one of the roads that leads into "Meadowhell".

When the firm was known as Dunford Hadfields, they took over Brown Bayley's which was situated on Worksop Road,Attercliffe. When they eventually closed down in 1981 the works were demolished and it is now the site of Don Valley Stadium. I worked there from 1966 to 1980.

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I started work as an apprentice electrician in 1964 at Hadfields East Hecla Works on Vulcan Road. The company employed many thousands of people on the huge site which is now Meadowhall.

Every aspect of Steel work was carried out there, huge Blast Furnaces and later Electric Arc Furnaces melted the scrap metal that was turned back into steel ingots. The steel ingots were then transported hot to the Rolling Mills where they were rolled into round bars etc. Some of the steel went to the forge where it was formed by giant hammer presses into large rolls.. These were then taken to the large machine shop where they were turned into the final product.

The company also embraced a foundry where the molten steel was poured into castings intricately designed to produce multiple cast items. A smaller foundry produced smaller castings by the lost wax method.

The company was also associated with defence and cast tank turrets. There was even a firing range where the turrets were tested by firing shells at them.

Mr. Hadfield was famous for concopting the original formula for Manganese steel which was used for railway lines.

Every skill imaginable was available and generally most people worked very hard.

As an apprentice I looked forward to the annual wage negotiation as the Union & Management stood their ground until finally the union went on strike ( a yearly event). As apprentices we were not allowed to strike so we all went to the Hadfields sports ground to play football or cricket & get paid. Good times for us but hard times for working men & women and their families.

At one stage Hadfield became associated with Jenson Cars & I remember a few of these posh vehicles appearing as Directors vehicles.

Hadfields was taken over by Dunford & Elliot and the company name changed to Dunford Hadfields.

This was a great time for me as this embraced a department within Dunford & Elliot called the Special Projects Division and as I came towards the end of my apprenticeship I was fortunate enough to move into this department.

They had been responsible for building the mechanical computer for the Jodrell Bank Telescope and they worked closely with Sheffield & Southampton Universities Space Research Departments.

We built Satellite and Rocket electronic payloads as well as a Meteorite counter that was sited out on the moors.

In addition, Infra-red telescopes were built that went to Tenerife & Hawaii.

All this seemed a far cry from the now ailing steelworks that occupied that site.

I remember watching the M1 viaduct cross the Hadfield property & I remember all those wonderful characters that helped shape my working life

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My father in law worked at Hatfields, I think he worked with special steels. He retired in about 1968 ish.

He and his fellow workers used to buy Premium Bonds between them, he had quite a few when he died.

 

Marion

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My dad worked for Arthur Lees for many years, he was a furnace man, I do have a coule of photos of him and his fellow workers taken in about 1960's/early 70's

He was called Bob Holmes but generally known as black bob!

Marion

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What was your father-in-laws name and job while he was at Hadfields?

 

Also I have a friend Maurice Foster who worked at Arthur Lees back in the 60/70's.

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... The company was also associated with defence and cast tank turrets. There was even a firing range where the turrets were tested by firing shells at them.

 

My grandfather John Arthur Whittles (1898-1958 ) worked at Hadfields and I remember him telling me about the tank turrets. Here is a photo of him, taken at East Hecla Works, being shown the workings of the finished product by two soldiers. The photo appeared in The Star in 1957.

Edited by hillsbro

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Does anyone know anything about Hatfields Steel that used to stand on the sight of where Meadow Hall is now. I have been trying to find some information about it because my Grandad worked there and I just wanted to know exactly where it was and when it finished trading, also if there are any books on the subject?

 

the name is wrong it is hadfields and a very famouse name in steel making. they specialised in special steels and were noted for the quality. my father worked there from the late twenties until his death in 55.Hadfields did a lot of things as well as special steels but i`m not sure what.... general engineering I should think. I never knew how many worked there but have waited outside for my dad at clocking off time and it seemed that there were at the very least hundreds of men employed there at that time. Sad to see the site now, just another shopping centre, how long is it going to be before we lose all our manufacturing and can produce nowt for ourselves.

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Sad fact is that Meadowhell actually creates more income for the local economy and pays more in taxes than Hadfields ever did. Personally I would however prefer a steel works on the site (I sell replacement parts into various factories). Sheffield as an area also produces more tons of steel now than it did in its hey day (2005 statistic)

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Dunford hatfields was on weedon street just off attercliffe road. The main entrance into the site was directly opposite the TGI Fridays restaurant the main gate was about where the roundabout is between TGIs and the entrance to meadow hall. it was a masive site and there were small electric trucks to get about on. The back of the site ran down the lenght of the river near to the now oasis food hall.

The actual rolling mill was level with the wear on the river. I worked in the maintaince dept attached to the electric workshop. Our workshop was exactly where the outside playarea is behind the cinema.

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Dunford hatfields was on weedon street just off attercliffe road. The main entrance into the site was directly opposite the TGI Fridays restaurant the main gate was about where the roundabout is between TGIs and the entrance to meadow hall. it was a masive site and there were dozens of small electric trucks to get about on. The back of the site ran down the lenght of the river near to the now oasis food hall.

The actual rolling mill was level with the wear on the river. I worked in the maintaince dept attached to the electric workshop. Our workshop was exactly where the outside playarea is behind the cinema.

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