15 Nov 2016

Return of an icon

The iconic slag tipper ladle feature at one of the main entrances to our Scunthorpe site has been refurbished, relit and returned to its former glory.

The feature was installed by an external company on site more than 20 years ago. Historically, it would light up when it’s dark, emulating the tipping of slag (a by-product created during the ironmaking process). While this method of slag separation – as demonstrated by the feature – is no longer used, it shows our rich heritage and how much technology has progressed. The town’s motto, “the heavens reflect our labours” is in reference to how the skies would appear to turn orange as the slag was tipped using this old method.

Unfortunately, due to the power being cut from the decommissioned Heavy Section Mill, the ladle lighting was switched off several years ago. That was until recently when a team from our Electrical Services department – John Reed, Mick Smith, Matt Walters and Stuart Atkinson – set about refurbishing the ladle during the summer. Maintenance Engineer Mick said: “Having helped towards the initial installation more than 20 years ago, it seemed only right to be a part of the team that brought it back to life and restored it to its former glory.

“This was no easy feat as it had to be washed down, repainted, have all the wiring looms repaired, have new lights sourced and placed on a sequencer to make the hot slag appear as if it’s flowing, just as it did before.

“It’s really rewarding to hear the positive feedback we’ve had from everyone who’s seen the ladle relit. I’m extremely proud to have been part of the team that did it.”