The history of Tata Steel at Workington
The history of the Iron and Steel industry in Workington can be traced back to the 1800s, but significant events started in 1941 when The United Steel Companies Limited bought the 43 acre Chapel Bank site on which the present works were built as a war-time Ministry of Supply factory. Chiefly for security the factory was called 'Distington Hematite Iron Company'.
It had a large steel melting shop with electric furnaces, an extensive machine shop, and other buildings on nearby sites.
In 1945 United Steel bought the Chapel Bank factory from the Ministry and equipped it to make mining machinery, mine cars and ingot moulds, and changed its name to 'Distington Engineering Company Limited'.
Following that, products included road graders, turret punch presses and iron and steelworks equipment. Casting large tonnages of ingot moulds, bottom plates, slag ladles, and engineering castings.
In 1957, Chapel Bank opened a fabrication shop and a materials preparation shop was built, along with the acquirement of the 'Drybread' facility.
In 1966 the company bought Ogden & Lawson Limited, specialising in the production of non-ferrous castings for the steel industry.
In 1978 the Continuous Casting Servicing Department (CCSD) opened to reduce turn-around times on bloom and slab moulds and top zones.
Names through the ages
1939 - Distington Hematite Iron Company
1945 - Distington Engineering Company
1979 - Cumbria Engineering
1992 - British Steel Engineering
2000 - Corus Process Engineering
2010 - Tata Steel Projects
- Body & closures
- Chassis & suspension
- Automotive Services
- Interior and trim