Recollections of Ravenscraig can at times be overshadowed by the politics that surrounded it and the ill-feeling regarding its closure in 1992, but what of its social side?
Many people remember the legendary children’s Christmas parties where every child in attendance left with a present from Santa and a big smile on their faces.
Or what about the “Black Canteen”? Same food, same service as the other canteen on-site, the only difference: workers did not need to get cleaned up before grabbing a bite to eat. Dirty faces, full bellies!
Not a rare occurrence by today’s standards but for Craig workers in 1980, a Royal Bank of Scotland “Cashline” machine was quite the thing. The first ever non-branch located Cashline was installed at Ravenscraig Steelworks.
Local drinking haunts? Too many to mention them all, but who remembers the King Lud in Wishaw or the Cleek Him Inn?
And keeping employees and their families up-to-date on all the latest developments in the steel world as well as what was going on socially – Colville’s Magazine, and latterly British Steel News. Both publications regularly featured notices of employee’s weddings, retirements, achievements, poems, cartoons and much more.
Songs and Poems Inspired by Ravenscraig
Comments & Quotes
“I used to get a lift from one of the production managers who really put the hours in, it meant a long day but I used to take advantage of the subsidised canteens and get my breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, which for a poor summer student with little experience of cooking for myself, was a great way to get fed and eke out the beer vouchers.
There was also a “black” canteen, so called because you didn’t have to wash before your meal and you could sit in your dirty work clothes. Not sure if that would be allowed today but quite a sight then for a fresh faced student to see what “real” work actually involved.”
Cell – The Hidden Glasgow Forums
“Ah the “black” canteen – Same food as the clean canteen, but due to the shifts worked you would see guys tucking into soup and pie and beans at 9.00am. At Corby they had subsidised beer in the canteen. I did quite a few night shifts myself. Worst ever in a vast steel works was the 10pm to 8am Saturday night Sunday morning on maintenance. I seem to recall they asked for “volunteers” for these shifts. I think it was around £20 for that shift in late 1960s.”
Moonbeam – The Hidden Glasgow Forums
“The Christmas parties for children were brilliant. They were held in Etna Street, Craigneuk in the Working Men’s Club.”
William Campbell, The Craig The Industry and You project