Leisure centre from the steel works
Stocksbridge shown within Sheffield
|Metropolitan county||South Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Penistone and Stocksbridge|
Stocksbridge is a small town in the civil parish of Stocksbridge, in the City of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it lies just to the east of the Peak District. The town is located in the steep-sided valley of the Little Don River, below the Underbank Reservoir. It blends in to the areas of Deepcar, Bolsterstone and the eastern end of Ewden valley around Ewden village, which are also within the Civil Parish.
Samuel Fox established a steel works from 1842, and built much of the infrastructure of Stocksbridge. Fox took over a disused corn mill near the centre of Stockbridge in 1842 and adapted it to making wire for textile pins. Around 1848 the business expanded to include wire for umbrella frames which led to Fox developing the “Paragon” umbrella frame in 1851. The business continued to expand and extended to different products, so that by the mid-1860s the works included furnaces and rolling mills allowing production of railway lines and springs. The business was transferred to a limited company in 1871.
Between 1872 and 1877 a railway line was built to link the works with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway at Deepcar. This was the Stocksbridge Railway, which existed as a subsidiary company until 1992.
Samuel Fox & Co joined Steel, Peech and Tozer at Templeborough to form the United Steel Companies (USC) following the First World War. From then on the products of the USC sites were coordinated so that each works specialised in set products. Fox’s specialised in special steel produce such as spring steel and stainless steels. This developed into the manufacture of high-quality steel for the aviation industry. One specialised department assembled and tested springs for Rolls-Royce cars.
During the Second World War, 'Sammy Fox's' Steelworks was kept busy as part of the war effort. During the Sheffield Blitz by the Luftwaffe, the bombers used the dam at the end of Stocksbridge as a turning point for their run back toward Sheffield.
During the 1980s and 1990s the Stocksbridge works was part of the United Engineering Steels group (a joint venture between British Steel and GKN) and was known as "Stocksbridge Engineering Steels".
In 1999 the works were taken over by Corus and are part of the Corus Engineering Steels (CES) group. Although for several years Corus ran at a loss, it returned to profit, in part helped by the a rise in demand for steel caused by Chinese economic activity.
Steel manufacture in Stocksbridge had always been by melting iron and steel firstly in crucibles (from 1860), then Bessemer converters (from 1862) and Siemens Open Hearth Furnaces (from 1899 until 1968) and lastly Electric arc furnaces (from 1939 until 2005). Iron has never been produced from iron ore at Fox's, by any method.
In October 2006, Corus was taken over by the Indian company Tata. Corus Engineering Steels (Stocksbridge site) was renamed Tata Steels Speciality. During the 2008 recession Stocksbridge works reduced its workforce and output, focusing on producing lower quantities of high-value product for the aerospace and oil and gas markets. After the recession the company returned to profitability and began investing once again. In 2011 £6.5 million was invested in boosting the site's ability to produce aerospace steel, and further developments are planned for 2013.[dead link]
The main road from Sheffield to Manchester originally passed through the town until the A616 Stocksbridge bypass opened in 1989. The new road links the M1 motorway at Junction 35A (and J36) to the Woodhead pass (which is one of the main trans-Pennine routes from Sheffield to Manchester) bypassing the towns of Stocksbridge and Deepcar, diverting the steelworks traffic away from passing through the town.
Stocksbridge has a bus service running through the centre of Stocksbridge and the edge of Deepcar all the way to Middlewood Park and Ride, connecting with the Supertram service to the centre of Sheffield or Hillsborough.
Stocksbridge Engineering Steels Brass Band was one of the top in the UK, though recently renamed to Unite the Union Band and moved rehearsals to central Sheffield. Deepcar Brass Band remains locally. Nearby Bolsterstone is home to a world famous male voice choir, particularly noted for its performances of Sheffield local carols. Stocksbridge has a strong amateur theatre group called Steel Valley Beacon which produces Shakespeare and other plays every year.
The town's local football club is Stocksbridge Park Steels was founded in 1986, following the merger of Stocksbridge Works and Oxley Park FC. The home ground of Stocksbridge Park Steels is Bracken Moor, located near the top of the valley. They play in the Northern Premier League Division One South and also organise many youth teams, from the age of 8 to 18.
- Oli Sykes, vocalist of Bring Me the Horizon and owner of Drop Dead Clothing grew up in Stocksbridge and attended Stocksbridge High School.
- 35 Output areas make up Stocksbridge alone (Not including Deepcar, Midhopestones, Upper Midhope and Bolsterstone) http://ukcensusdata.com/stocksbridge-and-upper-don-e05001063#sthash.3EoM4KJv.7OXM9Gt8.dpbs[not in citation given]
- Rankovic, Ljuba. "Business Link Magazine". blmforum.net. Retrieved 2 February 2015.[dead link]
- "Oliver Sykes biography". artistwiki.com. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Sources for the study of the history of Stocksbridge Produced by Sheffield City Council's Libraries and Archives