Samuel Fox and Company
Samuel Foxand Company or "Fox's" is the commonly used name for the major steel complex built in the Upper Don Valley at Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.
Samuel Fox bought a disused corn mill close by the centre of the town in 1842 and made alterations so that he could produce wire for the manufacture of textile pins. Within 6 years the business began to manufacture wire for
umbrellaframes and he developed his own variant, the “Paragon” in 1851. Expansion continued and by the mid 1860s furnaces and rolling mills had been built and the production of railway lines and springs begun.
Road transport in the area was difficult and with larger products being manufactured a new outlet was required. In the 1870s a short branch line was built to link the works with the
Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railwayat Deepcar. This was known as the Stocksbridge Railwaywhich was a subsidiary of the main company until the early 1990s. The line is still open (2006) and handles regular traffic to and from the works.
Samuel Fox & Company joined with
Steel, Peech and Tozerof Rotherhamand Scunthorpe-based Appleby-Frodingham Steel Companyto form the United Steel Companiesafter the First World War. Products from various sites were coordinated, each works specialising in a particular range. At Stocksbridge they specialised special steels, particularly the various grades of stainless steel.
Nationalisation and after
The works, along with other major producers in Great Britain, were nationalised in 1967, to become British Steel Corporation. During the 1980s and 1990s the works became part of a joint British Steel / GKN venture known as "Stocksbridge Engineering Steels" and in 1999 they became part of Corus. The works is still open although steel is not made on the site, the steel being brought from the main melting site at Aldwarke, near Rotherham.
Plans for future investment was cancelled in December 2005 and the prospect of closure has again reared its head.
* Various issues of internal works newspaper "Steel News".
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