British Iron & Steel Corporation

The British Iron & Steel Corporation (Salvage) Ltd., commonly referred to as BISCO, was an organisation created during World War II to recycle scrap steel.

BISCO's duties included making the arrangements for the scrapping of surplus Royal Navy ships. The Admiralty would notify BISCO that a ship was available for scrapping; BISCO would then allocate it to a suitable yard for breaking up. The yards were paid their dismantling costs plus an amount per ton of steel recovered. This continued until 1962, after which yards were free to make their own contracts directly.[1]


  1. ^ Johnston, Ian; Buxton, Ian. The Battleship Builders: Constructing and Arming British Capital Ships. Seaforth Publishing. p. 308. ISBN 1-84832-093-0.
24-pounder long gun

The 24-pounder long gun was a heavy calibre piece of artillery mounted on warships of the Age of sail, second only to the 36-pounder long gun. 24-pounders were in service in the navies of France, Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. They were comparable to the Canon de 24 Gribeauval used by the French Army as its largest piece of siege artillery. 24-pounders were used as main guns on the heaviest frigates of the early 19th century and on fourth-rate ships of the line, on the second deck of first-rate ships of the line, and on the second deck of a few large third-rates.


Acrefair ([ˌakrɛˈvɑɪr] (listen)) is a village in the county borough of Wrexham, North East Wales, in the community of Cefn. It was formerly part of the ancient parish of Ruabon, and is located between the towns of Wrexham and Llangollen. It is close to the villages of Trevor, Cefn Mawr, Ruabon and Plas Madoc. The name Acrefair originates from the Welsh word for acres—acrau, or acre in the local Welsh dialect—and Mair, the Welsh name for Mary. We therefore have Acre-Mair, which leads to Acre-Fair, as there is a soft mutation on the second element of a composite word. The English meaning of Acrefair is Mary's Acres.

Parts of Acrefair have beautiful views across the River Dee and the Dee Valley. Acrefair has a newsagents, a petrol station, a post office, a chemist and two Chinese take-aways. It boasts many buildings built from "Ruabon Red brick", including several chapels which are now closed and converted.Edward Lloyd Rowland established an ironworks here in c.1817. Following his bankruptcy in 1825 the works were bought by the British Iron Company. The company was re-formed in 1843 as the New British Iron Company and they continued to operate the works until its closure in 1887. The site was subsequently occupied by a succession of businesses, latterly Air Products, which produced air separation Plant & Cryogenic storage vessel equipment for industry. The site ceased to be a commercial venture in late 2009.Acrefair and Cefn Mawr were also home to the Monsanto Company chemical works, which had produced chemicals since before World War II. The site was the American company's first venture in Europe. Monsanto later operated the site as FlexSys, one of their subsidiaries, but production on this site ceased in 2010.

Coal, clay and iron were also worked in the area during its industrial period.

Acrefair railway station was a former a station on the Ruabon–Barmouth line, it closed to passengers on 18 January 1965 as part of the Beeching Axe. The Ruabon Brook Tramway passed through the village at street level, serving the Monsanto works and other local industry.

British Iron Age

The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology of Great Britain, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron Age culture of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland, which had an independent Iron Age culture of its own. The parallel phase of Irish archaeology is termed the Irish Iron Age.

The Iron Age is not an archaeological horizon of common artefacts, but is rather a locally diverse cultural phase.

The British Iron Age lasted in theory from the first significant use of iron for tools and weapons in Britain to the Romanisation of the southern half of the island. The Romanised culture is termed Roman Britain and is considered to supplant the British Iron Age. The Irish Iron Age was ended by the rise of Christianity.

The tribes living in Britain during this time are often popularly considered to be part of a broadly Celtic culture, but in recent years this has been disputed. At a minimum, "Celtic" is a linguistic term without an implication of a lasting cultural unity connecting Gaul with the British Isles throughout the Iron Age. The Brythonic languages spoken in Britain at this time, as well as others including the Goidelic and Gaulish languages of neighbouring Ireland and Gaul respectively, certainly belong to the group known as Celtic languages. However it cannot be assumed that particular cultural features found in one Celtic-speaking culture can be extrapolated to the others.

British Iron and Steel Federation

The British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF), formed in 1934, was an organisation of British iron and steel producers responsible for the national planning of steel production. Its creation was imposed on the industry by Ramsay MacDonald's National Government as a precondition to the establishment of steel import tariffs. It was a successor to the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers, formed in 1918.

Sir William James Larke was the first director of the federation.

It continued to exist until 1967 when the industry was nationalised as British Steel Corporation during Harold Wilson's first term in government.

British Iron and Steel Research Association

The British Iron and Steel Research Association or BISRA, formed in 1944, was the research arm of the British steel industry. It had headquarters in London, originally at 11 Park Lane, later moved to 24 Buckingham Gate, with Laboratories in Sheffield on Hoyle Street, Swansea, Teesside, and Battersea.

The organization was created by Sir Charles Goodeve, who remained its director until his retirement in 1969. Roger Eddison washired as a manager shortly after BISRA's founding. BISRA's research has been responsible for much of the automation of modern steelmaking. BISRA were pioneers of digital computing in the steel industry.BISRA was funded 15% by a grant from the government of the United Kingdom, and 85% by a cooperative of several steelmaking companies.

British Steel (1967–1999)

British Steel plc was a major British steel producer. It originated from the nationalised British Steel Corporation (BSC), formed in 1967, which was privatised as a public limited company, British Steel plc, in 1988. It was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. The company merged with Koninklijke Hoogovens to form Corus Group in 1999.

Bury Ditches

Bury Ditches is a British Iron Age hill fort between Clun and Bishop's Castle in the Shropshire Hills of central England.

Celtic Britons

The Britons, also known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons, were Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from the British Iron Age into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture and language diverged into the modern Welsh, Cornish and Bretons (among others). They spoke the Common Brittonic language, the ancestor to the modern Brittonic languages.The traditional view that the Celtic Britons originally migrated from the continent, mostly across the English Channel, with their languages, culture and genes in the Iron Age has been considerably undermined in recent decades by the contention of many scholars that Celtic languages had instead spread north along the Atlantic seaboard during the Bronze Age, and the results of genetic studies, which show a large continuity between Iron Age and older British populations, suggesting trans-cultural diffusion was also very important in the introduction of the Celtic languages.

The earliest evidence for the Britons and their language in historical sources dates to the Iron Age. After the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, a Romano-British culture emerged, and Latin and British Vulgar Latin coexisted with Brittonic. During and after the Roman era, the Britons lived throughout Britain. Their relationship with the Picts, who lived north of the Firth of Forth, has been the subject of much discussion, though most scholars now accept that the Pictish language was related to Common Brittonic, rather than a separate Celtic language.With the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement and Gaelic Scots in the 5th and 6th centuries, the culture and language of the Britons fragmented, and much of their territory was gradually taken over by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots Gaels. The extent to which this cultural and linguistic change was accompanied by wholesale changes in the population is still a matter of discussion. During this period some Britons migrated to mainland Europe and established significant colonies in Brittany (now part of France), the Channel Islands as well as Britonia in modern Galicia, Spain. By the beginning of the 11th century, remaining Brittonic Celtic-speaking populations had split into distinct groups: the Welsh in Wales, the Cornish in Cornwall, the Bretons in Brittany, the Cumbric speaking people of the Hen Ogledd ("Old North") in southern Scotland and northern England, and the remnants of the Pictish people in the north of Scotland. Common Brittonic developed into the distinct Brittonic languages: Welsh, Cumbric, Cornish and Breton.

Croft Ambrey

Croft Ambrey is a British Iron Age hill fort in northern Herefordshire, 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of Leominster close to the present day county border with South Shropshire.


Dowlais (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈdɔu̯lai̯s]) is a village and community of the county borough of Merthyr Tydfil, in Wales. At the 2011 census it had a population of 6,926, reducing to 4,270 at the 2011 census having excluded Pant. Dowlais is notable within Wales and Britain for its historic association with ironworking; once employing, through the Dowlais Iron Company, roughly 5,000 people, the works being the largest in the world at one stage.

Hillforts in Britain

Hillforts in Britain refers to the various hillforts within the island of Great Britain. Although the earliest such constructs fitting this description come from the Neolithic British Isles, with a few also dating to later Bronze Age Britain, British hillforts were primarily constructed during the British Iron Age. Some of these were apparently abandoned in the southern areas that were a part of Roman Britain, although at the same time, those areas of northern Britain that remained free from Roman occupation saw an increase in their construction. Some hillforts were reused in the Early Middle Ages, and in some rarer cases, into the Later Medieval period as well. By the early modern period, these had essentially all been abandoned, with many being excavated by archaeologists in the nineteenth century onward.

There are around 3,300 structures that can be classed as hillforts or similar "defended enclosures" within Britain. Most of these are clustered in certain regions: south and south-west England, the west coast of Wales and Scotland, the Welsh Marches and the Scottish border hills. British hillforts varied in size, with the majority covering an area of less than 1 ha (3 acres), but with most others ranging from this up to around 12 ha (30 acres) in size. In certain rare cases, they were bigger, with a few examples being over 80 ha (200 acres) in size.Various archaeologists operating in Britain have criticised the use of the term "hillfort" both because of its perceived connection to fortifications and warfare and because not all such sites were actually located on hills. Leslie Alcock believed that the term "enclosed places" was more accurate, whilst J. Forde-Johnston commented on his preference for "defensive enclosures".

Hot blast

Hot blast refers to the preheating of air blown into a blast furnace or other metallurgical process. As this considerably reduced the fuel consumed, hot blast was one of the most important technologies developed during the Industrial Revolution.

Hot blast also allowed higher furnace temperatures, which increased the capacity of furnaces.As first developed, it worked by alternately storing heat from the furnace flue gas in a firebrick-lined vessel with multiple chambers, then blowing combustion air through the hot chamber. This is known as regenerative heating. Hot blast was invented and patented for iron furnaces by James Beaumont Neilson in 1828 at Wilsontown Ironworks in Scotland, but was later applied in other contexts, including late bloomeries. Later the carbon monoxide in the flue gas was burned to provide additional heat.

Insular Celts

The Insular Celts are the speakers of the Insular Celtic languages, which comprise all the living Celtic languages as well as their precursors, but the term is mostly used in reference to the peoples of the British Iron Age prior to the Roman conquest, and their contemporaries in Ireland.

According to older theories, the Insular Celtic languages spread throughout the islands in the course of the insular Iron Age. But this is now doubted by most scholars, who see the languages as already present, and possibly dominant, in the Bronze Age. At some point the languages split into the two major groups, Goidelic in Ireland and Brittonic in Great Britain, corresponding to the population groups of the Goidels (Gaels) on one hand and the Britons and the Picts on the other. The extent to which these peoples ever formed a distinct ethnic group remains unclear. While there are early records of the Continental Celtic languages, allowing a comparatively confident reconstruction of Proto-Celtic, Insular Celtic languages become attested in connected texts only at the end of the Dark Ages, from around the 7th century AD, by which time they had become mutually incomprehensible.

Iron and Steel Trades Confederation

The Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC) was a British trade union for metal-workers and allied groups, being the largest union in these fields. It was formed on 1 January 1917 as a merger of existing steel-workers' unions and it is now part of Community.


An ironmaster is the manager, and usually owner, of a forge or blast furnace for the processing of iron. It is a term mainly associated with the period of the Industrial Revolution, especially in Great Britain.

The ironmaster was usually a large scale entrepreneur and thus an important member of a community. He would have a large country house or mansion as his residence. The organization of operations surrounding the smelting, refining and casting of iron was labour-intensive, and so there would be numerous workers reliant on the furnace works.

There were ironmasters (possibly not called such) from the 17th century onwards, but they became more prominent with the great expansion in the British iron industry during the Industrial Revolution.

Jamshed Jiji Irani

Jamshed Jiji Irani, K.B.E., FREng is an Indian industrialist. Educated in Metallurgy, he joined British Iron and Steel Research Association. Later he joined Tata Steel from which he retired in 2007 as the Director. Later he served on the boards of various Tata group companies and others. He received the Padma Bhushan in 2007.


Petham is a rural village and civil parish in the North Downs, five miles south of Canterbury in Kent, South East England.

The village church is All Saints, Petham and is Grade I listed. It was built in the 13th century but suffered from a fire in 1922 and had to be reconstructed. The village hall was rebuilt in the early 21st century next to Marble pond on relatively low meadows deemed unsuitable for housing and insurance.

Petham has rolling hills within its bounds, including ancient forested slopes and thatched medieval and Tudor period cottages.

It now incorporates Swarling to the north, which had "33.5" households in the Domesday Book, and is one of the type sites for British Iron Age Aylesford-Swarling pottery. The excavation, by J. P. Bushe-Fox, to publication took place in 1921-1925.

SS Colonist (1889)

SS Colonist was a British iron-hulled coastal cargo ship driven by a 3-cylinder triple expansion steam engine. She was built in 1889 by Osbourne, Graham & Co. Ltd, North Hylton, England. She had a complement of 29 crewmembers.

Tom Gibson (Scottish politician)

Thomas Hill Gibson (22 September 1893 – 23 April 1975) was a Scottish nationalist political activist.

Born in Glasgow, Gibson became a supporter of home rule for Scotland through his membership of the Young Scots' Society, an affiliate of the Liberal Party. He fought in World War I, and on his return, joined the Scottish Home Rule Association. He left the group in 1924 in opposition to its support of John Maclean, and instead joined the Scots National League. He quickly became the group's leading figure, and ensured that it became the core of the National Party of Scotland, which he founded in 1928.Gibson married Elma Campbell, and the couple moved to London in 1932, where he became secretary of the British Steel Federation and financial director of the British Iron and Steel Corporation. In his absence, the National Party began splitting between supporters of independence and those who favoured devolution. Against his wishes, the devolutionists organised a merger with the Scottish Party, founding the Scottish National Party (SNP). Gibson became increasingly involved in the civil service, and was out of Scottish nationalist politics until after World War II. He rejoined the SNP in the late 1940s, working with Robert McIntyre and Arthur Donaldson, and was party president from around 1950 until 1958, remaining active into the 1960s.

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