Hope Fades

This steel stuff has really got under my skin! A dormant passion,I didn’t know I possessed, has been ignited. Maybe this is what happens when someone you love loses something they love. Who knows?
On leaving work today I received the news from Paul that Redcar Steel Plant was indeed going to be closed down: not mothballed as hoped, but closed. For good. The end. The end of steelmaking on Teesside. The end of tradition. The end of hope. It isn’t the first time industry has been destroyed in the North East of England. Remember the shipyards? The mines? Has our region ever recovered? Can we blame high levels of unemployment, high levels of drug and alcohol dependency and offending behaviour on this? These are questions that will, forever, remain unanswered. We will never know how different things might have been had our industries remained but my personal belief is that things would be different. Better? Maybe. What will Redcar do without it’s steel, it’s core, it’s heartbeat? The generations who have dedicated their lives to the industry now have no legacy to pass on. It’s a desperate situation, one that appears to have been ignored by the people who have the ability to make changes. Despite me saying this is not a political blog, today I feel let down by the government. We accepted that the jobs were gone but what is difficult to accept is the lack of respect that has been shown towards the plant and to its workforce. SSI allowed their financial problems to spiral out of control. They didn’t ask for help. They effectively buried their heads in the sand. When they could not hide anymore they disappeared. No questions have been answered and no apologies made. It is not Paul’s fault or Billy’s fault or Eddy’s fault that SSI ended up in such a mess though they are the ones who have been punished. These men and hundreds more gave everything to ensure top quality steel was being manufactured in Redcar. The job itself was dangerous, the shifts were long but these men were dedicated to the industry and proud of the work they did. They deserve answers, they deserve an apology, they deserve a future.
The future for us is uncertain. We didn’t plan to be in this position, punished for the failure of a business. Our future was bright, full of plans. At the moment the brightness has dimmed. The light has not gone out altogether but it’s faded. For now our plans have been mothballed. However, in time, unlike Redcar Steel Plant, our future will reignite, of this I am sure.

Hope Fades

One thought on “Hope Fades

  1. Jacqueline McManus says:

    Thank you Anna for your blog showing the impact of the closure of Redcar Steelworks on real people. I grew up on Teesside and went to school in Redcar. I moved to London decades ago because I couldn’t get a job in the north-east, but regularly return home to visit family and friends. It’s heartbreaking to see and hear the devastation the closing down of the Steelworks will wreak on people’s lives – including those whose livelihoods rely on steelworkers spending locally. Everyone I speak to In London is horrified at what’s happening. Proud to be from Teesside, and proud of our steelworkers.

    Wishing you and your family all the very best Anna.


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