British Steel collection, Welsh division, East Moors Works

Scope and Content

The collection consists of records of the Guest Keen Nettlefold group and predecessor companies, Glamorgan Hematite Iron Ore Mine Company and Cardiff Hematite Iron Ore Company. The records relate largely to Glamorgan Hematite Iron Ore Mine, Llanharry, but also include material from other significant iron and steel works in south Wales (Dowlais/East Moors, Briton Ferry works etc).

The deposit includes books of accounts, sale contracts books, annual account and wage records, geological and property records, records relating to personnel matters (accidents, pensions), output records, subject files from departments (including files kept by the works’ agent and manager) and blast furnace operating records. Other records concern geology, property and environmental issues, such as the alleged pollution of the River Ely, 1925-1930. The collection also includes some papers of iron ore mines in other parts of the UK (such as New Dunn, Gloucestershire) which were opened during the Second World War under the aegis of the Home Ore Department of the Ministry of Supply and managed by Glamorgan Hematite Iron Ore Company from their office in Cardiff under agency agreements.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Steel Corporation (BSC) was a large British steel producer, formed after the Iron and Steel Act of 1967. It brought together the 14 largest steel companies in the UK into public ownership. The following works were brought under the Guest Keen Nettlefold group, then BSC at various times; Glamorgan Hematite Iron Ore Mine, Dowlais Collieries and Cribbwr Fawr Collieries Limited, and East Moors Works, Cardiff.

Cardiff Hematite Iron Ore Company Limited was formed in 1901. Work began on sinking the first shaft at Llanharry Mines, Glamorgan in 1907. Iron ore was first produced on a commercial basis in 1910. A capital reconstruction occurred in 1921, when Llanharry Mines passed into the hands of a new company Glamorgan Hematite Iron Ore Company Limited. The directors and management remained the same. A second capital reconstruction took place in 1948, with the new company keeping the same name. All three companies had a head office in Cardiff and a mine office at Llanharry.

In 1950 ownership of the company passed to the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain. Following denationalisation in 1953 it was acquired by the GKN group. Whilst the company retained its individual identity, its Cardiff office was closed and the function transferred to the Guest, Keen Iron and Steel Works (GKIS), later known as East Moors Works, Cardiff.

In the reorganisation of the British Steel Corporation (BSC) in 1970, the mine was transferred to the BSC (General Steels Division). Llanharry Mine was closed soon afterwards.

British Iron and Steel (Guest Keen Baldwins Iron and Steel Company) was established in March 1930 to amalgamate the heavy iron and steel businesses of Guest, Keen Nettlefolds and Baldwins. The company owned the share capital of Briton Ferry Works, Dowlais Collieries and Cribbwr Fawr Collieries Limited.


Arrangement of series has been based on records transmittal lists from the South Wales Regional Records Centre. The orignal order of papers within a file has been retained.

Access Information

Some records are subject to access restrictions under the Data Protection Act

Acquisition Information

Deposited at Glamorgan Archives in 1998

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained except a small amount of duplicates

Custodial History

Company records were deposited at British Steel's South Wales Regional Records Centre between 1977 and 1985