The Steel River

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December 28th 2011
Published: March 4th 2012
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One salmon ain't no good to them ........... sang Chris Rea on the song of the same name, before singing about the M25 became more the norm when the pressures of the business made him move closer to the centre of the industry. This blog was just an experiment with a new camera, but in some senses it became a journey down the Tees. I published the photos, but didn't write any script until a few months after - ironically on the day the steel plant was due to come back into production. It was meant to have been back on stream when the photos were taken in December, so whether it'll materialise is another matter. The plant - the 2nd biggest in Europe I understand - was mothballed after Corus and Tata couldn't find enough orders to make it worth carrying on. Redcar lost a bit of it's identity that day. The new owners, SSI, are a Thai outfit planning to send the production back home to feed the booming car industry so the deep water terminal will once again be busy.

Paddys Hole sits in the shadow of the works out near South Gare - a haven for small fishing cobles and huts - in amongst the huge ore carriers and tankers that enter the mouth of the River Tees. The referineries across the river make a backdrop on one side and it's just a short hop across to where you can set sail for Costa Rica if you have the right tail wind.

The land around the Gare houes a collection of windswept fishermen's huts and the debris associated with generations of steel making.

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