The County You Live, Work And Play
The plans were forged three years ago – and now a memorial commemorating those who lost their lives in the Scottish iron and steel industry has been unveiled at Ravenscraig.
It is situated next to the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, symbolising Lanarkshire’s regeneration and a new start.
Created by leading Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, the memorial is now a reality thanks to civic pride campaign Supercounty and a fundraising committee led by chairman Terry Currie, a former British Steel employee and Deputy Lieutenant of Lanarkshire.
Businesses across Lanarkshire and Scotland as well as local authorities, trade unions and private individuals have been instrumental in securing project funding.
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, the Steelworkers Union, unveiled the statue at the sports centre alongside Terry Currie and Andy Scott.
He said: “Our members are at the heart of Scotland’s steel heritage and this memorial serves as a poignant reminder to those who lost their lives working in Scotland’s steel and iron industry. For generations, the steel industry sustained communities across Scotland and made a substantial contribution to our nation’s economy. The Scottish steel industry remains an active part of many communities and many families across Scotland to this day.
“The Scottish Steelworkers Memorial is a result of the hard work of a small but dedicated group of activists who recognised the need to create a permanent monument to those who tragically lost their lives while at work. I’m filled with immense pride seeing it unveiled and hope it will stand as a memorial for generations to come.”
The dramatic artwork, fashioned from galvanised steel, features a steelworker emerging from billowing smoke, holding aloft a flowing ribbon of molten steel.
Terry Currie, who has spearheaded the fundraising drive for the last three years, said: “The production of iron and steel was often carried out in hazardous conditions and, as a consequence the cost in human terms was high, with thousands losing their lives across the UK. There is no doubt that a memorial should have been established long before now.
“From the outset we were determined to erect a memorial worthy, and in keeping with, the future development of the Ravenscraig site. We approached the world renowned public art sculptor Andy Scott to design and construct an appropriate memorial. Despite his busy schedule, working on commissions from around the globe, he readily took on the project. We believe that he has created a fantastic and fitting memorial.”
Sculptor Andy Scott, said: “It was an honour to be approached by the Memorial group, and it was a project which was personally very fitting as much of my portfolio is crafted from welded steel. I suggested a design which symbolically represents the workers and their efforts in the industry which helped shape modern Scotland. The sculpture has come together over many months’ production and I hope it serves as a proud tribute to those who lost their lives.”