Pather Iron and Steel Works, Wishaw

The Pather Iron and Steel works began its operations in 1880 and was principally a malleable iron works with a maximum of 13 puddling furnaces and a rolling department. In February 1879 a local syndicate called the “Twelve Apostles” registered the company. Thomas Brownlee, a draper and general entrepreneur of Wishaw was one of the “Twelve Apostles”. The iron and steel works catered for the general trade, making tube strips and boilerplates as well as rolling large sheets. The name may imply the company also produced steel, but it is much more likely that they were a secondary steel concern, re-heating and rolling steel billets that had been bought in from a larger steel making company. It was common practise for malleable iron works to adopt steel in their company title to attract more business, as the methods for working steel were often very similar to working with malleable (wrought) iron. The company remained an independent producer, but suffered during the 1930s when the steel trade favoured the larger steel companies – such as the Colville’s group. Operations were suspended in March 1933 and the company went into voluntary liquidation in 1935. The rolling mill from the plant was shipped down to England in 1936, thought to have been to a steel works in Manchester. The Pather Iron and Steel Works was the last surviving steel producer in Wishaw. The Wishaw Press reported the following regarding the closure.

"There was some talk about the plant going to India or New Zealand, but local steel makers think England is far away enough. Wishaw is now left without an iron and steel making plant, the nearest being in Craigneuk, which claims a shadowy independence from the southern end of the burgh." The Wishaw Press 24th January 1936.


Thanks to Karl Williams <gingko@ntlworld.com> and Barrie at Lanarkshire Family History Society www.lanarkshirefhs.org.uk