Cumbria to Put Statue of Sir Henry Bessemer at Workington Station
The News & Star reported that Cumbria County Council in the North West of England plans to put up a sculpture outside Workington railway station
The News & Star reported that Cumbria County Council in the North West of England plans to put up a sculpture outside Workington railway station heralding the achievements of steel-making pioneer Sir Henry Bessemer. Cumbria County Council stated “The proposal is quite straightforward in that it is the installation of an existing statue. With recent and upcoming heritage projects being undertaken at the station, it became clear that this would be an ideal location and an opportune period to install the sculpture. The proposed location for the statue has been chosen because it is in the locality of the former steelworks site and therefore fits in with the historic and thematic context. It ties in with the current Rails around the World project which celebrates the Workington steel industry. Installing the statue at this site will ensure that it is enjoyed by both local residents and visitors.”
The Bessemer Stone sculpture was commissioned by Allerdale Borough Councillor Marjorie Rae in order to celebrate one of the steel industry’s key figures and the historic importance of Workington as a producer of steel. The original proposed location was near the centre of Workington, as part of a KFC fast food restaurant development that was being built in the vicinity of the former steel works. However, the sculpture instead remained in storage with Cumbria County Council for several years.
The sculpture was created by renowned local sculptor Mr Shawn Williamson from locally sourced hard carboniferous limestone, the same stone used in the Bessemer process.
Sir Henry Bessemer was an important figure in the steel industry, most notably as the inventor of the Bessemer process, the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron. Sir Henry Bessemer worked on the problem of manufacturing cheap steel for ordnance production from 1850 to 1855 when he patented his method. On 24 August 1856 Bessemer first described the process to a meeting of the British Association in Cheltenham which he titled The Manufacture of Malleable Iron and Steel without Fuel. The Bessemer process involved using oxygen in air blown through molten pig iron to burn off the impurities and thus create steel.
Basic oxygen steelmaking, also known as Linz–Donawitz-steelmaking or the oxygen converter process is a method of primary steelmaking in which carbon-rich molten pig iron is made into steel is a refined version of the Bessemer converter where blowing of air is replaced with blowing oxygen.