FOR more than 170 years, steelmaking was the bedrock of Teesside's economy.

Generation after generation would be employed in the industry, and steel made in our region would build everything from Wembley Stadium and Canary Wharf in London to the New World Trade Centre in New York and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Whilst the Redcar steelworks will soon make way for new and cleaner industries (only this weekend was more demolition work carried out on the site), it would be wrong to move to the future without something to remember its glorious past.

The Northern Echo: Teesworks

Middlesbrough’s oldest foundry, the William Lane Foundry, is currently making thousands of celebratory coins out of some of the last iron to be made on Teesside.

The keepsake will let the public take home a piece of the former Redcar steelworks. The coins will be made from iron recovered from the Redcar Blast Furnace, and they will sit inside a booklet featuring a timeline of the steel story of the site from the 1850s to now, including historic, never to be forgotten imagery.

The process starts by using a wooden pattern with a DL design – representing Dorman Long Steel. It is then moulded into sand with carbon dioxide injected into the sand to make it harden.

The mould is then coated with zircon, which is ignited so the zircon burns, giving it a cleaner finish.

The Northern Echo: Teesworks

The metal is then heated and poured into the prepared mould. After it cools, the coins are knocked out of the hardened sand mould ready for the rough edges to be smoothed off.

After being sprayed with a coating to give it a shiny finish, the coin is ready.

Stuart Duffy, William Lane Foundry director, said: "If the foundry future depends on producing something of the past we can do it.

“We are producing a piece of history which has been created in Middlesbrough's last foundry that is built from Dorman Long Steel."

A booklet and coin can be ordered now, with the items being sent out from mid-April.

The Northern Echo: Teesworks

A voluntary recommended donation of £10 is being requested for each purchase. The money will go to either Redcar-based mental health charity Walk N Talk or voluntary community group Ladies of Steel.

  • To order, or for more information, visit