Essence of Corby celebrated in new book

Dougie Reid who has written a new book The Essence of Corby NNL-181116-163829005
Dougie Reid who has written a new book The Essence of Corby NNL-181116-163829005

A book about Corby steelworks is to be released on Friday to mark the impending fortieth anniversary of the announcement of the closure of the plant.

The government sounded the death knell for Corby steelworks on February 9, 1979.

Now former steelworker Dougie Reid has written a book called The Essence of Corby to celebrate the great contribution the works made to the town of Corby.

Dougie, who was an engineer in the works, tells the story of the history of Corby steelworks, his time in the job and how the technical side of the site operated.

He also talks about the importance of unions to the wider community and of their vital role in regenerating Corby.

Included in the book are anecdotes about the town’s industry giants including Allan McDiarmid, John Wood Cowling, Kelvin Glendenning, Mick Skelton, Jimmy Kane and many others.

Dougie, who left Corby for Scotland in 1993 after being made redundant, returned to live in Northamptonshire two years ago. He said: “When we look back at the steelworks people tend to feel sad because the closure was a big thing.

“But the works brought us so many good things to Corby. There was no Corby before steelmaking.

“We had such happy times there.

“We created this place and we should celebrate it.

“It was an industry to be really proud of.

“I wanted the book to be really colourful and positive about the contribution of the steelworks.”

The book will get a formal launch at the Corby Cube on Friday (November 23) at 11am.

Dougie is also planning a celebration evening closer to the anniversary on February 20 next year at the Cube. He also hopes there will be a showing of a BBC Open Door documentary made by steelworkers and their families. Tickets will be available from February 1.