Corby Candle restored by steel historians

A Corby memorial erected to honour steelworkers in the town has been restored thanks to the dedication of volunteers.

By Alison Bagley
Monday, 9th December 2019, 6:00 am
Dougie Reid and Bob Douglas with the new sign
Dougie Reid and Bob Douglas with the new sign

Dougie Reid and Bob Douglas who have been researching and recording the history of Corby's steel industry to mark the announcement of the plant's closure.

The dedicated volunteers organised the repainting of the 'Corby Candle', a reclaimed 40 foot high section of chimney, which was originally used to burn off excess gases from the steel


The official opening of the Corby Candle memorial in 1989

Dougie, a former engineer and trade unionist, said: "The Corby Candle used to burn night and day. When the steelworks finally closed down, the chimney was moved to here as a

memorial to the steelworks.

"It's the 40th anniversary of the announcement of the closing of the steelworks. That's why we wanted it repainted.

"When I saw it before it was painted I thought 'my goodness me' and Corby Council have painted it for us and put up a fence."

Dougie Reid and Bob Douglas with the Corby Candle

The pair unveiled the sign that they funded near to the Corby Candle in Phoenix Parkway.

Bob, 78, who's father walked from Scotland to Corby to work in the steelworks said: "When I was a little boy I remember travelling on the bus through Weekly with my mum coming

back home to Corby.

"We could see the candle and I asked my mum what it was for - she said 'it means that daddy's got work'."

The Corby Candle is removed from the steelworks

Bob and Dougie are now planning to help Corby Heritage Centre with identifying parts of the steel process in their archives.

Dougie, 77, said: "The candle was incredible. It used to roar especially when there was a lot of gas to burn off.

"After the closure was announced the candle was there for another five to six years. The top part of the pipe was then dismantled and put here as a memorial.

"We've paid for the sign, published The Essence of Corby book, and asked the council to paint the Corby Candle - for which we are very grateful.

The Corby Candle is remembered not only in the chimney but has also lent it's name to one of Corby's town centre pubs

"Now we're going to help identify the parts of the steel works before we get too old."