Aspiring young engineers from Tupton Hall School experienced the sights and sounds of a cast iron production plant when they visited United Cast Bar (UCB) in Chesterfield.
The trip was part of November’s Made in Chesterfield festival which celebrates the local manufacturing industry.
Eleven Year 8 students donned goggles and hi-vis vests for a guided tour of UBC’s foundry, offices, storage yard and even the boardroom. The company manufactures cast iron bar for use in heavy machinery, wind turbines, submarines, aerospace and more.
The tour was conducted by David Beet, UCB’s relationship manager. He has worked in the steel industry for all of his life and has been at UCB for the last 15 years.
One student, Nathan Hawkins, said: “The trip was great. In the foundry where the bars are actually produced we saw the molten iron being poured into casts and we could hear it sizzling.”
“When the cast iron bars came out of the machines they were glowing yellowy-orange and we could feel the heat.”
Students were told that UCB holds the world record for producing cast iron bar with the largest diameter measuring 750mm x 550mm.
Another student, Max Mogford, said: “I liked seeing how huge the machinery is. The furnace was absolutely massive and it lit up the whole room when it was pouring. There were some huge fork-lift trucks in the yard too.”
“It was interesting to hear that they import raw iron from other countries because we don’t mine iron in the UK any more, and how the finished product is shipped to customers all over the world.”
Both Nathan and Max agreed that the trip was interesting and that they would recommend it to other students next year.
Said Nathan: “We love design and technology lessons at school. This kind of trip makes you think about what you want to do when you’re older.”
Max added: “I definitely want to be an engineer. David told us that engineers are in big demand and they need younger people to go into the industry to keep it running.”
The students returned to school full of excitement. Not only had they witnessed the exhilarating workings of an important industry, they were inspired to explore new career paths they had not previously considered.
Thank you to Destination Chesterfield for sharing these photos. Made in Chesterfield is organised by Destination Chesterfield.