The opening Lecture of the West Midlands Branch 2019/2020 season took place on Monday 9th September at Churchill’s social club in Wednesbury. The event was very well attended, and the audience were shown a presentation entitled “THE LAST DAYS OF STEELMAKING AT ROUND OAK” The guest speaker was Mr Keith Hodgkins, a local Black country Historian, who was able to gain access to the Steelworks site to take photographs shortly before its closure and subsequent demolition to make way for the Merry Hill shopping centre in December 1982.

The lecture gave a fascinating insight into the operation of the site, and the working standards and practices which prevailed at that time. The author was able to take many photographs of the process and equipment during his “unofficial” site visits. He also met several of the steel workers, and was even given a ride on the Shunting engine taking slag pots to the tip!!

The presentation was a trip down memory lane for many of the more senior members of the audience, whilst being an eye opener for some of the younger attendees.

The meeting concluded with a Buffet supper provided by ICME.