Report - - Southbank Coke Ovens, June 2016 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Southbank Coke Ovens, June 2016

The Amateur Wanderer

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Southbank Coke Works (Dorman Long Cleveland Works)


The old Dorman Long Cleveland works, now known as the Southbank Coke ovens was one of @BoroLad and I's very first targets come the announcement of the closure of the SSI Steel and Iron making complex on Teeside. Sadly our attention was cast toward Scotland around the time @stranton first hit this place and after seeing the first pics come out of the BOS plant a few weeks later any attention to the coke works was well and truly diverted for the time been.

In the end, this and the Blast Furnace ended up been the very last parts of the site that we ended up doing, ironic really considering the fact we recced both of them way back in September 2015 before anything else. Still I'm glad we made the effort, the Southbank Coke and Gas works are by far the oldest remaining parts of the recently operational site, the works at Lackenby and Redcar been far more modern.


Dorman Long was formed in 1875 when Arthur Dorman and Albert De Lande Long took control of properties owned by the Bell Brother and Bolckow and Vaughan. Dorman Long opened the Cleveland works in 1918 Cleveland Works is opened and shortly after in 1924 one of the works most famous projects, the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge commenced.

The site consisted of a small Power Station, Gas Works, Coke Ovens, 5 Blast Furnaces and Cast Houses, today, as you'll see in the pictures all that remains is the Coke Ovens, Gas works and one or two other small survivors such as the Power Station Pumphouse and the OHP Buildings. The blast furnaces had ceased production by 1979 leaving only the sole blast furnace at Redcar in operation on Teeside.

Cleveland Works back in the 70's before demolition of the blast furnaces, taken from @dave 's report of the OHP Plant, well worth a read here:




An exterior shot from May 2015 of the works still in operation. Taken from the site of around about where No.2 Furnace was located. Interestingly enough the O2 supply pipe for the furnaces is still in place on the left.


The derelict west charging tower still carries the name Dorman Long on it despite British Steel taking over the site in 1967 through the nationalisation of the Steel Industry.


Suppose we'd ought to get started then, it's not going to be an almightily long report covering ever last part of the works as I've only been on site the one time. But still, plenty of views to take in and a few shots of the ovens themselves.

The shot below was taken from the top of the East Charging Tower looking toward the now derelict West Ovens and Charging Tower. To the right, is the Gas Works and Smiths Dock, and on the horizon between the West Charging Tower and the Gas Holder you can see the ICI Billingham Plant.


And looking back on the Coke Ovens from the Conveyors. To the left you have the Lackenby BOS (Basic Oxygen Steel Plant) Which you can view the inside of HERE Center you have the ICI Wilton Complex and off to the right the Torpedo and Rolling Stock workshops. The wasteland is of course where the rest of the Cleveland Works infrastructure sat before demolition.


Just from the two views above you can get a clear picture as to just how industrialised the Tees Valley still is, sadly, a lot of what you see is due to go in the not too distant future... Just looking to the left though you can see the Petro Plus Refinary on the North bank of the Tees.


It was fantastic spending the extremely mild summers night up here just watching the world go by, too nice in fact when we realised sun rise was going to be upon is in just two and a half hours, time to crack on and grab those oven shots!



The East Charge Tower as seen from the top of the Charge Car.


And of course the Charge Car itself.


Looking out from the back of the ovens from behind the charge car, yet another fantastic view. This image is probably my personal favourite of the set, the BOS plant pictured behind the old school cooling tower.


One of the OHP Plant, looking very worse for wear these days...


And finally two illustrating what the insides of the coke works itself would look like, these two are from Redcar Coke Works, but having walked through the inners of Southbank in the pitch blackness I can tell you that they're near enough identical.


And the 'Beehives'


Cheers for reading, and look out for some more well overdue reports from the Teeside Steel Complex, when I have a quiet few hours I'll bung a couple more up!

TAW :)​


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Superb sharp and crisp photos there AW what a pleasure to look through them. Thanks for the mention at the beginning of my efforts of the OHP yes its looking pretty tatty now. Amazingly i still havnt done this well i did it when it was live about 12 years ago made quite a few visits and did as much as i could back then. I have to make a determined effort to have one final visit. I also did a permission visit when it was live with a local society i,m a member of must say we were so well looked after by the staff and workers there a fantastic afternoon one i will never forget.

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