Saturday 20 November 2010

The Gallery of Fire

Inside Magna, the huge galleries, which once roared with the sound and heat of the steel smelting process, are now quiet reminders of what once was. When I was a child, Sheffield steel was famous across the globe and I turned over many a piece of cutlery to discover the inscription 'Made in Sheffield'. Nowadays, it is more likely to read 'Made in China' or maybe 'IKEA'!

The enormous smelting buckets remain

and the red lighting gives a feel of the glow of the fires, which would have raged hot enough to liquify metal.

I liked this wrought ironwork, fashioned to represent flames in front of the anvil

and this kerosene burning column of flame always features on Magna advertising. I have to admit that it was rather impressive; a twisting, curling column of burning hot flame; like a small tornado of fire.

It seemed almost alive.


  1. It's quite some time since I have been to Magma but your photos have inspired me to make a return journey. There is such creative scope there - as you so admirably illustrate.

  2. The bleak work conditions of that first picture and the beauty of the last solitary flame tell a compelling story.

  3. What an interesting couple of posts. Sheffield steel was the product to look for when I was a child and old serving pieces in the house carry that mark.

  4. It looks quite spectacular. It still saddens me that the steel industry in this country has all but disappeared.

  5. Interesting place, and wonderful photos..Just spectacular!