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Glasgow 1880: The nickel epic from New Caledonia in Scotland



Glasgow, the economic capital of Scotland, has not forgotten the great nickel ships that delivered the ore of New Caledonia, the ore of Thio, on their quays. In 1880, a factory was founded in Kirkintilloch, a mining town, a few miles north. New metallurgists of Société Le Nickel (SLN) and Scottish investors participated in the mill. From that time there is a foundry. That of Archibald Young. He is one of the last Scottish metalworkers. He works in particular for the defense industry and still uses New Caledonian nickel.

"The most important metal parts that are made here are always made of nickel in combination with aluminum and bronze." "These three large metals are used to make an alloy." Nickel has been used since 1880. A factory was built in the Kirkintilloch suburb of Glasgow the New Caledonia Nickel Company "
Ian Young, President of Archibald Young Foundry

Maritime tradition. Archibald Young's copper and nickel bell for a Royal Navy ship. © Alain Jeannin

© Alain Jeannin Maritime tradition. Archibald Young's copper and nickel bell for a Royal Navy ship.

Scotland is a land of stories and legends. His landscapes sometimes resemble New Caledonia. The sun in less than 140 years, South Pacific nickel is still a mystery. It still shapes the memories and the memory of the people. In the summer of 1902, the three-masted Loch Long is a Scottish ore conveyor, a tall nickel sailboat named after a lake called the Maritime Loch, which borders Glasgow. The ship and its cargo will shipwreck on the return of New Caledonia, which is called by the captains on the long course "tomb of tall ships". Glasgow-registered Loch Long carried nickel ore to be delivered to the docks of Clyde. Today, the former large port city is a tertiary city with its official duties, its sometimes old-fashioned houses, its old historic center and its shipless quays. The chimneys of the factories, the coal mines, the dirty dwellings of the working class are lacking. The SLN plant and raw material stores also disappeared, but the tradition of nickel metallurgy continued with the foundry Archibald Young, whose family history is still linked to New Caledonia.

"My paternal grandmother told me that one of his brothers, a MacArthur, had left Glasgow aboard a large nickel sailing ship and had been mining in New Caledonia at the end of the 19th century, and that connection between New Caledonia, Scotland and my family is still there Nickel, the New Caledonian metal. "
Ian Young

SLN in Scotland

The Caledonian plant in Glasgow was on the edge of the Clyde Canal in Kirkintilloch. Here, too, factory chimneys and coal mines have disappeared to make room for an idyllic but quiet landscape. Only traces of the past, the name of the place "Nickel Cottage" they do not invent.

"Nickel ore imported from New Caledonia arrived by canal on ships from Glasgow, the ore was fed to the smelter that was behind this house, it was the office of the management It is important to know that the nickel of New Caledonia has our metallurgist and Chemists, some of whom made the long journey to Noumea, helped. "
Jennifer Binnie, coordinator of the industrial heritage of Kirkintilloch

Scotland has forgotten nothing about New Caledonia. Suffice it to convince you to listen to the historian of Nickel, the curator of the Museum of Tall Ships. By the end of the 19th century, Glasgow was the country's most important city after London and the first port of the United Kingdom. Dozens of large iron sailing ships from the shipyards crossed the oceans. These unstable ore producers reported copper from Africa and nickel from New Caledonia to the steel industry in the UK, which was still the first in the world.

"The nickel tall ships carried their ore load from New Caledonia to the port of Glasgow.Nickel was essential to the United Kingdom's iron and steel industry.One of the most famous ships, France 2, was the largest. The ore was a large sailing ship. that was ever built, and only to transport the nickel from the Thio mines to Glasgow in New Caledonia, it was stored on the docks where now the BBC building is located. "From 1880 to 1920 the New Caledonian nickel bearing"
Franck Brown, curator of the Tall Ship Museum Glasgow

And the epic of nickel is not finished yet. It is located in the gray metal steel cables of Edinburgh's largest bridge in the UK, the Queensferry Crossing. It was used Caledonian nickel, nickel of SLN. The Caledonian alloy shines the stainless steel covers of the Spanish manufacturer Acerinox with a unique luminance.
A twinkle in history, the birthplace of James Cook, the navigator who introduced New Caledonia to the ancient world, lies a little further south on the other side of the Forth estuary.
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