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Glasgow 1880: Nickel epic from New Caledonia in Scotland



Glasgow, the economic capital of Scotland, has not forgotten the nickel-high vessels that delivered the ore of New Caledonia, the Thio ore at the Pier. In 1880, while a factory was a mining town, Kirkintilloch was born a few miles north. The metallurgical plant included New Caledonian and Scottish investors from Société Le Nickel (SLN). From this time there remains a dump. Archibald Young. One of the latest Scottish metalworkers. He works mainly for the defense industry and still uses New Caledonian nickel.

"The main metal parts produced here are always nickel associated with aluminum and bronze. We form an alloy of these three major metals. We have been using nickel since 1880. Kirkintilloch in the Glasgow suburbs of the New Caledonian Nickel Company"
Ian Young, President of Archibald Young Foundry

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

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

Scotland is a land of fairy tales and legends. Landscapes are sometimes no different from New Caledonia. In less than 140 years after the sun, nickel in the South Pacific is still a mystery. It still shapes memories and people's memories. In the summer of 1902, the three main Loch Long is a Scottish ore mine with a long nickel sailboat called Maritime Loch – a sea lake surrounding Glasgow. In the long run, the ships and their cargo will be wrecked by the return of New Caledonia, the so-called "tomb of tall ships" by the captains. Loch Long, registered in Glasgow, was carrying nickel ore to be delivered on the Clyde docks. Today, the former big port city has become a tertiary city, attracting attention with its services, sometimes dwellings, old historic center and docks without ships. The chimneys of factories, coal mines, illegal working class houses are missing. The SLN plant and raw material depots have also disappeared, but the tradition of nickel metallurgy has continued with the foundry Archibald Young, whose family history is still linked to New Caledonia.

"My father-grandmother told me that one of her brothers, Mac Arthur, left Glasgow on a large nickel sailing ship and went to work in the mining industry in New Caledonia. bond still nickel, New Caledonian metal "
Ian Young

SLN in Scotland

The Glasgow Caledonian plant was located on the edge of the Clyde Canal in Kirkintilloch. Here too, the factory chimneys and coal mines disappeared to create an idyllic but quiet view. The only trace of the past, the name of the place, "Nickel Cottage", does not invent.

Nik Nickel ore imported from New Caledonia came from Glasgow with barges, the ore was given to the metallurgical plant behind this house, it was the management offices.
Jennifer Binnie, Kirkintilloch Industrial Heritage Coordinator

Scotland has not forgotten anything about New Caledonia. It is enough to convince himself to listen to the nickel historian, the curator of the long ship museum. At the end of the 19th century, Glasgow was the most important city in the country after London, the first port of England. Dozens of iron sailing ships from their shipyards crossed the seas of the world. These unbalanced ore producers have reported copper from Africa and nickel from New Caledonia for the steel industry in the UK, which is still the first in the world.

"Nickel's high ships have transported ore loads from New Caledonia to the port of Glasgow to date. Nickel was very important for the iron and steel industry of the UK. One of the most famous ships, France 2, is the largest sailboat ever built. To transport the ship and nickel only from Thio mines in New Caledonia to Glasgow, the ore was stored on the docks where the BBC building was located.
Franck Brown, Curator of the Glasgow Long Ship Museum

And the epic of nickel is not over. It is located on the gray metal steel ropes of Queensferry Crossing, Edinburgh's largest bridge in England. Caledonian nickel was used from SLN. The Caledonian alloy polishes stainless steel covers delivered by Spanish manufacturer Acerinox with a unique sheen.
Introducing New Caledonia to the old world, the dazzling state of history, the birthplace of James Cook, is a little further south from the Forth on the other side of the Golden Horn.
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