Magna turns clock back to First World War

27 October 2014

Magna Science Adventure Centre will be turning the clocks back to the First World War with a special evening of stories, songs and music commemorating the building’s construction.

Templeborough steelworks, the home of Magna, was completed in 1917 to supply shell steel for the war. The steelworks had an important part to play in the Second World War too, producing shells, tanks and wheels to such an extent that it became a prime target for the Luftwaffe.

One hundred years on from the start of the First World War Magna will be hosting an event to commemorate its connections with both wars.

The evening on Thursday November 13 will feature a Steel Worker ‘pie and peas’ supper, and tribute acts of First World War music hall singer Marie Lloyd and the Second World War’s forces’ sweetheart Vera Lynn

Historians will recall the role of Templeborough steelworks in the wars, including the women who worked at what was then Steel, Peech and Tozer during the Second World War. They will also reveal how there were women working at the steelworks during the First World War.

There will be a reading of the names of 80 former employees of the steelworks who lost their lives on the frontline and a rendition of the Last Post.

John Silker, Magna’s chief executive, said: “This amazing building has such strong connections with both world wars. It was built to help make shells for the First World War and then played a vital role in the Second World War and many of the workers went to war and never returned.

“This event will reflect not just the efforts of the men involved in the wars, but also the women who were left behind, many of them who worked in munitions.”

The evening, which costs £10, to include food, will also be a fundraiser for Help For Heroes and will run from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. There will be a fancy dress competition, with a prize for the best period costume.

For booking call 01709 723 118 or email

Notes to editor

Attached is a photograph of a woman working in Templeborough steelworks during the Second World War. Other pictures are available. (Please note we do not know any more information about the photograph.)

For more information see or contact Donna Shaw at Magna on 01709 723 146 or at

At its height Templebrough steelworks employed 10,000 people. It shut in 1993 and was mothballed until its conversion to Magna in 2001. At one time the steelworks, which were a mile long, were said to be Europe’s largest. There were 14 open-hearth furnaces and 14 chimneys, which were replaced in the 1960s with electric arc furnaces. One of the arc furnaces is now a giant pyrotechnic display in the visitor centre called the Big Melt. The steelworks, which became known as Steelos, after the owners Steel, Peech and Tozer, produced up to 18 million tonnes of steel a year. Regular steel tours telling the story of Magna are led by former steel workers.

Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891 or at

View current news