Stelrad, Dalbeattie Factory

In 1938 the original factory was an I.C.I factory. It supplied cordite to the Ministry Of Supply. This factory employed approx 3,000.

In 1947 it changed its purpose to a storage area for shells for the Admirality. This ended in 1958.


Steel Radiators Ltd, purchased 10 acres from Dalbeattie Town Council in September 1960.


Stelrad PosterApril 1961 saw the employment of 40 people, who were to be trained on how to weld the radiators.


Stelrad Dalbeattie


June 1961 production of radiators began. At this time the radiator were pressed at the sister company at Southall, Middlesex and transported to Dalbeattie by lorry to be assembled.


 1967 a Super Panel radiator was launched.


Dipping Radaitors Stelrad Dalbeattie



1968 the press shop was extended to install 2 further lines on the Super production, these were radiators that had a 40mm pitch, instead of 60mm.

Stelrad Dalbeattie Factory





1980 manufacturing process changed to produce Accord radiators.



High Speed Line


1990/1992 manufacturing process changed again to produce Elite radiators.




Stelrads employees enjoyed a great social side to their jobs and had many clubs to join after work. The Social Club Accounts Book starts in 17th June 1963 with subscriptions to the club but also for a raffle each week.Stelrad Dalbeattie

The club had £21 in it on the 8th July 1963. At this time a football team section appears. The money collected paid for the bus, hired from Smith Brothers coaches. The bus cost £2:15 shillings to hire.

In December 1963 a collection was made for the Christmas Dinner. The Social Club had a healthy £95:16 shillings in it. Prizes were given at this Dinner, in the shape of small statues.

In May 1964, a Darts and Dominoes night was held in the Masonic hall, Copland Street, Dalbeattie. New darts and dominoes were paid for by the club.

August 1964, a sweep for the football appears in the accounts.

October 1964, Johnston the Builders sold a Table Tennis Table to the club for £6:15 shillings.

September 1965, new balls were required for this game.

14th December 1965, a dinner at the Douglas Arms in Castle Douglas appears in the accounts, miniture cups were handed out as prizes for the Table Tennis Club.

October 1967, a Meat sweep begins with 69 members taking part each week. This was a joint of meat given by one of the butchers and raffled off to the members.

August 1968, the football sweep had 125 members.

8th August 1968, the Social Club went to Blackpool, they had a raffle on board the bus.


To get all the news from all the factories that the company owned, a newspaper was circulated called the "Metal Box News".

Prince Charles at Stelrad Dalbeattie 1997The Metal Box news in March 1979, reported that Prince Charles had visited the Dalbeattie Factory. The headline for this article was "Bonny Charles", it was reported that his visit was a outstanding success. He stayed for just under half and hour and spoke to many of the workers, such as Raymond Green, Roy Carlyle, Bill Fowler,  Ivor Summerbee, Len Green, Gerald Shennan, Fred Radwell, Maurice Mullholland and foreman, Jack McMinn. Prince Charles spoke to the friends and families, who were waiting outside towelcome him. Prince Charles at Stelrad Dalbeattie 1997








All those that met the Prince were impressed by the extent of his interest in the manufacturing processes at the factory. Prince Charles also asked Mr Cousins about the takeover of the parent company, Metal Box. Mr Cousins said that the takeover had gone well for both parties and that stelrad enjoyed an excellent relationship with Metal Box.

The Stelrad Leader was also a publication on news from the factories and employees.

By 1990 the Caradon Newsline was the newspaper to inform employees what was going on in all the factories. The other factories were Mexborough (Head Office) and South Kirkby. Dalbeattie was the manufacturing plant.




By 1996 over 2.6 million radaitors had been produced. Most of these were for domestic use and 500 employees were working for the Stelrad Company.


Stelrad workers


1998 was a sad time for Dalbeattie as it had lost one of its main employers for the town and when the factory closed its doors for the last time 160 jobs were lost and manufacturing was moved to the Mexborough plant. Only 5 workers (all management) from Stelrad Dalbeattie made the decision to move to Mexborough.


 Switzerland 1990       Switzerland 1990