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Centenary Events

24 Jun 2013

Last week was a very significant week in the history of the industry and the Association, with a range of highly successful events marking and celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Harry Brearley’s discovery in Sheffield. For those of you who were unable to join us, I thought it would be useful to record the way in which the week unfolded. First though, I would like to thank a number of people for their hard work and commitment in bringing such a range of significant events to Sheffield last week - our staff and volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, chairmen and delegates. Our various sponsors made it possible for us to create something of sufficient scale to attract influential speakers, media, Cabinet Ministers, Ambassadors and senior business leaders. In addition to being an appropriate celebration of the past, this has done much to bring key current and future issues to the fore and to solicit much needed support for the UK Stainless Steel industry and the multiple sectors it serves.


The Kelpies (two horse head sculptures – ) are in position outside the Conference venue and look fabulous after their long journey. These initial sculptures are only small scale models of the real thing which, when finished, constructed from stainless steel, will be installed at on the Forth and Clyde canal.
The 28 exhibitor companies arrive to build their stands on the ground and first floors of The Edge (Sheffield University’s purpose built conference facility).
A delegation of 20 representatives from a number of companies from the Chinese stainless steel industry arrives.


Day 1 of the Conference. 230 delegates assemble for an opening presentation by John Rowe, Secretary General of the ISSF and a speech from The Rt Hon Michael Fallon – Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise. Mr Fallon then went on to tour the exhibition, meet senior representatives of sponsor companies and to discuss current issues facing the UK stainless steel industry. Some excellent presentations from a number of senior individuals in their various fields of expertise.
Day 1 closes with a medal presentation by CBMM (Niobium producer) and a champagne reception in the ground floor exhibition area.
7pm – coaches arrive in time for the Celebrity Lecture delivered by Mika Seitovirta of Outokumpu Stainless to circa 350 people at the Firth Hall, University of Sheffield. After the lecture, a buffet supper and exhibition followed at the Octagon Centre.


Day 2 of the Conference. More great presentations with the closing session coming from Doctor Peter Bonfield who recounted his Olympics 2012 role within the context of sustainable building.
6.30pm – 350 people (a full house) begin arriving for the Centenary Dinner in the magnificent main hall at the Cutlers Hall.
Speeches from:
• The Master Cutler
• The Rt Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam
• Anne Brearley, the Grand-niece of Harry Brearley (to huge applause)
• Principal Speaker - John Cridland, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry
• Graham Honeyman, CEO Sheffield Forgemasters International
• And a presentation to the previous MD of the BSSA, Nigel Ward, who left at the end of March this year to take up a senior appointment at the Nickel Institute.

A memorable night for a lively audience.


Works tours set off for Sheffield Forgemasters and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre followed by lunch at the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) and the unveiling of a plaque by Warren Brearley (who had travelled with his wife from Australia to be with us). The plaque marked the official naming of the Brearley Suite at the KTC. In the afternoon, guests visited Outokumpu Stainless.

In the coming weeks, and in our monthly newsletter, we will be sharing more of the events of last week.


Office and Postal Address: BSSA, HQ, Blades Enterprise Centre, John Street, Sheffield S2 4SW

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