A PITTSBURGH steel mill? A blast furnace in South Wales? No, this is the interior of the old Redfearn National Glass factory, as it was in 1977.

Back in the 1970s, Redfearn was the third largest glass manufacturer in the country, blowing more than 28 million pint-sized milk bottles a year at its plants in York and Barnsley. ‘Production goes on day and night in the Redfearn National Glass factory’, says the caption to this picture, giving an idea of how busy the plant was.

Sadly, we all stopped buying milk in handy recyclable glass bottles, and started buying it in horrible plastic cartons instead. That proved catastrophically bad for the environment - and it was bad news for Redfearn, too. The York factory - which had been such a landmark on Fishergate, with its 235ft chimney - closed in December 1983, ushering in a bleak Christmas for the 300 workers who lost their jobs.

All we have now are the memories - and the old photographs, like this one.

Stephen Lewis