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Proud history of British steel 'perilously close to coming to an end'

For ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar, the north of England's steel industry was a defining part of her childhood.

Here, she reflects on what has been a devastating week for those in the industry.

The Tata Steel plant in Scunthorpe, after the firm announced it will axe 1,200 jobs Credit: PA

It's one of the first lessons I remember in any detail - our class trip to Scunthorpe Museum And Art Gallery to study the history of our town.

A history steeped in the iron ore that this proud steel town sits on - a bed of mineral that has been here since long before Scunthorpe was listed in the Domesday Book under its Norse name Escumethorp.

School in Scunthorpe meant learning the Bessemer process early on - the system whereby the iron was cleansed of impurities before it was used to make the steel that made this town.

We learned quickly what lay beneath our feet - Scunthorpe's Gold - iron ore and limestone rich in abundance making Scunthorpe perfect for the industry which was to dominate the town and employ generations for many decades - my dad included.

He and my mother settled in the steel town early in the 60s, as dad and his friends had heard of this town - made up of five villages - where a burgeoning steel industry needed manpower.

So they left the Punjab in India for the Lincolnshire countryside.

The cuts have sparked anger Credit: PA

At school, it was the case for many of us that your father either worked at the Appleby Frodingham steelworks, or Normanby Park.

The latter closed in the 80s, but it was decades before cheap Chinese imports would threaten the former. I remember how every year how he would take us kids to the annual Appleby Frodingham Steelworks Fête and enter us into each of the races, whether we wanted to run or not.

Weekends would often be spent racing around or having picnics at Normanby Hall, the country manor with its 300 acres on the edge of the town.

Little did we know, of course, that this was the ancestral home of the woman who would go onto marry David Cameron, the Prime Minister in office as the death knell sounded for the steel in Scunthorpe.

Hundreds of steel workers are set to lose their jobs as the industry struggles Credit: PA

Samantha Cameron was born here, a number of the roads in Scunthorpe are named after her family on her father Sir Reginald Sheffield's side.

I wonder how she has taken the news, what might she and her husband have talked about over breakfast. She has history here.

Dad retired from the steelworks in the 90s. He'd worked hard and long and steel had given us a good living.

Were he alive today, he'd be heartbroken for his town.

It's sad to think that the town's delightful museum will have to develop the steel story it tells in its galleries, about the industry that has defined the town for more than 150 years.

It's a history perilously close to coming to an end.

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