Arthur Dorman

Born: Arthur John Dorman was born on 8th August 1848 at Ashford in Kent. He was the son of Charles Dorman, a currier in the leather trade, and Emma Cage.

Educated: Arthur Dorman was educated at Christ’s Hospital School in London. In 1866 he began an apprenticeship with Richardson, Johnson and Company at their rolling mills in Thornaby.

Married: On 13th March 1873 Arthur Dorman married Clara Lockwood, daughter of George Lockwood of Stockton.

Family: Arthur and Clara Dorman had four sons and three daughters. The Dorman Memorial Museum was named in honour of Sir Arthur’s second son George Lockwood Dorman who died of typhoid fever in South Africa during the Boer War.

Home: In 1895 Arthur Dorman purchased Grey Towers in Nunthorpe where he lived for the rest of his days.

Known for: In 1875 Arthur Dorman formed a partnership with Albert de Lande Long and took over the West Marsh Ironworks near Newport in Middlesbrough. The partners immediately realised the potential of the Gilchrist-Thomas Process, which was first demonstrated at Bolckow and Vaughan’s Middlesbrough ironworks. In the same year, Dorman Long and Company purchased the Britannia Ironworks on the Middlesbrough Marsh from Bernhard Samuelson and adopted the new process for making iron there. In four years (1899-1903) Dorman Long amalgamated with Bell Brothers of Port Clarence, acquired the Ayrton Rolling Mills and the North Eastern Steelworks and completed the takeover of Bell Brothers. In 1917 and 1918 the company opened the Cleveland Works and the Redcar steel plant and developed Dormanstown. Arthur Dorman was knighted in 1918. In 1929 his company took over Bolckow Vaughan and Company. Dorman Long and Company became famous for the bridges they built all over the world, especially the Tyne Bridge (1928) and the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932). Sir Arthur Dorman lived to see the Tyne Bridge completed and the Sydney Harbour Bridge nearing completion.

Died: Sir Arthur Dorman died at his home, Grey Towers in Nunthorpe on 12th February 1931.

Further Information: “Who Was Who in 19th Century Cleveland” David M.Tomlin and Mary Williams (1987)

“Sir Arthur Dorman and Sir Hugh Bell” W.G.Willis, Bulletin of the Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society vol. 26 (1974)