Teesside Steel Gala Mugs

The Steel Gala was a huge event in Redcar for 30 years, with commemorative mugs being issued annually. My collection has been built over a number of years from local charity shops.

1 – 27th August 1977 – Redcar Racecourse

Steel Gala Mug 1977

The 1977 Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II features on the mug.

Steel Gala Mug 1977

2 – 8th July 1978

Steel Gala Mug 1978

The Arc Plant at the Cleveland Works features on the 1978 mug, with the reverse being the Royal Military Police Mounted Display Team who presumably performed that year.

Steel Gala Mug 1978

3 – 7th July 1979

Steel Gala Mug 1979

The Transporter Bridge and Redcar Blast Furnace (which has just opened that year) feature on the 1979 mug, with a rather random image of a Wild West Cowboy on the reverse, i have seen images online of variations with different Cowboy scenes.

Steel Gala Mug 1979

4 – 5th July 1980

Steel Gala Mug 1980

Various elements of the recently completed Teesside Works appears on the 1980 mug with the reverse showing the ‘Life Guards Mounted Review Order’

Steel Gala Mug 1980


5 – 4th July 1981

Steel Gala Mug 1981

The mug from 1981 returns to a Royal theme with the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana a few days after the gala on 29th July 1981

Steel Gala Mug 1981


6 – 3rd July 1982

Steel Gala Mug 1982

In 1982 main event at the Gala must have been an appearance by the Red Arrows who feature on that years mug.

Steel Gala Mug 1982
Steel Gala Mug 1982

7 – 2nd July 1983

Steel Gala Mug 1983

1983 begins a run of years where the mugs just feature random images, this years being a 1908 Model T Ford and 1903 Dion Bouton

Steel Gala Mug 1983


8 – 7th July 1984

Steel Gala Mug 1984

1984 continues the theme (or lack of it) with The Hokey Pokey Man from 1896 (an Italian Ice Cream seller) and The Milkman from 1885.

Steel Gala Mug 1984
Steel Gala Mug 1984


9 – 6th July 1985

Steel Gala Mug 1985

Officer of the 5th Dragoon Guards 1833 and Officer of the 15th Hussars 1841 mysteriously grace the 1985 mug.

Steel Gala Mug 1985
Steel Gala Mug 1985


10 – 1986 – Missing from my collection


11 – 1987 – Missing from my collection


12 – 2nd July 1988 – Redcar Racecourse

Steel Gala Mug 1988

I have found two variations so far on the 1988 cartoon animals mugs, which are both very jolly.

Steel Gala Mug 1988
Steel Gala Mug 1988
Steel Gala Mug 1998 V2
Steel Gala Mug 1998 V2

13 – 8th July 1989

Steel Gala Mug 1989

1989 sees a return to some site specific information, this mug is sponsored by the Continuous Casting Plant at Lackenby (Concast) and an illustration of Kirkleatham Hall Museum and the 1989 Queens Award for Technological Achievement.

A search of the London Gazette reveals the award was won by the Continuous Casting Plant of the Teesside Works of British Steel Plc for Immersed rotary valve for quality steel
making (jointly with Thor Ceramics Ltd.)

I beleive this was the first year the Gala was held at Kirkleatham Showground rather than the traditional Redcar Racecourse.

Steel Gala Mug 1989
Steel Gala Mug 1989


14 – 1990 – Missing from my collection


15 – 7th July 1991

Steel Gala Mug 1991

1991 appears to have seen a switch to a Sunday event from the previous years all being on a Saturday (unless that happened first in 1990 which i’m missing !)

Sponsored by the Universal Beam Mill and Skinningrove Works, there are illustrations of a yacht, submarine and bulldozer.

Steel Gala Mug 1991
Steel Gala Mug 1991


16 – 5th July 1992

Steel Gala Mug 1992

A theme of athletics (perhaps because 1992 was the Barcelona Olympics) boasts “Through Training Comes Achievement” there a Teesside TEC Logo (which I believe was the Training and Enterprise Council) and also a logo for the “National Training Award MCMXCI (1991)”

Steel Gala Mug 1992

“Ford Q1” Certification is awarded to suppliers who demonstrate excellence beyond the ISO/TS certification requirements in five critical areas: capable systems, continuous improvement, ongoing performance, superior manufacturing process and customer satisfaction.

Steel Gala Mug 1992


17 – 4th July 1993

Steel Gala Mug 1993

Sponsored by Steelmaking Teesside Works, the 1993 mug features a lot of popular gala events such as floats, skydivers and dog display teams,.

Steel Gala Mug 1993
Steel Gala Mug 1993


18 – 3rd July 1994

Steel Gala Mug 1994

Sponsored by Accident Prevention, the 1994 mug is similar to the previous year showing Gala favourites such as the floats, motorbike displays and brass bands. The Fire Safety Competition also get a mention.

Steel Gala Mug 1994
Steel Gala Mug 1994


19 – 2nd July 1995

Steel Gala Mug 1995

Environmental Services Teesside, Premier Winners of the Business Commitment to the Environment Award sponsored the 1995 mug, for the first time it seems to be based on real photographs.

Steel Gala Mug 1995
Steel Gala Mug 1995


20 – 1996 – Missing from my collection


21 – 6th July 1997

Steel Gala Mug 1997

Clowns and a Spitfire feature on the 1997 mug, which also marks the production of 50 Million Tonnes by the Redcar Blast Furnace and the 25th Anniversary of the Concast.

Steel Gala Mug 1997
Steel Gala Mug 1997


22 – 5th July 1998

Steel Gala Mug 1998

1998 features much more realistic images of a Spitfire, the Red Arrows and a Mountain Biker. Sponsored by the Redcar Blast Furnace it mentions a European Record Breaker of 37 Million Tonnes of Iron, this is a little confusing as the previous year mentioned 50 Million Tonnes, but perhaps we are talking about 37 million from the the 2nd campaign which started in 1986.

Steel Gala Mug 1998


23 – 1999 – Missing from my collection


24 – 2000 – Missing from my collection


25 – 1st July 2001

Steel Gala Mug 2001

2001 is my first mug which mentions the second switch of venue to Redcar Rugby Club and also the first to mentioned “Corus” rather than “British Steel”

Corus formed in late 1999, so the missing 2000 mug is most likely a Corus one too.

Sponsored by Teesside Cast Products it commemorated the 25th anniversary of the gala.

Steel Gala Mug 2001
Steel Gala Mug 2001


26 – 7th July 2002

Steel Gala Mug 2002

Sponsored by Corus Northern Engineering Services and featuring the Corus website address for the first time, photos of people enjoying the gala made a come back.

Steel Gala Mug 2002
Steel Gala Mug 2002

I also very recently acquired a blue version of the 2002 mug with completely different images, the main one being a man with a kite.

Steel Gala Mug 2002 V2
Steel Gala Mug 2002 V2
Steel Gala Mug 2002 V2


27 – 6th July 2003

Steel Gala Mug 2003

Sponsored by Teesside Cast Products, gala favorites the Cumberland Giants finally make an appearance in 2003, along with floats and aerobatic aircraft.

Steel Gala Mug 2003
Steel Gala Mug 2003


28 – 4th July 2004

Steel Gala Mug 2004

A second year of sponsorship by Teesside Cast Products, the theme is the old favourite of people enjoying the gala.

Steel Gala Mug 2004
Steel Gala Mug 2004


29 – 3rd July 2005

Steel Gala Mug 2005

Sponsored by Corus Northern Engineering Services, there a James Bond themed float and also come external sponsorship by 96.6 TFM Radio

Steel Gala Mug 2005
Steel Gala Mug 2005


30 – 2nd July 2006

Steel Gala Mug 2006

30 years of fun in the sun and a float featuring “Bob the Builder”

Steel Gala Mug 2006
Steel Gala Mug 2006


I’ve seen conflicting reports online that 2006 was the last gala, with another saying there were 31 galas but one was cancelled due to bad weather (not sure which!)

On 18th August 2019 the ‘Ladies of Steel’ community group resurrected the Steel Gala at the Corus Sports & Social Club in Dormanstown, which used to be the British Steel Club.

Covid stopped the 2020 event taking place and it looks like nothing has happened since.

3 thoughts on “Teesside Steel Gala Mugs

  1. Fantastic collection! Worked 30 years on Teesside and I have a few Gala Mugs. I always loved the Steel Gala which was a great family event and I visited most years with my wife and other family members, then with children and this brought back many memories. Thanks for sharing Chris.

  2. My family, and others, loved the steel galas. We all must have had lots of these mugs but I bet they ended up in bins. There are some in the Zetland Lifeboat Museum, just in the cupboard under the sink, might be worth a look to see if there’s any you need for your collection.

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