Wolsingham's Weardale Castings has a strong place in the Durham Dales' sense of identity. Its location reflected the confluence of raw materials and transport that all contributed to steel production - flourspar, iron ore, coal, and the rail link to Teesside.
Today, none of these are sourced locally, the ore largely replaced by scrap iron, the coal by electric arc furnaces, the rail by road, and the flourspar is imported. Weardale Castings went into administration in 2002, but a last-minute buyer from Tyneside stepped in to save the plant. Today 60 workers, including a key contingent of Polish moulders, work there.