Steel stockholders work at the retail end of a supply chain that is often perceived as being more romantic than many would give it credit for.
In many steel towns, the looming blast furnaces and night-time light show of tipping the hot metal are a part of everyday life, and are even cherished by nearby residents.
And an upcoming photographic exhibition, Open for Business, captures some of the craft origins of this and other industrial activity, particularly in the Black Country.
Photographer Peter Marlow was commissioned to take images of some of the key companies in and around Birmingham, from steel manufacture to pork scratching production.
He explains how he found old influences still having an effect on modern-day practices.
“I was surprised how the old-fashioned idea of ‘craft’ still has such a strong influence on the manufacturing process,” he reveals.
Mr Marlow visited several companies involved in iron and steel, including a local steel bending plant and an iron casting facility, as well as an ironmonger’s.
His images seek out the “elegance and beauty” of industrial environments as if they were landscapes – and could help many people to view steel stockholders and others in the sector in a new light.