IT was the building which was at the centre of a business empire which helped put Blackburn on the map.

From humble beginnings dealing in scrap metal, the Walker family became major players on the world stage when it came to steel.

These archive photographs show the creation of what was the UK’s largest steel service centre at Guide.

Originally started by Charles Walker, it was his sons Jack and Fred who built up the business to become a market leader and by the late 80s it had some 3,400 employees in 60 locations across the UK and Ireland and sales of around£623million.

In October 1989 they sold the business to British Steel for £330 million - at the time the largest amount ever fetched for a private company sale.

Jack Walker, of course, is beloved in Blackburn for helping his home town team become Premier League champions and much of that success can be traced back to the creation of the Guide steel centre,

These pictures from the early Seventies were released to show what was actually inside the massive building which had been constructed - by 1975 it would occupy around one million square feet.

It was at the cutting edge of the industry with some of the latest hi-tech equipment.