John Cockerill, the whole story
On 29 January 1817, 200 years ago, a young Englishman bought the château of Seraing, a former summer residence of the Prince-Bishops of Liège, to manufacture steam engines there. In doing so, John Cockerill gave the impetus for a real industrial revolution in a valley that, through the determination of great captains of industry and the skill of its population, would carry the reputation of the Liège area around the world.
An outstanding entrepreneur, John Cockerill demonstrated foresight, dynamism and an exceptional pioneering spirit throughout his life. After his death, the Cockerill establishments continued to develop masterfully.
New occupations related to progress in technology and development of the needs of civil society, were added to the initial mechanical and then steelmaking activities,
Two hundred years later, the adventure continues …and not only in the Liège region! CMI (Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie), which became a private independent group in 2002 on the foundation of the former Mechanical Division of Cockerill, has once again made the Château Cockerill a centre of industrial innovation that supports 5000 people around the world and that is fully in line with the entrepreneurial tradition of its founder.
The film “John Cockerill, the whole story” raises public awareness of the past - and present- issues in industrial innovation through the fascinating career of John Cockerill, an exceptional captain of enterprise. The documentary deals with the role of the Cockerill factories upstream of’ an extraordinary expansion, like that of the CMI Group today, faced with energy and environmental challenges in particular.
Produced by Films de la Passerelle in co-production with The John Cockerill Foundation and the CMI Group, the Documentary Department of the RTBF, Wallimage, the National Lottery and the Tax Shelter (Taxshelter.be, Login 9, Cécile Gerôme April, Shelterprod), the documentary will be broadcast nationally on 31 March in the programme “Retour aux Sources” [Return to the Source] (La Une RTBF).
Length 1 hr 10 min.