Film ID:
NEFA 12758



Visitor Tabs


A documentary film produced by Turners of Newcastle for Dorman Long & Co. Ltd of Middlesbrough to commemorate the last shift at the North Skelton iron ore mine in Cleveland. Footage includes scenes of the extraction of iron ore underground.

Title: The End of an Era
Title: A Tribute to the Men of the Cleveland Ironstone Industry
Title: Produced for Dorman Long, Middlesbrough
Title: By Turners Film Productions, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Credit: Production Brian Nicol
Credit: Photography Bryan Copplestone
Credit: Lighting Peter Brown, Mike Harvey
Credit: Commentary Norman Shelley
Credit: Script John Grant

The film opens with views of the bay, beach and cliffs at Staithes from the south-east; an iron ore seam is visible in the rock face. A voiceover relates the historical background.

Overhead views of the Cleveland and Eston Hills showing countryside and farm buildings. The voiceover confirms that this is where ironstone mining began in 1849 with the opening of the Bold Venture quarry to work the Cleveland ore seam.

Portrait prints of founders John Vaughan and Henry Ferdinand Bolckow, and artist impressions of early mines illustrate these beginnings.

General view showing smoking chimneys in the foreground, with the pithead winding shaft at the North Skelton Ironstone Mine in the background.

General views of the mine and pithead.

Miners cross a railway track to arrive at the mine for their last shift, the mine closing on 17 January 1964.

A street sign for Bolckow Street and a view up the street of terraced houses in early morning sunlight.

Miners collect their helmets and safety lamps in the lamp room.

The wheel of the winding shaft turns.

Six hundred feet down two miners drill blast holes in the rock in preparation for placing explosives.

A third man inserts explosives into the rock using a long wooden stick and sets up detonator wiring for blasting.

As he detonates the explosion the film returns to a terraced street to show a white marble figure of a soldier of the North Skelton War Memorial in the foreground. An explosion is heard.

Back underground, in the aftermath of the blast the deputy tests the stability of the mine walls and ceiling with his stick.

A man operates a mechanical digger truck loading dislodged rock into tub containers on rail tracks. There are stills of traditional mining with pony underground, and a blacksmith’s workshop.

A miner drives a long line of iron ore containers trucks along rail tracks to the lift.

Miners load individual trucks into a lift which asend to the surface.

Workers unload the trucks transferring them to the revolving rotary tippler that empties ore into waiting railway wagons below.

A miner pushes the railway wagon along the track away from the rotary tipper.

A diesel engine pulls away with freight wagons carrying iron ore.

An overhead view of the train moving away from the mine with a panoramic view of North Skelton.

The film ends with general views of a stream running out of an old mine working wirh remnants of iron ore in the water and views underground of an empty mine.

End Title: The End of an Era (over landscape view of North Skelton from the closed mine looking towards Middlesbrough.)

End Title: The End