Film ID:
NEFA 19432



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A Turner Film Unit sponsored film for Robert Bowran demonstrating the manufacture and packaging of Bowran Paints in Pelaw, Gateshead, and its uses. These include the painting of ships at Teesport (now PD Ports), the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle and the Tees Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough, Dunston Power Station in Gateshead, the exterior of the Stork Margarine Works in Bromborough on the Wirral, and the Loch Sloy Hydro-Electric Scheme situated on the west bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. This promotional film also features good footage of the steel-making process (possibly at the Shotton Steel Works in North Wales and also at Scunthorpe at John Lysaght's Normanby steelworks, part of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds.). [Note that footage of steel production and interior at Dunston Power Station have been speeded up in this Turners production.]

Credit: A Robert Bowran Production

Title: A Film of Paint

Credit: Produced for Robert Bowran & Co. Ltd Pelaw Gateshead 10

Credit: By Turner Film Unit (Turners Photography Ltd.) Newcastle upon Tyne

Credit: Photography: F.B. Nicol ARPS

Credit: Commentary spoken by Freddy Grisewood.

This industrial film opens with various shots of brightly coloured flowers and flower beds, colours of nature which the commentator then compares to full tins of Bowran Paints in a variety of colours. Various industrial plant machinery, ship parts, weathered exteriors and rusted metal pipes illustrate how painted surfaces deteriorate.

Title: In Britain Alone £200.000.000 worth of Iron & Steel Rusts Away Annually

Title: £200.000.000 worth of Iron & Steel Rusts Away

Title cards state the enormous cost of not protecting surfaces with paint.

More shots illustrate the result of corrosion. Badly applied paint is scraped from a gas holder (close-up). General views follow of the gas holder at its location. A worker in protective clothing uses an electric scraper to chip and sand blast away the paint from the base metal. Primer is then applied. Pitting is examined. Men apply zinc rich primer to the gas holder. Shots of cans of Bowran primer and paint follow.

The manufacture and canning of bright red lead paint at the Bowran works in Pelaw is shown. Stock shot of red lead paint label. The dark grey lead is ground on a machine fed with oil.

Exterior shots of Robert Bowran & Co. Ltd sign and works at Pelaw, where bags of pigment are unloaded. Inside, a laboratory assistant tests a delivery of bright red pigment dye stuff, other jars of coloured pigments laid out on his work bench with their corresponding paint samples on glass plates. Outside a younger lab assistant tests a supply of liquid oil in metal drums, draining a sample into a glass flask. Inside the laboratory chemists carry out routine tests on oil samples, a set-up of heated test tubes on the work bench. A specialist examines the texture of an emulsion with the aid of a microscope and other tests take place.

A fork truck picks up and conveys raw materials from warehouse to a paint production workshop and lifts them onto a gantry. Bright blue pigment and other raw materials are fed into the pre-mix tank. Operators check progress of mixing of each batch in metal machine drum. Now churned into a smooth paste, the paint is run out into the hoppers on a floor below. In these precision grinding mills (made by Kenock Co. Ltd). A coarse paint flows into another hopper. Then the final grinding takes place. General view of workers checking a row of grinding machines, paint flowing into metal drums.

A row of 2 gallon mixing tanks receive the paint from the grinding machines in the final stage. A fork lift truck lifts the vats of ground paint above these tanks. Paint and tinters flow into the tanks. Liquid strainers are added by workers. Paint samples are then checked against required colour paint sample to ensure consistency.

Women operate the paint canning machines on a production line, their hair in turban headscarves. A fork lift truck carries away the canned paints to the dispatch department, where the batches are sorted and labelled by male and female workers. Shots of the enormous range of paints follow. The paints are boxed. Stencils for countries around the world are displayed to camera. A woman applies a stenciled label to crates. Boxed consignments of paint are loaded onto a turquoise Bowran lorry and it drives off on a delivery.

The next sequences document some of the places where Bowran paints have been used. These include Tees Port, near Middlesbrough, where tankers are moored. Workers are painting on board a ship from the Hunting & Son shipping fleet (based in Newcastle upon Tyne and London), merchant navy shipping company. Shots of the sea and a coastline follow to illustrate the corrosive nature of sea salt.

Exteriors and interiors of the Stork Margarine Works in Bromborough on the Wirral include footage of the production line for Stork margarine.

[Footage occasionally runs too fast inside steel works.]

Extensive footage follows of the the Shotton Steel Works in North Wales and also at Scunthorpe at John Lysaght's Normanby steelworks, part of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds, that have used Bowran paints extensively inside and out. Painters work away around the Normanby steelworks and blast furnaces (accompanied by dramatic music sound track). A long sequence illustrates the steel-making process at the works.

Traffic flows across the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle and sections of the bridge are shown as the commentary explains how Bowran Paints were used on the structure. Buses with ‘Shop at Binns’ adverts pass by. Various shots of the Tees Newport Bridge painted green follow.

Different tests take place at the laboratories of Bowran Paints, paint samples tested on the roof of the works, and instruments for producing and measuring extreme temperatures, humidity and vibration are used on racks of test plates. A chemist measures grams of pigment on scales and trial quantities of paint are ground in a small cone mill. Paint solutions are agitated on rollers and films of paint tested with a photo electro-magnetic machine. A rocker test determines hardness. Bitumen hardness is tested using a stop watch and scales. Out on the roof, test samples go through their periodic testing.

[The next sequence contains speeded-up footage noticeable when workers are shown.]

Electricity pylons stand in the countryside. Dunston Power Station stands beside a pond, the interiors pictured maintained with Bowran paints, including machinery made by Parsons.

The landscape, dam and generating station with control room at the Loch Sloy Hydro-Electric Scheme situated on the west bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland, is used as an example of another user of Bowran Paints. The structure and engineering operation of the hydro-electric facility is described in some detail.

A montage of the testing of paint by technicians and stock shots of cans of different colours end this sponsored film.

Title: The End

Credit: A Robert Bowran Production