Film ID:
NEFA 20777

GJERS MILLS IRONWORKS DEMOLITION

1967

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film looks at the demolition of Gjers Mills Ironworks (Ayresome Ironworks), one of many of the large ironworks that were operating along the Tees at Middlesbrough during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Opening shot of a wildflower meadow but is in fact the remains of an industrial landscape around the now defunct Ayresome Ironworks.

The shot moves upwards to show the old works and pans right to reveal to old winding wheels on the ground. At the top of some steel pillars are other winding wheels, this structure could be one of the furnace hoists. Geoffrey Watson from the local museum inspects parts of the site.

Other views show old blast furnaces, railway lines, and other discarded or dismantled equipment. Geoffrey Watson inspects an old iron mine barrow that presumably was used to carry iron ore to the furnaces.

A general view shows three blast furnaces due for demolition. The camera pans right to show a small green railway engine with the letters TWW on a yellow background. The engine belongs to Thomas W. Ward, a demolition and scrap firm from Sheffield who are carrying out the demolition.

The film shows the bases of some of the old furnaces at the point where the molten iron was tapped.

A bulldozer removes spoil from the base of one of the blast furnaces.

Explosives are used to demolish half of what appears to be an old storage silo. The explosion takes place, and the film ends showing a pile of rubble.

[Ayresome Ironworks was located on what is now the riverside park area of Middlesbrough. Riverside Park Road is on roughly the position the ironworks occupied. Ayresome Wharf is still marked on maps of the River Tees.]