Film ID: NEFA 20015 Video of NEFA 20015 Ironopolis IRONOPOLIS 1957 Visitor TabsDescription An amateur film made by Middlesbrough filmmaker Raymond Kitching in the 1950's of various locations around Middlesbrough, including the Transporter and Tees Newport bridges, the town centre market, and Albert Park. Title: Ironopolis Title: A Tour of Middlesbrough The film opens with views of steam and smoke coming from the steel works along the Tees river. Title: The River Tees An overhead shot of steam cargo ship sailing downstream along the Tees. In the background other small vessels make their way up and down the river. The extent of the heavy industry along the river can be seen further downstream. Another smaller steam ship passes upstream, and a third steamer heads downstream. Title: The Transporter Bridge A view of the bridge from Ferry Road. The Transporter Bridge gondola travels towards the Middlesbrough side of the river. The gates open and traffic and pedestrians move off. A motorbike and other traffic wait to get onto the gondola: it then moves back across the Tees to Port Clarence. Title: Newport Bridge General view of the bridge. Cars, lorries and buses travel cross Newport Bridge heading towards Middlesbrough. Title: The Market Over the border in St Hilda's, view of the market place and South Street with the old town hall clock tower in clear view. A closer view nearer to the old town hall, and a stall outside an entrance which has the sign 'Provision Market' above the entrance. Pedestrians walk around the different stalls. Close-up of the town hall clock. Behind one of the fruit and vegetable stalls is the Carlisle Transport Café, the proprietor's name is on the shop sign - Hamed Salah. Title: Victoria Square General view of Middlesbrough Town Hall and Victoria Square from Albert Road. Traffic crosses the junction of Albert Road and Grange Road. General view of the town hall across Victoria Square from the corner of Dunning Road and Grange Road. Another shot of the town hall from the southern side of Victoria Square. Shots of the statue of Sir Samuel Sadler with children gathered at its base. Part of Albert Road seen beyond the statue was redeveloped in the early 70's and the Cleveland Centre now occupies the space. A view of the commemorative plaque on the pedestal of the Sadler statue. The Union Jack flies from the roof of the town hall. Title: Albert Park Pedestrians walk through the gates into the park at the Linthorpe Road entrance near the Cenotaph. A view of the ornamental clock is one of the first features people see at the park using this entrance. There is a shot of the statue of H W F Bolckow, one of the founding fathers of Middlesbrough's steel industry. People amble through the park on a spring day with several shots of the ornate flower beds and blossoming trees. Some stop to admire the sun dial, which is shown in close up. More views of visitors leisurely making their way through the park and further shots of the colourful displays in the flower beds. An obelisk, a South African war memorial, occupies a place in the centre of one of the pathways. The ornamental bowl of the fountain is in the centre of the park surrounded by red tulips(?). Shot of blossom on the trees Various shots follow of children and adults on the boating lake. The small island in the lake is an obstacle which test the skills of the young rowers. A small motor boat gives an added thrill to a trip across the lake. The film moves to the busy playground with its mixture of slides, swings and other rides. Queues of children climb to the top of a slide. Parents push their children on the swings. Other children crowd onto the 'teapot lid' ride. The famous 'witches hat' swing is somewhat over subscribed! A final view of the swings ends the film. Title: The End Context The oldest new town in England An affectionate portrait of life both sides of the border in a thriving Middlesbrough of the 50s. From farm to industrial powerhouse, Middlesbrough developed its urban identity in double-quick time. In the 50s, Boro-born Raymond Kitching captured the legacy of the town’s founding fathers on film, in the still-smoking industries on the River Tees, the fading commercial centre and market of St Hilda’s, the grandeur of its Victorian architecture and magnificent bridges, and bustling Albert Park, gifted to the town by iron and steel magnate Henry Bolckow. The rise of Middlesbrough was dramatic, from a cluster of four farm houses to a coal and port town, dreamt up by Quaker businessmen, Joseph Pease and Partners, and built from scratch on a grid-iron pattern, which became the prosperous iron town dubbed ‘Ironopolis’. It has been compared to the gold rush towns of California. In Kitching’s film, the poorer historic centre north of the railway, dominated by the striking, black gothic church of St Hilda’s and the old town hall’s clock tower, was declining. Once affectionately known as “over the border”, the term became suggestive of slums. Max Lock’s 1944 Middlesbrough Survey envisaged a sympathetic future redevelopment, but the church was demolished in 1969. This film was made by amateur cine enthusiast Raymond Kitching, born down Lambeth Road, Middlesbrough, in 1932. He was also a prolific photographer of the Cleveland area and of his vacations across the world. Over a period of 17 years, he gave more than 22 slide shows synched to music for audiences across Teesside. As a young man in the 1950s, he was fascinated by the space race between Russia and America and hoped to work for NASA, gained an interview but was not accepted. He was a founding member of the Teesside Scientific Society and taught at Grangefield Comprehensive School in Stockton.