Film ID:
NEFA 9591



Visitor Tabs


ICI Billingham Film Unit cine magazine edition of three features: "Rough Stuff" follows the Billingham Synthonia Club Rugby Section as they put in practice before county trial matches and score a match win against Darlington RA at home. The "Blood Transfusion Scheme" takes a look at ICI Billingham workers' contribution to the National Blood Transfusion Service just after the war; and "Where's That Bus" is a playful item on the co-ordination of corporation buses to transport workers home after their shift at ICI Billingham.


Just Billingham No. 7 October 1946


Photography Sydney Boyle

Script Norman Beese

Commentary Spoken by John Snagge

Title: Rough Stuff

Just Billingham No. 7

The Synthonia Club rugby section players put in some practice at the Central Avenue sports ground in their spare time and are put through their paces by the trainer, Tommy Lloyd. Rugby players are in action in a practice match.

Players do various pre-match group exercises on the pitch including press-ups. The commentary states: Incidentally girls, this sort of thing isn’t bad for the waistline.” After exercises, the team practice more match tactics including scrums and throw-ins from the sidelines.

A County trial match takes place on the Synthonia Club rugby pitch in front of an audience. The Section Chairman, Tony Cumming (?), and a group of men (some smoking pipes) arrive to take their places at the matches of trial teams. Trial rugby action follows. The commentary states: “The trial teams include no fewer than nine Synthonia players. The play is vigorous and every man is out to gain a coveted place in the Durham 15. Five of the nine Synthonia players are chosen for the second trial.”

There is further rugby action on the pitch at the opening match of the season for the Synthonia Rugby Section, winning against Darlington RA by 35 points to 3.

The final commentary states: It’s a man’s game. And the rugby section will welcome any new recruits who think that they can take it and hand it out.”

Title: Blood Transfusion Scheme. Factory Donors Make Their Contribution

A nurse distributes blood transfusion equipment to each bed in a long row set up in a makeshift ward at ICI Billingham works. A male volunteer donor arrives and takes up his place on a bed, his shirt sleeves rolled up ready to donate blood. An experienced doctor supervises the blood donation process.  Female nurses collect blood from the donors. There are shots of individual donors laying on the beds and of nurses chatting to donors.

The patients are then given a cup of sweetened tea and sit and relax, until ready to return to work. There is a close-up of an attractive female volunteer donor, smiling.

Title: Where’s That Bus?

Workers leave at the end of a shift at ICI Billingham. The West Gate entrance is a mass of traffic, cyclists and pedestrians, all heading out of the plant. A double-decker bus is parked up on the road. A sequence of shots depicts a troop of double-decker Middlesbrough Corporation buses. Bus stops outside the ICI works are packed with people queuing with workers.

A series of close-up shots of workers footwear illustrates the impatience of passengers waiting at the bus stops outside ICI Billingham. The footwear and clothes also show the different status or type of work they do: a pair of industrial boots splattered with dirt, a smarter pair of turn-up trousers, a woman’s smart shoes, a pair of dirty Wellington boots, pinstripe suit trousers – the wearer tapping his shoe impatiently, and the dirty industrial boots again. A commentary of staged complaints accompanies the images of each wearer.

Some basic animated graphics show the figures for the number of passengers using the buses at different times of the day and different ICI shifts.

Close-up of a Middlesbrough Corporation bus as it moves past camera, and of the bus logo and sign.

The three organisations responsible for the Teesside bus services gather at a meeting. The men at the meeting probably include the factory Transport Liaison Officer, Jack Brown, of the Transport Committee of Works Councilors and the Stockton Transport General Manager W. M. Campbell and his engineer. The commentary mentions that many of the Corporation buses are well past their prime.

Buses are parked, and are moving in and out of the Stockton bus depot. Workers carry out bus maintenance in the depot garage. An engine and other parts are checked by the maintenance crew, workers hands dirty with oil.

A bus conductor hops off a double-decker bus that has broken down and consults the driver.

A group of bus conductors and drivers are back at the depot, one man stroking a cat. The crews are presented a full and detailed list of the bus timetable and individual duties. 

The next scenes follow the number 78 bus on its schedule of stops, leaving the depot for its first stop near the Richard Hind School, Yarm Lane in Stockton.  School children pile onto the bus on their way home to Billingham. There are tracking shots of buses on the road and overhead shots of Stockton High Street, as the buses head to the stop at Stockton Town Hall. Further frontal tracking shots show the fleet of buses heading towards the West Gate stops at ICI Billingham, many cyclists also on the road.

High angle shot of passengers at a bus station, large crowds at a bus stop for the 4 pm peak time bus run, and Stockton market stalls. Tracking shot from bus down the crowded Stockton High Street. Workers pile onto the back of the double-decker bus. Overhead shot of Stockton High Street.

Graphics represent the number of Billingham passengers with totals indicated.

A double-decker bus pulls into the depot. Clippies, conductors and drivers gather at the depot. The crew get their final instructions. Bus conductors and drivers hop onto their buses, changing the destination indicators on their vehicles.

Workers leave the ICI Billingham works on a foggy (or smoggy) day, the roads filled with traffic.  There’s a shot of the clock on Stockton Town Hall (the old Town House), which shows the time as 4:45 pm. Stockton High Street is crowded with people. Behind the queues the shops Whites and J. L. McAdam Ltd. (department store branch) can be seen. Passengers board buses.

A second sequence records the footwear of workers waiting at a bus stop at ICI and a humorous commentary features the different voices of these prospective passengers and their complaints.

The final shot is of the front of bus radiator grille as it drives towards camera.

Credit: A Billingham Film

Credit: The End