Film ID:
NEFA 21586



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A compilation of films made by members of Middlesbrough Fire Brigade made between 1961 and 1963 showing exercises and training events taking place at their fire station on Park Road South in Middlesbrough. The film also includes a journey along the River Tees and views of a real fire taking place on farm land.

Title: Middlesbrough Fire Brigade

Title: Film Record

The film begins with a panoramic view across the Middlesbrough skyline from the roof of newly constructed Dundas House. There are views of the Transporter Bridge, dockside cranes, steel works at South Bank as well as Jordison’s Printers at the northern end of Marton Road. General views show Crown House, Binns department store on Linthorpe Road and the old Corporation Hotel. As the camera continues to pan views of the town hall as well as Roseberry Topping in the distance can be seen. General views follow of construction work around Dundas House and Dundas Arcade.

Title: On Parade

The film cuts to show a fireman standing in front of an appliance (Reg No: NYV 81) wearing protective gear including helmet, and yellow waterproof trousers. He is buttoning up his jacket. General views of dignitaries including a man in mayoral chains and an HM Inspector inspecting the firemen standing to attention on the compound at the rear of the fire station on Park Road South in Middlesbrough. A man in a raincoat and trilby hat presents awards to members of the brigade. General view shows members of the brigade standing in ranks. An official poses for a photo opportunity on an extending ladder appliance in front of the fire station.

The film changes to show another parade and inspection, again filmed at the compound in Middlesbrough fire station. Again, an HM Inspector speaks to members of the brigade, as does a man in mayoral chains, different to the one seen previously.

Title: In Training

Filmed in the compound at the rear of the fire station on Park Road South in winter a fire rages in a mock-up building. Fire engines speed into the compound. The firemen are dealing with a staged chemical fire in a mock up structure which is labelled ‘Anthracene’ and ‘Naphthalene’. While some of the firemen connect hoses to fire engines, others using special ladders, ascend a tower built next to the station. They make a rescue from the top.  

Another fireman tackles a fire, using a hose from the top of an extending ladder. He trains the hose on a building marked as the ‘Benzol Plant’. A Bo ‘sun’s chair allows a rescued occupant of the tower (in the form of a dummy) to be lowered to safety.

[Blank section]

Footage follows of a different fire, but a similar exercise using foam to extinguish the fire. The sequence opens with a fire on the mock-up of a boat. Fire engines speed into the compound. An extending ladder, known as a wheeled escape, is moved into position against the tower and used to rescue a dummy from the top storey. There is a view of the burning boat followed by firemen operating various pieces of equipment. Firemen point their hoses at the burning boat. A man is rescued from the boat using a cable and hook extended from the jib of another appliance. The victim is helped down to the ground by two other firemen. Water continues to be poured over the burning boat. Views follow of the now extinguished fire and the boat and surrounding area covered in foam. Back at the tower another dummy is lowered to the ground from the top of the building, using the crane seen in the boat rescue.

Firemen descend down the exterior of the building using lightweight hook ladders. Another fireman sprays the tower with water from the top of an extending ladder. A number of officials watch proceedings.

The film changes to show a different exercise involving a light aircraft fuselage that is on fire at the base of the tower. On the tower itself firemen use an extending ladder to reach the upper storeys. At ground level, a smaller localised fire in a building is attended to. The aeroplane fuselage is covered in foam. The compound is swimming in water as a number of ‘A’ type branch hoses play on the tower fire.

The film cuts to a wheeled escape, being removed from the back of a fire appliance then manhandled into position. On a flat roof of a building a brigade official demonstrates a classic ‘fireman’s’ lift whereby a volunteer fireman, is the injured party and is taken down a ladder by a colleague, Edward Cunningham Fielding, using this technique. The wheeled escape is placed back on its appliance.

The film cuts to the river Tees and the docks. A ship named the ‘Bamse’ is moored along the quayside and other ships moored there.

From the river general views follow of activity taking place along its banks. The film passes tugs, moored along the bankside, possibly next to the headquarters of the Tees Towing Company. A notice on a building reads ‘Cross Line Tugs.’. They pass the tanker or cargo ship ‘Silvercrag’. General views follow of the Anderston Foundry Company at Port Clarence followed by a view of the Tees fireboat.

The film cuts to a fire at a haystack and barn. Firemen deal with the fire in the roof with one of the firemen uses a ceiling hook. Smouldering hay is dampened down and smoke pervades the whole scene.

General views of  wooden buildings at another location on fire in an open field, possibly at Warrenby near Redcar. Firemen attempt to extinguish the blaze. A four wheeled flatbed cart is also seen consumed by fire.

The film cuts to a title frame:

Title: Over 2 million cubic yards of boulder clay was used to form the embankment

General views of a large civil engineering works somewhere in open moorland. Large lorries deliver sand or gravel to a building site. The film ends with views of a reservoir, possibly Balderhead reservoir in County Durham