Film ID: NEFA 9334 Video of 9334 Northern scene - The Disabled at Work NORTHERN SCENE: THE DISABLED AT WORK 1981 Visitor TabsDescription A Tyne Tees Television documentary about the Cleveland Spastics Work Centre, now the Teesside Ability Support Centre, on Acklam Road in Middlesbrough. The centre provides work opportunities for disabled people particularly those with cerebral palsy. Broadcast on the 12th January 1981, during the International Year of Disabled People, the films follow both members of staff as well as some of the centre users as they go about their daily work. As well as interviews with users and staff of the centre, the film also speaks with family members who talk about their hopes and fears for the future of their offspring. Title: Tyne Tees (Ident) Title: Animated outline map of Britain. Title: Northern Scene The film opens on a woman with a mobility difficulty walking towards the camera. The commentary states that she is one her way to work. A woman driving of a yellow minibus greets her as she climbs aboard. The minibus drives off. The film cuts to an interior shot of a narrow hallway in a house. The camera follows a woman pushing a wheelchair towards the open door front door. Outside is the yellow minibus seen previously. The female passenger of the wheelchair is lifted by the van driver into the minibus. The girl’s mother gives the assistant/driver some personal effects belonging to the girl. The commentary states that the van will collect seven workers in total. Her mother pulls the wheelchair back into the house. The commentary explains that the passengers are on their way to the Cleveland Spastics Work Centre. The film cuts to a view of a modern single storey building on Acklam Road in Middlesbrough which, the commentary explains, is a privately run centre for 37 workers. The camera inside the building films the outside concourse. The camera pulls back as the yellow minibus parks just in front of the window. Another internal shot shows some of the workers busy at workbenches. The minibus passengers leave the bus supervised by the driver. The driver pushes the wheelchair of one of the workers to his place at one of the workbenches. One of the tasks they do is to recover metal and plastic items, a close up shows one of the workers manipulating some plastic material. A woman, an assistant at the centre, places a plastic sticker onto a collection tin. The assistant/driver seen earlier helps a young worker in a wheelchair with his task, another worker repairs a chair. An over the shoulder shot as a woman works at a typewriter. In the background another male office worker speaks on the phone, he is Wally Hume (Hulme?) who manages the centre. A brief cut back to the woman at the typewriter, then back to Wally Hume who finishes his telephone conversation, and places the handset back on its base. The next sequence shows Wally on the workshop floor handing out packets to the workers. A close up of a one of the workers as he receives his wage packet. Close ups follow of a worker working with some plastic containers. A close up of his face is followed by a shot of the work he is doing, which appears to be placing metal rivets in the plastic container. Wally Hume talks to an interviewer (off camera) with close ups of workers at their workbench. A member of staff and a male worker, work together repairing a seat on a high stool. The film cuts back to Wally Hume. A supervisor speaks to camera. In the background soft toys are stacked on shelves and a girl works at a sewing machine. The film cuts to the supervisor helping a young man in a wheelchair. Another assistant helps a worker operate a hand cranked sewing machine. Two workers help each other with some sewing. A group of workers sit and make soft toys or cushions, one worker hand cranks a sewing machine. Cut back to a woman handing another assistant some cloth. The assistant helps a worker at a sewing machine. A general view of the work taking place on the soft toys workbench. A young man packs a box at a bench, he secures it with parcel tape. The film cuts to a machine workshop, where metalwork takes place. A supervisor comes to a machine where two workers are standing. The film cuts to two workers guiding coiled wire into the machine. A close up shows the wire coming off the coil. One of the workers provides a voice over to this sequence. Another of the workers collects cut wire lengths from a delivery chute on the machine. He then places them in a tin can which is on a chair next to the chute. In another part of the workshop two men work at a bench with the strips of wire. A hand operated device bends the lengths of wire into U-shapes. These are then collected together. Over shots of them working, workers tell of their experiences of coming to the centre. One of the workers packs the U shaped wires into boxes. A close up follows of the machine which bends the wire. The workshop supervisor explains how new jobs are brought into the centre, to help build variety in the tasks available. The supervisor helps a worker manipulate a welding torch which they use to create some ornate metalwork. The supervisor talks to camera about his experience at the centre. Cut to a worker who provides a voice over as he manipulates a piece of metal on a special tool that will turn it into a scroll. Completed scrolls lie on the bench. The film cuts to the grounds surrounding the centre. A ball is kicked and a whistle blows for the start of a football match. The men and boys of the work centre are refereed by one of the centre supervisors. Some of the participants wear full football strips. Other workers watch from the side-line’s shouting encouragement. General views follow of the match as a voice over lists other activities that workers enjoy at the centre. A high angle shot of the work centre building finishes part one of the programme. The second part of the programme begins on a stone built stable block with horses standing outside. A woman pushes a wheelchair across the stable yard. The location may be the Eston Equestrian Centre. Assistants from the Middlesbrough centre help a disabled rider onto a horse. A shot follows of industrial works in the distance and a horse is led across the frame. While their horses are being led by their supervisors, their disabled riders enjoy the sunshine. A supervisor from the work centre speaks on camera to an interviewer (off camera). In the background the steelworks at South Bank. At the riding centre a teacher instructs the riders in some basic exercises as they sit on horseback. The camera pans left to right as each rider does their exercise. Back at the work centre a literacy tutor is taking down notes as she talks to one of the workers/students at the work centre. An empty wheelchair is nearby. The young girl tries to explain something to the teacher. In the end the teacher gives her the notepad she’s been writing on. However, the student wants it placed on the floor. The teacher then gives her student a pen grasps it with the toes of her right foot. She then writes using her foot, the words she’s been trying to express. The teacher then reads out what she has written. A close up follows of the girl’s feet as she writes. The literacy tutor talks to other workers at the centre. The commentary explains that she was introduced to the centre by Wally Hume. Around a table the tutor teaches one to one with one of the workers, while others around the table continue with other tasks, such as general reading or typewriting. One of the students at a typewriter types the heading ‘Marathon Disco in Aid of Cleveland Spastics’ on a sheet of paper, another student reads out loud to himself. The workers at the centre are producing their own charter, and are putting forward ideas they want included spurred on by the International Year of Disabled People. One of the workers talks directly to camera about their aspirations. The film cuts to the interior of a Middlesbrough department store (possibly Uptons on Linthorpe Road). A woman pushes a baby buggy, a toddler walks beside her hand in hand. A young man tidies some shelves, he is Mike Flynn a former centre worker. He continues tidying as he approaches the camera. In voice over he talks about his work and his experiences in the wider world of work as a disabled person. He continues on camera talking to an interviewer (off camera). In voice over he continues his tidying, tending of some plants in a greenhouse which is on display in the store. The film cuts back to the work centre, the shot taken from the entrance to the driveway. The yellow minibus is parked near the entrance. It’s late afternoon and the centre is closing. Lights are turned off and one of the workers leaves the centre and walks towards the camera. The worker is Chris Philips and he travels to the centre from Hartlepool. He walks a little way down Acklam Road and stands at the kerbside, Linthorpe Cemetery in the background. He waits for a clear space in the traffic. In voice over his mother expresses concerns for her son’s future, his father explains however that he is becoming more independent. Chris walks across the road to a bus stop to wait for a bus home. Another worker, Graham, arrives back at home in a wheelchair, and is greeted by his parents. His father lifts him out of his wheelchair and onto a stair lift. His father, in voice over, expresses his experiences in having a disabled member of the family. At the top of the stairs Graham is lifted into a wheelchair by his father. His father pushes him a short way along the landing to his room. They go in and his father closes the door. Graham’s father speaks on camera as both he and his mother sit on a sofa. The camera pulls back to show Graham’s mother, who also contributes comments. Chris Philips arrives home in Hartlepool. He puts his bag down in the hallway as he speaks to his mother. He walks into the room where his mother and father are sitting. His mother concentrates on her knitting. Chris sits down to talk to his parents, a TV is on in the background next to Chris. Chris’s father speaks off camera about concerns for his son’s future. He continues on camera. The film cuts to an interior shot of a large living room, the camera pans between two windows looking to the street outside. A woman in the room watches as a minibus pulls up at the house. The film cuts to a lift platform at the rear of the minibus as a girl, Gill in a wheelchair, is lowered down to road level. The driver of the minibus wheels Gill onto the pavement and then to the front door of the house. Her mother comes to the door and the driver pulls the wheelchair through the door into the hallway. Gill’s father in voice over speaks off camera. A close ups shows milk from a pan being heated on a cooker then poured into a coffee cup. Gill’s mother helps Gill to sit at a kitchen table, she then helps Gill to drink the coffee. Gill’s father speaks on camera, about his concerns for his daughter. The film cuts back to the work centre where Graham and Gill appear in their wheelchairs. The centre worker who spoke to camera earlier, speaks again about another inclusion that should appear in their charter. The film cuts to a street scene in Middlesbrough, outside Clinkards on Corporation Road. A woman unfolds wheelchair she has just taken from her car. Avril, the woman’s sister and one of the centre workers, is helped out of the car by her sister and into the wheelchair. They wait at a pedestrian crossing, as her sister in voice over expresses her concerns at having such responsibility for her sister. The pedestrian crossing indicator changes to green and they cross Corporation Road at the junction of Linthorpe Road. Avril and her sister walk by Binns store, which has a Christmas display in its window. A close up follows of Avril in the wheelchair. As they walk along Avril’s sister speaks to camera, explaining how difficult it is to negotiate obstacles on trips like this. Members of the public are often blind to these difficulties, rarely offering to open doors into shops. They go into Woolworths on Linthorpe Road. The film cuts back to the young worker advocating a new charter for those with cerebral palsy, as he speaks to camera again. The film cuts to Gill’s father who speaks at length on camera about the future of his daughter. A final cut back to the young spokesman for the charter which ends the film. Title: Northern Scene Title: Tyne Tees Colour c.Trident Television MCMLXXX1 (1981) Context Preparing for the world of work A film which shows the desire, ambition and dedication of disabled people to enter the world of work. A chance to get some idea of how far we as a society have come in relation to disabled people, and how far we have yet to go. This documentary on the Cleveland Spastics Work Centre coincided with the 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons, and shows those with cerebral palsy doing a variety of work, and giving voice to their own charter. It also reveals, perhaps, a residual paternalism and highlights the continual difficulties that still exist for unsupported carers. The Centre in Acklam was run by the Cleveland Spastics Society, established in 1979. The national Spastics Society relaunched itself as Scope in 1994, and subsequently the Centre was renamed Scope on Teesside in 1996, becoming Teesside Ability Support Centre in 2005. It is still in operation, having widened its services to include educational courses, sporting activities and hydrotherapy. Despite common misconceptions, Scope claims that “children with cerebral palsy cover the same range of intelligence as other children”. The term spastic is still used to refer to a medical condition but became less used during the 1980s as the word was widely used as a term of abuse.