Film ID:
NEFA 8455



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This documentary, produced by Billingham Film Unit in collaboration with Ashmore, Benson, Pease & Co., was selected for screening at Harrogate Festival of Films 1957. An account of an unusual journey from Stockton to Wilton that documents the transportation of the biggest vessel ever to be carried over public roads.  A nitric acid absorption tower wends it's slow and torturous way from Stockton to the new ICI Nylon Plant at Wilton, via Yarm, Leven Bridge, and Grangetown in Middlesbrough.

Title: This film was selected for screening at the Harrogate Festival of Films 1957

Title: In the film which follows, the Nylon Plant shown under construction is owned and will be operated by The Dyestuffs Division of ICI. Only the nitric acid section of this plant was designed by Billingham Division.

Credit: ICI logo

Title: presents

Title: One for the Road

Title: Being an account of an unusual journey from Stockton to Wilton.

The film opens with a general view of the Nylon Works under construction at Wilton ICI. Skeleton buildings and complicated assemblies are taking shape. Managers, surveyors and engineers disuss construction plans for the Wilton site.  Workers move through the site, some steel towers already constructed. Special winches to hoist a new nitric acid absorption tower onto its foundation are positioned on site.

Welders work to complete the giant tower in warehouses at Ashmore, Benson and Pease & Co. in Stockton-on-Tees.

The tower is hitched up to a Pickfords lorry, and a convoy transporting the tower to the ICI Wilton site begins its slow journey to Wilton. Along the route, Pickfords specialists and engineers from Ashmore, Benson, Pease & Co. oversee the progress of the convoy, sometimes on foot beside the tower. Various shots show the truck wheels slowly turning. Some children beside the road  watch the tower towed en route.

The tower edges past a bus for Middlesbrough, Northallerton and Ripon.

Light fades on a winter's afternoon  and the lights of the Pickford's truck are turned on in the gloom. Interested people stop to watch the progress of the tower.  One of the workers who accompanies the convoy sets up railway safety lamps around the tower, parked up for the night, a light fall of snow covering patches of road. 

On a cold, grey morning the convoy sets off again, crawling through Yarm High Street.  A photographer, with his camera on a tripod, begins to photograph from the roadside.  The photographer is next positioned on top of the Pickfords truck hauling the tower.

On the outskirts of Yarm, the convoy edges along Green Lane (A1044) towards Leven Bank and Middlesbrough.  A horse surveys its progress from over a hedge, and children wheel their bikes beside the convoy. A boy angler casts his line into the River Leven upstream from a weir, as the convoy crawls over the bridge along Leven Bank Road.

Men guiding the convoy slot wedges under the wheels as the vehicle encounters problems on the road.  As the tower makes its way up the steep Leven Bank, small groups of interested onlookers watch it move inch by inch uphill. Two photographers bundled in winter coats scope the convoy from a grassy bank.The convoy now makes its way past cottages at Leven Bank, a young woman in dungarees watching from her doorstep.

The convoy passes the County Borough of Middlesbrough sign, six miles from the Wilton site.  A policeman waves past a Bond Minicar Mark C three-wheeler car. 

During a light snow storm, the convoy progresses along the road.  Close-up of a woman watching through her bow window.  Portrait shot of two boys in school caps watching.  A policeman speaks into his car radio Genalex hand microphone.  Two policemen look on as the convoy approaches a tricky bend in the road. A mother and baby are watching through a window at their home.

The tower passes a road sign for "Town Centre", Middlesbrough. Close-up of the wheels turning slowly on the wet road surface. General view of the convoy gingerly turning a corner. A dog stands with its owner. Group portrait of a young woman with a group of young men, smiling. Another group of men and women merrily stand in a doorway watching the convoy pass. A policeman looks on, stoical.  Long shot of the full convoy as it crawls through the streets of Middlesbrough.

At Grangetown, the tower convoy moves down a special roadway constructed through the middle of a roundabout.  Low angle shot as it travels en route. The tower now approaches the Wilton works. On the site, a man surveys the tower's progress high up on the framework of a building under construction as it makes it's way through ICI Wilton.

Engineers haul ropes, guiding the tower. The tower is finally in place and two specially constructed winches lift the tower into position. The engineers then carefully secure the tower into position.

Credits: Produced by the Billingham Film Unit in collaboration with Ashmore, Benson, Pease & Co.

Title: The End