Film ID:
YFA 404

PROGRESS PARKGATE

1961-1965

Visitor Tabs

Description

Narrated by Richard Baker, this film documents the building and work which took place at Parkgate Iron and Steel Co. in Rotherham.  Opened in 1964, the new additions include a continuous narrow strip mill, billet mill and primary mill.

Title: The Park Gate Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. Present:  'Progress’'

The film begins with the works seen from a distance before showing the outside of the buildings.  Then moving inside, molten iron is run down channels to make ingots.  From the outside of the of the 11” continuous bar mill it moves inside to rows of red hot coils.  In a large marquee on the 6th July, 1964 guests sit at tables to mark the opening of the new works by Mrs C H T Williams, wife of the Chairman.  Work on the new premises began three years earlier.  Then the electric arc furnace is shown in action before the bar mill and the strip mill.  In the new administration block, there are four computers that operate the whole works. 

1961:  Lord Ploughman cuts the first sod for the new plant.  Additional machinery and explosives are needed to lay the foundations.  This is followed by the work on constructing six miles of roadway.  Temporary bridges are required to get across the adjoining railway lines and rivers.  These are eventually replaced by permanent ones.  Work stops to allow a steam train to pass.  On New Years Eve, 1961, the main beams of the bridges are put into position.  Over 10,000 tons of steel was used in the new primary building.  The machinery for the new plant is made in various factories around the country.  With the roof in place, the machinery can be installed. 

A man sits at a desk in a huge electrical control room.  A large plant to produce 150 tons of oxygen each day has been specially built nearby.   Water extractors take water from the River Don at the rate of 80,000 gallons per hour.  There are new sidings and very many new lighting poles.   A diesel engine carries the molten iron around the works to where it is poured into the Kaldo furnace.  The impurities from the slag iron are removed.  Men control the whole operation from a pulpit alongside the furnace.  After de-slagging, a metal sample is taken for analysis and placed in a high speed tube for the technical centre.  Here it undergoes rapid analysis, using an analogue computer, and the results are immediately sent back to where the temperature can be adjusted accordingly.  After further processing, the molten steel is poured into ingots to go to the stripping bay. 

Someone works the electric arc furnace from the nearby pulpit.  The furnace and the men working at it are seen in close up.  Using a long handle, a man stirs the molten metal in the furnace before it is poured into a cast.  This whole process takes five hours.  This is then transferred, still hot, in special containers by lorry to the primary mill.  The ingots not transferred are piled up in a stock yard.  Red hot ingots are moved around on an automatically controlled bogie on its way to the bloom mill rolls.  The ingot is gradually shaped into a bloom, a longer piece of metal, where it ends up in the continuous hot scarping machine, which takes off the surface metal.  These are then either stored or transferred on again to the continuous billet mill.  This latter reduces the billet to the required size, and then they are cut with the use of a computer.  From here they are batched and go to a cooling bay and then a finishing bay.  These are then inspected and cut to specified lengths. 

Some of the slabs go to the rolling mill.  Here the strips pass through the strip guide onto one of the apron conveyers where they pass through vibrators at high speed to make them into a snake pattern.  From here they are made into coils and inspected.  There is a large maintenance workshop which also houses spares, as well as a training workshop where apprentices are being trained.  Other trainees are shown how the machinery works, before the film ends once again at a furnace.

End titles: Produced by Wrigleys Film Production