Film ID:
YFA 521

IS ROTHERHAM A SEAPORT TOWN?

1959

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a film made by Charles Chislett documenting a trip by barge and by boat along the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal.  The trip continues on along the River Don, through Stainforth and the Keadby Canal, and eventually ends at Thorne.  The film includes footage from the boat along this scenic journey. 

Title:  'Is Rotherham a Seaport Town?'

Title:  ‘By canal from Sheffield to Thorne – 10 hours’ 

The film starts on the canal quayside – Sheffield Basin, Victoria Quays – with barrels stacked on the side. Several boats and barges are shown, including one with ‘Hull’ on the side, moored under the Straddle Warehouse.  There is another with ‘Good luck’ on the side, and a teenage boy sits on top of the canvas coverings.  The captain of the barge unties the rope from the canal side and takes the lid off the funnel revealing the smoke coming out.  The barge sets off with the boy at the steering wheel.  The barge passes under two railway bridges, the second, Northern Rail./  They continue past a signal box and then under the bridge taking the St Bernard Road.  The barge passes under other bridges as it makes its way along the Sheffield-TinsleyCanal through Attercliffe.  Factories can be seen on either side.  

As it passes under one road bridge, there is a road sign which gives directions to the A6135, the A630/A631 and the B6073.  They pass under more bridges and old canal buildings, including ‘Wilford and Co.’  As they pass under another bridge, two young boys wave from a wall behind some terraced houses.  The barge passes by Tinsley Locks.  A passenger train, pulled by a steam locomotive, goes by on the left, travelling towards the barge.  Then a lock is opened, and railway sidings can be seen in the background, and they pass through several more locks.  They then pass by the two cooling towers of Blackburn Meadows Power Station, it passes Tinsley Rolling Mills.  Other boats and barges pass through the locks.   A steam engine passes over a bridge (possibly the HalfpennyBridge,) where the canal meets the River Don.  There is a line of barges filled with coal there is a large factory on the right (possibly Templeborough Steel Works.)  

The journey continues passing some open countryside.  The captain blows a horn before arriving at another bridge and lock.  There are more factories as well as the steeple of All Saints’ ParishChurch, Rotherham, in the background (now Rotherham Minster.)  The two cooling towers are seen again from a different angle, and a barge is loaded with coal.  A large group of people, mainly women, are chatting together on the canal side.  The group boards a pleasure boat, the ‘Water Gypsy’, and the rest of the film is taken from this boat.  It moves off with the Power Station behind them and the passengers waving to a passing steam train. 

The boat passes through two more locks.  One has a white house next to it, and the film shows the lock being opened and closed.  Some boys are swimming nearby from a jetty.  The younger passengers travel on top, whilst the more elderly stay below.  The boat approaches a stone bridge (possibly WashLaneBridge).  A lock (possibly Aldwarke Lock) is seen on the left.  They then pass through another lock (possibly the now disused lock at Kilnhurst).  An old stone bridge with several arches is on the left.  A group of cyclists follow a path next to the canal on the right, and some boys jump in with their swimming costumes on.  They pass a barge being loaded with coal, and as they make their way various industrial works can be seen on both sides of the canal.  Some children are on a slide in a playground which also has long swings.  Going through another lock, the white foam on the surface of the water can be seen.  

They pass by another power station (possibly Mexborough or Doncaster before either was closed.)  A trolleybus goes over a bridge, and cows graze in fields.  Large slag heaps appear on both sides.  As they pass another lock, a colliery is seen on the left.  On the right there is a row of houses with Conisbrough Castle in the background.  Further on is a quarry with white slag heaps on the left, along with a large steel industrial construction with eleven chimneys belching out smoke.  A sign warns of a weir, and they pass a couple of boys sitting on footbridge over the river.  Further on there are more quarries, followed by workers doing some construction on the side of the river.  On the right hand side, there is a complex of steel tanks with a pipe going into a barge from Hull.  Just past this are tall factory chimneys on the left.  Again the film shows the barge ‘Good luck’.  The barge arrives at a busy junction with two other barges, 'Swinton’ and 'Wharncliffe’, passing under a bridge where a ‘Turnballs’ lorry passes over it.  A rail bridge is just behind it (this is possibly Doncaster Town Lock.)  They pass by a factory with a large chimney with BNS Nylon written on it (British Nylon Spinners, in Doncaster).  The boat passes a large tractor factory (McCormick?), with red tractors lined up outside.   

Further on a yellow building has a conveyor belt taking material to the top.  Next they go through a lock with a sign ‘Long Sandell New Lock’, going under a bridge carrying a coal train.  They pass Conisborough castle and North Bridge.  Emerging on the other side there are horses in a field, and passengers are shown having tea.  One woman is using a cigarette holder as they pass another large industrial works.  Someone on horseback goes over a footbridge as the boat passes underneath it.  A village with a church just set back from the river can be seen.  Someone is opening an old swing bridge (possibly the forerunner of Low Lane Swing Bridge, near the village of Barnby DunThe barge then approaches a lock where the barriers descend into the water from a steel frame (possibly an older version of Wykewell Lift Bridge, east of Thorne.)  On the left earth movers are preparing the ground for new development, and on the right there is a row of old houses.  Further on there are several boats moored up in front of some buildings, one has a company name written on the side (this reads like ‘Stanland & co.’).  (This is possibly just before reaching Thorne Bridge).  The film ends with a roll of rope laid out on the bow of the boat. 

The End