Film ID:
NEFA 17366



Visitor Tabs


This promotional film was made for Gilbert Ash (Northern) Ltd., Darlington, and features footage of the opening of six blocks of high-rise council flats at Shieldfield in Newcastle upon Tyne, April 1961. The opening section contains shots of the interiors of the new tower blocks. The remainder of the film is a work study that shows the planning, design and construction of the high rise flats and the techniques used to reduce the time in construction of multistory housing. The footage is accompanied by voice-over that describes the planning and construction stages in detail.

The film opens with a low angle shot of a modern high-rise concrete tower in Shieldfield, Newcastle.

Title: [over picture] Sharp With The Flats

Credit: By Turners Film Productions, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

Mr Roy Thompson arrives to perform the opening ceremony of the first of 6 blocks of multistory flats at Shieldfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Crowds and photographers look on as Roy Thompson gives the opening speech, and the Mayoress and other local civic figures attend. The officials then enter a new Shieldfield tower block for a tour.

Shots of the Shieldfield modern high-rise blocks. Interior views of the flats and public hallway of the new block follow.

Guests stand on the flat rooftop and look at the striking panoramic view over Newcastle.

Abstract view down the side of the fifteen story building to the building and the car park below. Another shot taken from the high block features a general view of a second high rise block standing near low rise public housing and the remainder of an old Victorian brick terrace

The film then covers a planning meeting with engineers, architects and builders, held by the construction company Gilbert Ash (Northern) Ltd. as they meet to organise procedures in advance of the work to build the tower blocks in Shieldfield. There are several shots of the discussions and use of architectural models and diagrams to plan the construction. Two men in the group lift the model of the penthouse roof onto the base model. Close-ups follow of the work schedule charts for the program of prefabrication in the company’s workshops, and the floor plan of columns and walls in the construction.

The third section of the film features extended step-by-step footage of each stage of construction of one of the Shieldfield tower blocks, from the laying of foundations to the trade installations and decoration, and finally bricklayers build the estate boundary walls. The section includes general views of the construction in progress, overhead shots of the construction site, and close-ups of the builders at work with dynamic shots of construction techniques. The footage is accompanied by a detailed technical commentary, which emphasises the speed and ease of construction through the use of prefabricated building elements and other planned or engineered devices.

The film closes with general views of the three modern Shieldfield tower blocks standing proudly against the skyline, in contrast to the low rise Victorian buildings at the border of the estate.