Film ID:
YFA 1297



Visitor Tabs


A promotional film for Thomas Smith & Sons of Rodley near Leeds, this film features manufacturers of cranes and excavators and was produced by Mottershaw Commercial Films of Sheffield.

The film opens with shots of derelict house and the sound of ominous music, a road sign is shown which reads "Hope Street." Suddenly a wrecking ball swings towards the camera and then smashes through the "Hope Street" sign and wall. More shots of demolition and dust.

Title - Smith Make News.

The film goes on to show, by following a reporter writing a story about Hope Street, the demolition of a slum and reconstruction of a new housing estate. The cranes and excavators of Smith & Sons are shown as key to this transformation, not only in terms of house deconstruction, but in providing raw materials. Excavators are seen using various attachments such as a laughing shovel, a drag shovel, a grab, and a drag line bucket. These are seen at various tasks such as digging foundations and sewers. Cranes are employed for construction purposes and the company's expertise in these areas is emphasised by noting that the company was formed in 1820.

Structural steel is being hoisted into position and the question is asked, "Where does this steel come from?" After shots of a steel works, there is another Smith crane (a diesel/electric rail crane) sorting and moving scrap metal for reprocessing. The crane is using and electro-magnetic hoist. Quarrying and dredging gravel and sand are other uses to which Smith's machinery is suited.

The reporter returns to Hope Street, which is now occupied. He visits one of the new houses. The large windows are commented upon and we are then shown a Smith crane at work in St Helens, a centre of British glass production. The benefits of the all-weather cab are pointed out. Now the houses have been built we are shown the ways in which Smith's products help to provide the basics for life. Their use in the coal industry through open cast and deep mining, and by water companies in digging reservoirs and laying pipes. The use of Smith cranes in import/export work is shown at work loading and unloading at dockside. An electric crane is observed at work in a sugar factory.

The reporter leaves Hope Street in his car which prompts the narrator to tell us that Ford Motors use Smith products because of their reliability and durability. We follow the reporter on his journey and encounter Smith's at work in numerous activities: moving limestone after quarry blasting; at work on the Thelwall Viaduct over the Manchester Ship Canal; in co-operation with British Rail in marshalling yards and laying track from a rail mounted crane; and contributing to a land drainage project. Finally the reporter arrives at Smith & Sons headquarters in Rodley on the outskirts of Leeds. The unique design aspects of each Smith crane or excavator is stressed, each machine made for the job it will eventually do. Finally we see a new Smith model crane undergoing full scale testing before being delivered to the client.