Film ID: NEFA 20847 Video of NEFA 20847 Steel Strides Ahead STEEL STRIDES AHEAD 1961 Visitor TabsDescription A film made at the newly completed Lackenby works of Dorman Long & Co. Ltd at Middlesbrough. Filmed in two parts the film shows the two stage process of steel production from ingot to finished product. [First section of the film is missing] Credit: Commentary Bob Danvers Walker Credit: Film Editor Bettine Braham Credit: Sound Recording Alec Waters Title: Part 1 – Ore to Ingot. The film opens with a view of the recently completed Lackenby steel works of Dorman Long & Co. Ltd. General views of various locations around the 700 acre site including a marshalling yard, wharf, ore conveyor, coke ovens, blast furnace as well as the universal and standard mill, the billet and rod mills. There is a view of the exterior of the staff welfare building. Inside people sit around a canteen area eating. Two men are handed mugs of tea at the counter. At the mouth of the Tees a cargo ship enters the river. A second ship is seen heading out to sea. General view of a cargo ship moored alongside a wharf with a mechanical grabber unloading ore from the hold. The cargo ship “Pantokrator” is moored alongside a wharf. A grabber unloads ore from its hold and deposits into a receiving hopper and wagon. At a weighbridge an ore wagon is weighed. Shot of the scales showing a ladle’s weight. Men collect samples from a wagon for testing. A mechanical haulage mule attaches itself to a wagon and pulls it up an elevated gantry before discharging its content into one of the ore store. A Goliath crane then loads another wagon with ore from a specific store. General view of a sintering plant. Ore, ore dust and coke breeze are poured from tubs onto a travelling gantry that is then lit by gas jets to make sinter. The sinter is poured into hoppers and taken away to be unloaded into cooling bins. General view of the Lackenby works. A train carries wagons of coking coal along a section of track. The coal is emptied from a wagon. General view of the blending plant and blending bunkers. At the coking oven heavy rams push out the finished coke into wagons. The red hot coke is sprayed with water to begin the cooling process and taken away to be air cooled. General view of the Lackenby works and boiler house. Inside there are views of the water tube boilers which provide steam for the turbo blowers. There is a view of a turbo blower which provides hot air for the furnace. Iron ore, sinter, ironstone and scrap travel along a skip hoist and drop into the blast furnace. The base of the furnace is tapped and the slag pours into a large ladle which is taken away to be cooled. At the slag bed a man tips molten slag out of the ladle. The cooled slag is then shown being loaded into a lorry by a mechanical grabber. Back at the blast furnace the iron is tapped and pours into 70 ton ladles. A line of ladles is taken away by train and are weighed on a weighbridge. There is a view of the scales showing the ladle’s weight. General view of the Lackenby steel works. Inside the melting shop a travelling shot along a gantry shows men pouring iron into 600 ton mixers. Dolomite is sprayed mechanically into the inside of a burning furnace. Inside a control room a man look over a panel of gauges and levers that control the pressure inside each furnace. A large thermometer is pushed inside a furnace to take its temperate. An overhead view showing a machine carrying a charge of scrap metal through the melting shop. At the stock bay scrap metal is unloaded from railway wagons into charging boxes which are then carried by machine to be put into the furnace. The furnace is tapped and steel runs into the teeming ladle causing a lot of sparks. As the steel flows into the new ladle two men shovel another ingredient into the mix. The teeming ladle moves along the casting bay and the steel is them poured into the ingot moulds. These are taken out of the Melting Shop by train for cooling. Title: Part Two: Ingot to Finished Product. A train pulling ingot moulds travels through the Lackenby site towards the universal beam and heavy structural mill. The train enters the beam mill through the stripping bay. A stripping crane lifts each of the moulds from the train. An ingot is put into the soaking pit for reheating. The reheated ingot is placed onto the receiving table where it travels along a conveyor into the blooming mill Inside the control room [known as a pulpit] two men sit at a set of controls overseeing the mill operation. There are views of a number of dials. The ingots travels back-and-forth through the mill and is slowly reducing in size turning it into useable bloom. A rolled bloom passes through the bloom shears and is cut into section. The shears also cuts off the ragged ends. Two blooms pass in tandem through the roughing mill. High-pressure water jets spray the bloom to remove scale. The bloom passes along a conveyer into the finishing mill where it rolls again between another set of rollers reducing further its size. Inside the control room a man adjusts the settings on a panel. The bloom travels along a conveyer for cutting into sections. The bloom is seen being cut by a large metal saw. The cut lengths of beam are placed on tables in the primary cooling banks. A man walks along the lengths of beam hitting each end with a hammer. General view of the exterior of the medium section mill. Inside the mill a section of bloom is laid out on the floor. A reheated ingot is removed from the soaking pit and travels along a conveyor watched over by a man. It passes into a shaping machine. Inside the glass control room above the mill a man works the controls. The bloom comes out into the intermediate stand and lifting table. A man is seen at the controls of the mill inside the small glass pulpit. The bloom passes through rollers reducing it in size. In the finishing mill the beam slides along the floor. Two lengths of beam come out of the rolling mill onto the roller table. Sparks fly as each length is cut to size by a large saw. Sections of cut beam stand in the cooling banks. General view of the straightening mill where a man paints the order number and identity marker onto the finished beam ready for dispatch. General view of the exterior of the bar and narrow strip mill. Inside the rolling mill reheated bloom passes into the billet mill. An operator sits at the controls inside the pulpit. There are views of the bloom on the rolling tables being reduced to the required size. An operator sits at the control of the Flying Shears as the billet is being cut. General view of the rod mill. Inside the furnace heats the billet ready for rolling. Three billets are seen being rolled at the same time and are fed though three stand rolling mills. An operator sits at the controls inside the pulpit. A section of reheated rods are fed 180 degrees around a curved section. The rods are coiled and move along the primary conveyor. A man attaches labels to each of the coils of rod. A reheated billet is fed through a flange to create 10 inch flat roller strips. The strips cool on an apron conveyor and are coiled. At the storage and loading bay the coiled strips are weighed and tied. On the transfer table they are sorted as per removal requirement. General view of the storage bay of piles of coil ready for dispatch. Beam is loaded onto a railway wagon ready to leave by train. General views of the steel frames of a two high-rise office buildings under construction. General view of a bridge under construction over a river. Title: The End. A John Byrd Production. Context Rivers of steel at Dorman Long on Teesside The glare of molten metal, flames, and furnaces – all the visual drama of steel-making is captured in a promotional for Dorman Long on Teesside. Rivers of steel still flowed through the famous South Bank Dorman Long works on the River Tees in 1961, when this richly informative industrial film was made. But there’s little sign of toiling workers amidst the deafening roar of blast furnaces and machinery at the Lackenby works near Middlesbrough, constructed optimistically after World War Two. Dorman Long constructed many of the most iconic bridges of the twentieth century including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the New Tyne Bridge, and Tees Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough. The film (missing some credits) was commissioned from John Byrd Film Productions, which specialised in documentaries for steel and engineering industries from the 1950s to 1980s, several filmed in the searing heat and highly dangerous environment endured by steel workers. The commentary is voiced by Bob Danvers-Walker in the perky, patriotic tone familiar from his broadcasts on Pathé News cinema newsreels during World War Two.