Film ID:
NEFA 12773

SUNDERLAND - SETTING FOR INDUSTRY

1966

Visitor Tabs

Description

This Turners film production sponsored by Sunderland council highlights the advantages of the Sunderland region as a place to live, commercial centre and location for industry. The film documents Sunderland’s successful industries, such as engineering, shipbuilding, Pyrex glass manufacturing, and tailoring, and promotes Sunderland Corporation’s redesign of residential, educational and business centres. Footage includes excellent shots of Sunderland’s famous glass blowers, scenes from the launch of the 'Montrose,' slum clearance, and construction of the Derwent Reservoir. Includes voice-over and music soundtrack.

Title: Sunderland- Setting For Industry
(Title over shot of industrial landscape.)

Credits:
The County Borough of Sunderland by Turners Film Productions. Newcastle Upon Tyne. England
Photography. Bryan Copplestone A.I.B.P.
Assistant Camerman. Neil Curry
In charge of production. Brian Nicol A.R.PS.
(Film credits over shots of the River Wear.)

The film opens with a shot at dusk down river towards the arched steel Wearmouth Bridge and Wearmouth Rail Bridge across the Wear at Sunderland. Ships are moored on the river. There is a high angle view over Sunderland with modern housing estates and green space in the foreground, and wooded city parks in mid-ground.

Various shots of Sunderland’s commercial town centre streets follow. These include shots of the main shopping street, Fawcett Street, looking towards the Town Hall with the Binns store on the left. Many 1960s cars are driving on the street, including a wood-framed Morris Minor Traveller. A large art deco corner store at St John Street and St Thomas Street advertises Johnny’s street level restaurant. An elevated view documents Fawcett Street as a busy bus route and again features the Town Hall.

Green Sunderland Corporation buses cross the Wearmouth Bridge, along with pedestrian traffic. Looking from the bridge, large ships are moored along the Wear River towards Manor Quay. A tugboat tows a barge on the narrow river. Wearside shipyard cranes and shipbuilding berths line the south bank, where seven shipyards operate. Several large merchant ships and small tugs are on the river. There is a shot of the “Cheviot,” a large merchant ship, docked at a shipyard quay. Various shots record the crane gantries and cranes operating in the shipyards. We look down a shipbuilding berth towards the Wear. Next, there are close-ups of welders working on ship plate. A brief shot records the hull of a ship build in progress. There is a low-angle shot of the prow of the “Montrose” as the ship slides down the slipway to the water. The launch platform with official guests is decked out in red, white and blue. A crowd of shipyard workers leave the shipyard. Another shot of ships on the River Wear. Various shots record the busy quays where cargoes of coal and other bulk cargoes are unloaded and distributed via rail and road vehicles.

There is an overhead shot of the busy lanes of the Great North Road.

Various shots follow of crowds of industrial workers using the Corporation buses, laid on to transport the Sunderland work force from factory to home.

The good rail links are illustrated by shots of the train station. The Newcastle to Colchester train is just leaving the station.

A large brown field site, formerly RAF Usworth airfield between Washington and Sunderland, has been cleared for the planned Sunderland Airport.

The film cuts to the ruined stone Hylton Castle in the North Hylton area of Sunderland. There is a sign for Monkwearmouth (St Peter’s) Parish Church, built from the ruins of Monkwearmouth Priory. Various shots depict the church and its Saxon tower on the north side of the River Wear.

The next scenes document single storey cottage rows of houses with cobbled streets and back lanes for delivery of pitch coal and for hanging washing. This was an area of Sunderland designated slum housing and scheduled for demolition in the 1960s. A woman emerges from a back door of a remaining row of houses, whilst waste ground to the right is a site of demolished streets.

Bulldozers demolish houses in the Corporation clearance programme, (possibly in the area near St Peters Church, Topcliff and Mulgrave Drive.) The odd wall and building survive demolition at a cleared site, whilst in the background huge gasometers mark part of the industrial landscape, possibly at Hendon Gas Storage depot in south east Sunderland.

Builders work on the new Sunderland Corporation housing. A street of older Victorian three storey houses is contrasted with sets of rectangular blocks of flats on the opposite side. Various shots illustrate the variety of new Corporation planned estates in Sunderland, which include an estate of private detached houses with garages. An overhead shot captures the size of the housing redevelopment.

A large crowd stands awaiting the opening ceremony in the front gardens of some of the newly built semi-detached housing; prams and pushchairs stand empty at the back of the crowd. The Mayor gives the opening speech and other officials stand by dressed in suits. The Mayor stands in ceremonial chains, clapping, with his back to the predominantly female audience. The official guests enter one of the houses for a promotional viewing. The film cuts back to the older houses, which have been modernised.

Next, various shots show the new primary and secondary school architecture. Some scenes include schoolchildren. Older students are walking towards West Park College of Further Education, a rectangular block with modern glass fronted facade. There is a low angle shot of the entrance signage. An engineering tutor illustrates a point on the blackboard to a classroom of students. There is a close-up of a teacher using an engineering model. Various classes are in progress at the college. There is a general view of Sunderland Technical College front entrance in Chester Road, with shots of the 1960s cars on the road in front. Students exit the front entrance.

Inside the college, students operate advanced technical equipment such as monitors with sound wave frequencies on screen and other sound engineering equipment (looking like antiquated computer equipment).

There is an exterior shot of the ivy clad College of Arts and Crafts at Ashburne House, Backhouse Park, followed by interior shots of arts and crafts students at work on technical illustration, pottery, “action painting” and loom weaving. A brief shot of pottery on display with 1960s designs is included.

The next scenes are of Sunderland public parks and park users, which include Backhouse Park, and the lake, Victorian features, and statue of John Candish in Mowbray Park.

People lounge on a boardwalk at Marine Walk near the mouth of the Wear River. Shipyards are sited on the opposite bank. South pier is in the background. Yachts practise sailing skills in the harbour by Marine Walk. There is a high angle view of Roker beach taken from Roker cliff, looking south towards Roker pier and South pier at the mouth of the River Wear. A view north then records the seafront view from Roker to Seaburn. There are shots of Seaburn Fun Fair that include a wooden roller coaster and scenic railway in action. People are strolling and sitting on Roker promenade. Scenes of the Sunderland coastline close with a panoramic view of the bay from Roker to Seaburn, and people enjoying leisure time on the sand and in the sea.

The next sequence documents the scenic rural areas near Sunderland and include Whitburn village, high moorland, Hadrians Wall, lowland areas of beech woods and rolling hills, a village of stone built cottages and an arched bridge. The areas featured are between Weardale and Northumberland. A shot of a rocky stream is followed by scenes of the building of the Derwent Reservoir at the boundary of Northumberland and County Durham. Construction of large tunnels and pipelines are in progress.

The next section promotes the diverse industry of the Sunderland region. General view of a row of large white silos, and then various shots of Hendon Gas Works.

Interior shots follow of the Sunderland Glass Works (Arc Glass / Corning Glass Works) in the Millfield area of the city. Glass blowers are working on individually blown glass pieces at a huge, pipe-fed circular kiln or glass mixer. Various shots record the glass blowing techniques, the handling of molten glass on long punties, or iron rods, use of furnaces, shots of workers turning and puffing into blow pipes to shape glass, and the glass taking shape. There are various shots of quantities of glass flasks and other vessels. Pyrex ware and other glass products are mass produced on assembly lines. Displays of Pyrex products.

Shots follow of a display of steel components for aircraft engines and a close-up of a mechanised process for producing the component. A man places another steel component with other product stacks. Engineers operate machines that control the precision engineering of the components. There are various shots of a scale model of the opposed-piston marine oil engine in operation, designed by Sunderland engineers. Model ships are displayed in a room. There are shots of ship deck details on the models. Men work on different ship models in a workshop.

The film then moves to a Jacksons’ multiple tailoring factory in Sunderland. A man operates a large mechanised cutting machine on which a blade follows the pattern marked onto multiple layers of cloth. A man hand cuts cloth to a pattern for a made-to-measure garment. A man hand sews the garment, and a sewing machine completes the inner lining. The finished suits are hung on rails.

There is a sequence of another production line in the manufacture of wire ropes and hawsers for marine applications, with close-ups of machine processes. New cranes are lined up in the yard of a crane manufacturer in Pallion, Sunderland.

A woman uses tweezers for miniature components in the production of tubes and valves for television sets, radios and other electronic devices. Another woman in gloves operates a machine that revolves a glass television screen. There are shots of the mechanised production line.

General views of the vast complex of buildings and car park of the Pallion Trading Estate. Cuts to a panoramic shot of an undeveloped north bank of the River Wear. The camera pans along the riverfront area of North Hylton Road acquired by Sunderland Corporation for development. There are views of the vast brown field site.

The film returns to shots of house clearance in the Hendon area, close to the town centre and the docks, the rail track, wasteland sites, and the building of new factories next to housing estates. White posts mark cleared sites for lease.

Panorama of the city of Sunderland. A sequence then runs through brief shots of each of the Sunderland industries documented in the film: hand crafted pottery, precision engineered steel components, valve production, technical students in engineering. The film then cuts to a view across the Wearmouth Bridge, followed by a close-up of a glass blower blowing glass, the cutting machine for multiple tailoring, and a close-up of the opposed-piston marine engine working model.

A bulldozer moves soil on a land clearance site. There is a brief shot of a fast running stream. A sign for “Sunderland” stands on a country road and the camera zooms in on the sign.

End title: Sunderland- Setting For Industry