Film ID:
NEFA 19632



Visitor Tabs


A promotional film produced by Turners Film Productions for the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company looking at the needs as well as provisions of water to the Newcastle area. The film follows the construction and workings of The River Tyne Abstraction Scheme and the Palin Laboratories in 1977.

Title: The Waters of Tyne

Panning shot of superimposed title over a historic engraving showing the river Tyne and Newcastle.

The film dissolves to show boats moored on part of the Newcastle quayside near Sandgate with seagulls circling overhead. Film cuts to two men standing in the prow of a boat. One of them puts a bright red floating marker in the water. A long shot follows of a tanker moored on the quayside followed by general views of activities on the river. The next shows the river and the bank on the opposited side, the camera pans up to show the old stone built buildings pumping station at Newburn.

A more rural scene follows of horses grazing on the riverbank. In the distance can be seen the chimney of the pumping station at Wylam. A man is filmed fishing at the waters edge of a body of water, the camera pulls back to show the large expanse of a reservoir. General views follow of the reservoir. The film cuts to a diagrammatic map showing the location of the first reservoir to be built on the Tyne, upstream at Whittle Dene in 1848, the next reservoir was developed in 1871 at Hallington, then Little Swinburne in 1880, Colt Crag in 1884 and Cat Cleugh in 1905 near the Scottish border. A panning shot from left to right shows a picturesque setting for Cat Cleugh reservoir. The next shot is a general view of a river in the countryside. Another general view in the countryside (near Kielder?) is followed by general views of reservoirs.

The film cuts to a view of the Tyne bridge, with the Swing and High level Bridges in the background. A barge travels away from the camera towards the bridges. The next shot shows the statue at the top of Grey's Monument. The camera pulls back showing a perspective shot of Grey Street. Cut to a machine printing quarterly bills from the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company. Another diagrammatic map follows, showing the growth of water supply to the region by the company since 1832. The next shot shows a Hoovermatic Deluxe washing machine in action. The film cuts to a general view of a swimming baths. The next shot is of a man writing a label on a glass bottle. Nearby is a 'port hole' through which one can see the blue water of the swimming pool. A swimmer approaches the porthole and looks out. The film cuts to a small metal box mounted on a wall, it is labelled 'Water Sampling Point'. A cap is taken off a pipe which protudes underneath. A long shot follows of a man taking a sample of water, followed by a close shot. The sample bottle is labelled 'Fenham Baths'. The man fills the bottle. The film cuts to a laboratory, where a laboratory assistant operates some electronic equipment which tests samples of water. A change of scene, taken from within a large diameter pipe looking out. At the end of the pipe a man is installing a flexible seal into a recess. The pipe is being laid in a trench and a crane supervised by a workman on top of the trench. The crane slowly lowers the pipe into the bottom of the trench. A general view follows of sheep in a field, then to village scene. Workmen man handle a smaller diameter pipe into a trench at the side of a road, just outside a house.

The next shot pans right to left from a wooded copse to a river. The film cuts to a view of a housing estate in Cramlington, with children playing in the street and rose gardens in full bloom. A young couple with a pushchair walk along the pavement. A long shot across a field shows a new factory. An exterior shot of a water treatment installation, followed by an internal shot shows a large transparent pipe with water cascading down the inside. This is followed by a left to right travelling shot of vertical yellow coloured metal pipes, labelled with markers showing direction of flow.

In a boardroom a group of men are discussing the route of a new pipeline. A shot follows of a map showing the banks of the River Tyne. A diagram on the map shows a proposed pumping station at Ovingham and the sketch of a new treatment works at Horsley. A map shows the route of the new pipeline with various pumping stations, treatment works and reservoirs along the way. The film cuts to a general view of a drawing office. A close up follows of a draughtsman working at a drawing followed by shots of other draughtsmen doing similar work. The film cuts to a view of the Tyne at a point, according to the commentary a quarter of a mile upstream from Wylam. The camera pans from right to left and showing the construction of a new pumping stations. A pile driver is at work which is followed by a view of a large round excavation with the sides strengthened by steel supports. A crane swings a large steel bucket over the excavation. A shot follows of large 55 inch diameter pipes laid on the surface of open ground waiting to be laid underground. A section of this pipe is lowered into a trench and guided into position by a workman. An overhead shot shows the pipe being manouevred to join up with the preceding section with the aid of a crane. An aerial shot follows over the treatment installation at Horsley in Northumberland.On the ground a mechanical digger pulls a land scraper. General views follow of construction work, including a shot of stilt like structures which will eventually support the covering of an underground reservoir. An aerial shot follows showing the location of Birney Hill reservoir, near Ponteland. General views follow of sedimentation tanks under construction. Workmen drill and position components together as part of the construction. A long shot follows giving a general view of one of the new buildings associated with the building project at Horsley. A crane lifts a large tank, known as a surge vessel into position as part of the construction. The film cuts to a boardroom meeting where progress on the pipline project is being discussed. General views follow of horses grazing in a field.

A high angle shot follows showing a group of people standing on a podium in front of a red window blind. Geoffrey Rippon MP is making a speech, he then turns to raise the blind. Behind, etched onto the glass is a dedication commemorating the opening of the River Tyne Abstraction Scheme and the Palin Laboratories on September 1977. The group then go outside where Geoffrey Rippon plants a commemorative tree in the grounds at Horsley.

The flim cuts to a close up of a yellow wild flower. the camera pans up to show a long shot of the treatment works at Horsley, with the landscaping around the new buildings well established. A long shot over a wall gives a view of the works followed by a shot of the filtration tanks. An interior shot at Horsley shows blue and red pipework and associated apparatus mounted on the floor. A diagram follows demonstrating how the new filtration system works. The film cuts to a technician in a laboratory, working with samples of water which are in glass beakers being stirred slowly by metal paddles. A close up shows orange debris floating in the water, these are floc particles (flocculation is a chemical process in water purification). The next shot is along a trough of water with water flowing into it. A view of the sedimentation tanks follows. A diagram shows how the chemicals in the sedimentation tanks work. The film cuts to troughs on the top of the sedimentation tanks. The next shot shows the filter gallery, where a number of bowls filled with water show how the filtration process affects the clarity of the water. The film cuts to  a shot of a technician descending a spiral staircase into a control room. He approaches a console with a number of buttons on it and presses one of the buttons. An external shot shows some of the settlement tanks. A coloured diagram shows the constituents of the filter material - anthracite and sand. The next shot is of a glass flask holding clear filtered water. Another diagram follows showing how, after time, the filter material becomes clogged and requires cleaning. The diagram shows how compressed air will be used to clean the filters. An external shot shows the filter tanks being charged with compressed air. A close up of a technicians hand follows as he presses a button on a console which is marked 'Start Washwater Pump'. Troughs take unwanted material away. The film cuts back to the technician who presses the same button on the console to stop the process. An exterior shot shows the washwater process stopping. From the sedimentation tanks clarified water enters the filtration tanks. A general view of the Horsley installation follows. A technician throws some switches on a console to start the chlorine treatment of water. A close up shot shows a test tube with a glass rod inside it. The glass rod crushes a substance at the base of the tube. Water is added and changes colour to slightly pink. A technician does some tests for residual chlorine using coloured glass samples. The next shot shows a gallery of red and blue pipes and other apparatus, followed by an overhead aerial shot of the Horsley plant. Another aerial shot shows scars on a field which indicate the route taken by the new water pipeline. Another aerial shot shows an urban area, according to the commentator, North Gosforth, which will be the location for a distribution point feeding the new pipeline's water to consumers. A map with a diagram of the pipeline route, shows how distribution will take place to the North, East and South of the region. A low angle shot across the Tyne pans left to right showing a new construction on the opposite bank which collects river water. A sequence follows showing in quick succession the water treatment plant at Horsley, a scientist studying an item under a microscope, a switchboard operator at the distribution centre taking calls.

General views follow showing a view of Newcastle featuring Sandgate and the Moot Hall. The film cuts to a technician pressing buttons on a console and a man in converstaion on the phone.

Superimposed Credit: Turners Film and Video Productions, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England

Cut to a woman washing crockery in a kitchen sink followed by a cut to a woman puttting a new reel of tape into a computer console.

Superimposed Credit: Narrator: Tom Kilgour, Producer: John Grant

General view of countryside with a river in the distance:

Superimposed credit: Photography: Peter Brock, Hilton Davis, Editor: David Middleton.

General view of sheep grazing.

A view of the Tyne Bridge

Superimposed title: Produced for Newcastle & Gateshead Water Company.

The camera pans right showing Newcastle from the Gateshead side of the Tyne.

Cut to the river bank water gathering installation seen earlier in the film. The film ends as the camera pans left and down showing only the river.