Film ID:
NEFA 21661



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film produced by members of the Cleveland Cine Club looking at the history and operation of Middlesbrough Dock shortly before it is closed in 1980. The final part of the film shot short after the closure of the dock shows the dismantling of the dockside cranes which are seen being taken down the River Tees by tug boat.

Title: Movie Maker – Ten Best – Two Star Rating

Credit: The Cleveland Cine Club Presents

Title: A Wind of Change

The film opens with a map of the River Tees and the Middlesbrough Dock areas along its banks. The commentary describes the river as a major port with a huge handling capacity. Shots follow of another map of the Tees dock area and aerial photos of the river. More stills show ships in dock and a large overhead crane.

The film cuts to a panning shot of a dockside crane near a number of storage sheds. A sign on one of the sheds reads ‘West African Lines Terminal Berth 6’.

The film cuts to show a view of the ship The Arteaga moored along the dockside. The film cuts to show a large square brick building that has a sign on it which reads Pol Anglia.

A Brazilian ship, the Serra Dourada, is moored along another berth. Attached to the deck rails of the ship a warning sign in two languages, including English, reads ‘Keep Out of Propeller’.

The film cuts to show two men standing next to a large wooden packing case. They appear to beckoning (possibly the driver of a crane) for some assistance.

Another shot follows of the bow of the Arteaga and a dockside crane manoeuvres above the hold of the ship.

The film cuts to two workers on a tug, one catches a rope which has been thrown down from a ship. The ship moves away from the tug, a close up follows of the rope attached to the tugs towing mechanism. Shots follow of water being churned up by the tug. Rope is wound onto a capstan on board the tug. A close shot follows of another ship under the name of Hoegh Ugland Auto Liners making its way along the river. The camera pulls back as it continues its journey.

Another map of the River Tees appears with the camera zooming in on the Middlesbrough area. A still photograph follows showing the dock area of Middlesbrough, which, the commentary states, is six miles from the mouth of the Tees.

The film cuts to a sign which reads ‘Middlesbrough Dock Entrance’. The commentary states that the dock opened in 1842. General views follow of the Middlesbrough dock area.

A yellow shunting engine travels away from the camera along a dockside rail track, past a single storey building. A general view follows of ships at the dockside with Middlesbrough in the distance.

Another ship is moored at the dockside, a shot of the stern clearly shows its name Silverkite, London. The commentary describes the dock as having 10 berths, an entrance channel 80 feet wide, and two pairs of lock gates. The depth of water is 16 feet and can accommodate vessels up to 17,000 tons. A shot follows of a set of lock gates letting water through.

The film cuts to a man walking over the walk way that runs along the top of one set of the dock gates. General views follow of the river water near to the gate. Other shots show the poor state of repair in parts of the dock.

The commentary states that due to the decline in business the port authority decided that the Middlesbrough dock should close. A shot follows of a railway wagon carrying girders, which cuts to the view of a ships stern showing the name The Milasi from Istanbul, in the background the Transporter bridge.

A wagon delivers pallets loaded with cases of whisky to the dockside. A man climbs into one of the dockside cranes. The film cuts to a handwritten notice which reads: ‘Middlesbrough Dock Public Execution, July 31, 1980’.

The film cuts back to the delivery of pallets. A man puts chains on one, and the crane lifts the pallet then lowers it into the hold of a ship. A fork lift truck lifts a pallet followed by shots of the crane lifting other pallets. The commentary has given way to live sound and reminiscences of dock workers. Another shot follows of the Milasi from the stern.

Another railway wagon loaded with girders goes by along the dockside railway, pushed by the yellow shunting engine. A high angle shot follows of a tanker, which cuts to a man pushing a lever to open the dock gates. This is followed by views of cars going over the steel road bridge.

A ship is cast off from its moorings and slowly moves away from the dockside. It moves towards the dock gate. A close up follows as the ship manoeuvres. The ship’s propeller churns up the river water as it moves away from the camera.

The film cuts to show a dockside crane being dismantled and lifted away by a floating crane. The commentary explains that on the 31st July 1980 the dock closes and that the new Tees Dock will take on Middlesbrough dock’s capacity.

The film cuts to a tug pulling the floating crane along the river, with its load of an old dockside crane. Shots follow looking down the river from the bridge of the tug. The film ends with long shots of the redundant dockside.

End title: The End (…)

End title: ‘The End, Of an Era’

End Credit: ‘Cleveland Cine Club Production’