Steel on Film
With its glowing rivers of liquid metal and dazzling showers of sparks, steelmaking is the most colourfully cinematic of industries.
Steel is at the very heart of Britain's industrial story. At its peak, the industry employed millions, while its products were ubiquitous at home and exported worldwide. Steel - much of it British - provided "the brace and girder and strut and stay of every industrial economy on earth". By the dawn of the age of film, the British industry was already falling from its 19th century peak, but its influence was still felt in almost every aspect of British life. This collection of films, ranging across the 20th century and exploring steel's processes, products and workers, reminds us how central it has been to Britain and its people. This collection is supported by Community Union and The Eric Anker-Petersen Charity.
Workforce of Parkgate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham (1901)Workforce of Parkgate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham (1901)
Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Rotherham
Edwardian workers react to the camera at one of Rotherham's major employers.
School programme and Educational film194712 mins
Time-travel to a 1940s classroom with this exemplary educational film.
Industry sponsored film196331 mins Location: Sheffield
The heat and noise of a large steel works are brought vividly to life in this promotional film as we are immersed in the "white heat" of Harold Wilson’s scientific revolution.
Industry sponsored film194810 mins
Forging, casting, rolling, pressing, welding - men work around the clock to keep the furnaces ablaze: "steel is wanted everywhere!"
Non-Fiction19776 mins Location: Bilston
The Midlands' last blast furnace makes a car production line look like an hospital operating theatre. 'Elisabeth' of Bilston is the pride of the Black Country.
Children's196355 minsDirector: Gilbert Gunn
A thrilling chase through Sheffield’s steelworks with young Don and Jane, looking for clues after the theft of a secret alloy.
Non-Fiction19792 mins Location: Corby
Save Steel to Save Corby' the banners call. This has become more than a battle to save a steelworks, it's the fight for a whole town's existence.
Current affairs19839 mins Location: Cradley Heath
In over one hundred and fifty years little has changed in the chain forges of Cradley Heath where big, tough men hammer out the biggest and toughest chains.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Geoffrey Howe's Speech at Enterprise AwardsChancellor of the Exchequer Sir Geoffrey Howe's Speech at Enterprise Awards
News19804 mins Location: Taunton
Amateur film19373 minsSilent Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
Richard Thomas & Co. Ltd (later Richard Thomas and Baldwins) brings government-backed hope to depressed Ebbw Vale with new steelworks.
Flat Rolled Products of Richard Thomas & Baldwins LimitedFlat Rolled Products of Richard Thomas & Baldwins Limited
Advert196022 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
A cinematic catalogue of the flat rolled steel products of Richard Thomas and Baldwins, showing some of their typical applications - car parts, cooker hobs, tins, wheelbarrows.
Industry sponsored film196217 mins Location: Llanwern
The most modern, integrated steel works in Europe are at Llanwern, Newport, and they are opened on this “great day” (26/10/1962) by the Queen who is visiting with Prince Philip.
195320 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
The steel industry: the men engage with gigantic machines on a huge scale; the apprentice boys help and holiday; the women have their hair done with the stars.
Industry sponsored film195416 mins
Britain steels itself for the atomic age - literally, in this promotional film showing steel as the underpinning of Britain's nuclear future
195621 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
Only connect: a little Welsh Lady doll, a steel rocking horse, burning Schnapps and the “Limestone Special”.
194918 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
RTB has lots to celebrate and Howard Marshall, director of personnel/public relations and the main Ingot Pictorial commentator, downs a pint in one on opening Ebbw Vale House.
195021 mins Location: Panteg
This Ingot Pictorial – a quarterly review of life inside and outside RTB steelworks – brings back memories of summer events (carnival, tennis, singing cousins) in December.
Industry sponsored film193516 minsSilent Location: Irlam
Inside the steel works - come and take a close look at a very heavy industry.
Documentary197924 mins Location: Bilston
A steelworks and a workforce under the shadow of closure. Bilston faces a cold winter as it loses its traditional heavy industry.
195421 mins Location: London
Tom Williams bridges industrial and rural life: he is a fitter at Bryngwyn Sheetworks but, at leisure, carves shepherd's crooks and competes in sheepdog trials with 'Cap'.
Industry sponsored film196147 mins Location: Lackenby
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.
Promotional192041 minsSilent Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
Mighty machines are seen here at the works of the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Company Ltd, like the Bessemer Converters which can hold 1,000 tonnes of molten iron.
Non-Fiction196111 minsSilent Location: Burry Port/Porth Tywyn
Sheets of steel: processed, packaged and ready for despatch from Llanelli, aka ‘Tinopolis’.
Non-Fiction196114 minsSilent Location: Llanelli
Enduring immense heat and deafening noise, a team of 4 follow the traditional choreography for the production of steel sheets, the danger demanding perfect timing.
Tool Steel Manufacture at the Works of Edgar Allen & Co., Ltd., SheffieldTool Steel Manufacture at the Works of Edgar Allen & Co., Ltd., Sheffield
Industry sponsored film193918 minsSilent Location: Sheffield
Heating, forging, hammering, bending, cutting, welding, moulding, grinding: from molten steel to finished tools and rail track, via the labour power of Sheffield’s finest.
Industry sponsored film196127 mins Location: Colchester
A rare insight into manufacturing in the 1960s, behind the scenes at Colchester Lathes' factory, whose engineers have earned a first class reputation both locally and overseas.
Documentary195630 mins Location: Corby
A richly detailed depiction of the history and technology of the iron ore industry - plus some dramatic explosions.
Documentary19816 mins Location: Ballymena
Immerse yourself in the magical light and sounds of the forge as Tommy Orr continues the family tradition of shoeing horses.
Prince George's Visit to Scunthorpe - Oct. 26th, 1933Prince George's Visit to Scunthorpe - Oct. 26th, 1933
Non-Fiction19339 minsSilent Location: Scunthorpe
Royalty comes to Scunthorpe - and the Jubilee Cinema produces its very own film to mark the great occasion.
Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Barrow-In-Furness
A tidy exit from an unidentified factory in Edwardian Barrow in Furness.
Sponsored film195321 mins Location: Canvey Island
Work, rest and play for the men of steel in this screen review from Welsh steel and tinplate manufacturers Richard Thomas & Baldwin.
Documentary197828 mins Location: Cultra
Joe O’Neill demonstrates the magical alchemy of the forge in a film by Roy Spence created for the Ulster Folk Museum.
Party political broadcast19495 minsSilent
Bill Jones, "a worker, like Tom, Dick & Harry", puts the Conservative case against the nationalisation of the steel industry.