This film is part of Free

Big Geordie

A mechanical monster of the 70s takes its place in Northumberland’s coal mining history.

Industry sponsored film 1970 21 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Marvel at the minds that designed a machine the size of a mobile tower block to gouge out earth in the open cast coal mines of Northumberland. This industrial film details the construction and operation of a huge dragline excavator, the largest of its type in Western Europe at the time. Big Geordie is christened and walks to work with its 56 feet shoes. In the final scenes, the machine is lovingly observed digging to the tune of a Viennese waltz.

As obsolete as the dinosaur (superseded in 1993 by an even bigger machine called the Ace of Spades), Big Geordie was sold for scrap in 2004. This promotional was made by Turners, who had more than 20 years of experience in post-war sponsored film production for industries and businesses in the North East, operating until 1999 from their Newcastle production house.