The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Sparks fly in an industrial film that captures the exciting visual drama of steel production in Consett.
From the collection of:
There’s something primal and dangerous about the making of steel. The molten magic of the process is captured here at Consett Iron Works in the beautiful Derwent Valley. On the eve of re-nationalisation, this public relations exercise for the British Steel Corporation emphasises new ‘oxygen steelmaking’ and an impressive world market for the products, along with tradition and strong community ties in a town steeped in steel-making history.
In 1967 Harold Wilson’s government moved steel production back into state ownership. Consett Iron Company became part of the British Steel Corporation (BSC), which commissioned this documentary from Turners production house, the go-to-guys for industrial filmmaking in the North East from the 1940s. State film sponsorship and rationalisation of the steel business failed to reverse the steady decline of the industry. On 13 September 1980 the legendary iron and steel works at Consett closed, despite making a profit that year, and left a devastating third of the town out of work.
Industry sponsored film 1948 42 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
The drama and spectacle of steelmaking at Ebbw Vale.
Documentary 1970 7 mins
A window on to a futuristic vision of concrete, glass and steel.
Industry sponsored film 1964 31 mins
At Rotherham a revolution in steelmaking has human consequences.
Industry sponsored film 1951 42 mins Silent
An industrial epic plays out in steelmaking South Wales.
1975 13 mins Silent Location: Swindon
After a glorious history, Baldwin's iron and steelworks in Swindon, Staffordshire, faces closure.
Documentary 1973 24 mins
Artists, designers and engineers extol the virtues of steel.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.