This film is part of Free
Furnival and Son
Super location footage enlivens this drama-documentary on Sheffield's steel industry.
Government sponsored film 1948 19 mins
Returning to his native Sheffield, demobbed serviceman Sandy faces a dilemma... This steel industry drama-doc is laced with super location shots, but is mainly shot in a studio (with sound added later: Sandy's would-be 'Yorkshire' accent must be heard to be disbelieved...). This government sponsored short is ultimately less a documentary or drama than a parable of the recovering post-war economy.
Dodgy voiceovers aside, Furnival and Son is enjoyably cinematic - especially the shadowy camerawork and Elisabeth Lutyens' brooding score (with suitably brass-heavy themes). During the war the government's Crown Film Unit had developed 'story-documentary' as an effective medium for information and persuasion. Updated to peacetime, it's as much concerned with conflicted individuals as with group dynamics. Here the classical story arc first raises then resolves topical dilemmas: mass production contrasted with family-firm craftsmanship, the carrot of American investment meeting the stick of productivity pressures. The film's tribute to the 'smoke, dirt and hard work' of proud cities like Sheffield feels a tad patronising yet basically sincere for all that.
Steel on Film
Pattern for Progress
Industry sponsored film 1948 42 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
The drama and spectacle of steelmaking at Ebbw Vale.
Industry sponsored film 1961 27 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.
Ingot Pictorial No. 4
1949 18 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.
Ingot Pictorial No. 6
1950 21 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.
Lancashire Steel Corporation - Irlam Works
Industry sponsored film 1935 16 mins Silent Location: Irlam
Inside the steel works - come and take a close look at a very heavy industry.
Sad Day for Bilston
Documentary 1979 24 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.
Factual TV 1988 5 mins Location: Sheffield
Sheffield professional sportsmen train determined disabled adults to compete at the Special Olympics in this heart-warming short film. (
Take Care of Your Teeth
Amateur film 1958 7 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
Children from Sheffield enjoy becoming amateur dentists for the day in this informative educational film from the late 1950s.
Bus Strike Traffic
Sponsored film 1959 9 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
A Sheffield bus strike causes traffic congestion in this film that shows the significant local impact that a workplace dispute can have.
Women and Leisure
Current affairs 1988 11 mins Location: Leeds
This film sees Sheffield Council reform and modernise their approach to female leisure activities for their diverse and busy community.
Wartime Events in Sheffield
Amateur film 1942 19 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
Military men and women from Sheffield put on a show from 1942-1947 in this patriotic compilation film.
Sheffield Peace March
Non-Fiction 1936 7 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
As the rise of fascism casts a shadow over Europe, the people of Sheffield take to the streets to deliver a powerful message.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.