This film is part of Free

One for the Road

A giant truck with unusual cargo is on the road to ICI Wilton in the dead of winter.

Documentary 1957 10 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A giant steel tower is transported on an epic winter journey, bound for ICI at Wilton. The camera captures the beauty and drama in a playful travelogue by ICI Billingham Film Unit. People stand and gawp at the impressive convoy as it inches forward, encountering obstacles along the road from Stockton-on-Tees via Yarm and Middlesbrough, heading for the new ICI Nylon Plant. Here it is winched into its memorable position on the Teesside skyline.

You may experience a sense of deja vu whilst watching this documentary short, an entertaining propaganda film for Imperial Chemical Industries and partners Ashmore, Benson, Pease & Co., who constructed the 131 foot stainless steel absorption tower. The film structure and shots bear a striking resemblance to a 1952 British Transport Films production called Dodging the Column, which documents another ambitious industrial haulage project hampered by the absence of motorways at the time. Nevertheless, One for the Road was selected for screening at the Harrogate Festival of Films in the Service of Industry in October 1957.