This film is part of Free

Steel Sheet Making

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.

Non-Fiction 1961 14 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Here at work, enduring temperatures and decibels that are an affront to notions of health and safety, are a mill team of 4 - the furnaceman, the rollerman, the behinder, the doubler. Their work is skilled, involving perfect timing and a high level of trust and inter-dependence. Also seen are the bar cutters, the picklers, galvanisers and corrugators and the men who package the finished articles.

This footage was shot in Llanelli and probably shows the Llanelly Steel Works, bought in 1960 by Duport Ltd (a steel-rolling and engineering company based in Staffordshire) at a time when four other steelworks in west Wales closed. The mill team seen at work here would have had 2 extra men attached to it, ready to take the place of any of the 4 who needed a break, thereby ensuring there was no stoppage at all during an 8 hour shift. Copious amounts of beer or ginger beer – water tending to cause stomach cramps - were drunk during such shifts, to replace the amount of water sweated away as the men toiled in the immense heat.