This film is part of Free

Steel Strides Ahead

The glare of molten metal, flames, and furnaces all the visual drama of steel-making is captured in a promotional for Dorman Long on Teesside.

Industry sponsored film 1961 47 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Rivers of steel still flowed through the famous South Bank Dorman Long works on the River Tees in 1961, when this richly informative industrial film was made. But theres little sign of toiling workers amidst the deafening roar of blast furnaces and machinery at the Lackenby works near Middlesbrough, constructed optimistically after World War Two.

Dorman Long constructed many of the most iconic bridges of the twentieth century including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the New Tyne Bridge, and Tees Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough. The film (missing some credits) was commissioned from John Byrd Film Productions, which specialised in documentaries for steel and engineering industries from the 1950s to 1980s, several filmed in the searing heat and highly dangerous environment endured by steel workers. The commentary is voiced by Bob Danvers-Walker in the perky, patriotic tone familiar from his broadcasts on Pathe News cinema newsreels during World War Two.