Workers defy gravity as they piece together the tubes and girders of a coal boring tower at St. David’s Harbour, Fife. (clip)

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  • 1950s

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Overall rating:


Reference number: 6104

Date: 1955

Sponsor: Stewarts and Lloyds

Production company: Ace Film

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 26.29 mins

Description: This film describes the manufacture, construction and subsequent launch of a coal boring rig. Construction took place on the banks of the River Forth, near the Rail Bridge.

Credits: ph. John Miller, Pete Cartwright, Leo Waller
sc. Douglas Dale
voice. Frank Phillips
p. manager John S. Green
p. Frank Green
copyright 1955 Stewarts and Lloyds Limited

Shotlist: title and credits (0.10) view from ship of world's first sea boring tower receding in distance (0.25) map of Firth of Forth (0.36) photographs of Maunsell forts on Thames estuary during WW2 (0.48) large boring tower supported by pontoons (1.06) design plans of tower (1.45) man marking chalk on steel at Stewarts & Lloyds works and marking junction angles (2.50) cutting section with blowtorch (3.05) setting stubs in position for tack welding followed by final welding (3.52) fitting of flanges (4.30) internal plate diagrams being welded into junctions (5.15) various joint fittings (5.26) ext., on site construction of base and pinning of tension members (5.56) corner junction pieces, housing in b/ground (6.23) St. David's harbour, Fort rail bridge just visible in b/ground. Various photographs site (6.48) ext., snow on ground. Tubular sections being lifted by crane and assembly of cross-bracing (7.05) raising of cross-bracing by crane (7.21) brace clear of water at low tide (7.27) positioning of junction pieces and painting with bitumous solution (7.48) hoisting of main member to top of tower. Scaffolding surround tower under construction (8.45) gvs joining of junction pieces on site (9.41) fitting of 18" members to cross joint to form bracing which is lifted by crane (10.10) design plan of joining of members (10.19) member lifted into position (10.28) ten junction piece being fitted to main member before lifting into position (11.03) assembly of members for top of tower before hoisting (11.34) steel sections of pontoons arrive at site (11.52) aerial view pontoon (12.02) construction of girder framework before being raised in sections (12.39) view of tower from a distance with Forth rail bridge in b/ground (12.43) design plans (12.52) closer view joins on structure, man climbing scaffolding (13.24) arrival of further sections for pontoon, workmen prepare them (13.46) lifting and fitting of electrically operated winches (14.11) work at the base of the tower to fit pontoons (14.30) pan up tower from base (14.40) soundings being taken in the channel between St. David's Harbour and the site by men in small boat. Return to narrow entrance to harbour (15.32) gvs construction of cabin living accomodation for the boring tower, 6 cabins in all for 24 men as well as cabins for amenities and generator house, 11 buildings in all (16.15) view from below of some houses that have been hoisted into position on tower (16.40) lifting of outrigger supports for the deck (17.08) flat plate flanges are bolted to top of structural framework. Workman tightening bolts without any support (17.40) workman walks along girder smoking cigarette (17.53) view from ground of main part of girder work (18.05) hoisting of two tonne mobile crane to main deck (18.35) gvs octagonal main deck, 86 feet across. Water visible below (19.01) guard tubes being lifted from truck (19.05) design plans (19.18) gvs completed tower (19.38) gvs pontoons being moved into position (20.12) manoeuvering of two tubular booms to keep pontoons in alignment (21.25) steel cables being attached to winches to enable tower movement (21.56) gvs tower (22.08) 22nd May 1955, tower is floated on the rising tide and manoeuvred out of harbour by tugs, towards the Forth bridge (24.40) flooding of base as tower approaches site for boring (25.33) tower now sitting at right height (25.46) rope thrown to two men on base of tower as boat approaches (25.59) m/v tower (26.07) l/s tower as boat passes (26.22) The End (26.29)