Film: 5443

Railways | 1950 | Silent | B/W


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British heavy industry with the building of Castle Class Engines at Swindon Works for the GWR Great Western Railway, in the 1950's.

Swindon Works, building the castle class locomotives 7028 Cadbury Castle (Castle class) and 7037 Swindon Castle (Castle class). Intertitles are written on a ledger and the pages are turned.
"History of the Castle Engines" and a list is shown of the named engines. C.T. Roberts sits at his desk examining papers in his office. He is a smart gentleman in a suit. He looks up as someone comes to the door and consults with him. "The story from drawing office to main line". The drawing room, designers work at large rolls of paper in an office with high beams and large windows. A man works at a desk on a design with a set square. He also uses a slide rule for his calculations and measurements. "Pattern Making Casting and Machinery frames and cylinders". Two men in brown coats examine the designs on a bench. A third man joins them. A man cuts a piece of wood on a lathe. Two construct wooden crates. On the factory floor of an enormous engine shed at Swindon, with its arched windows. Lots of men work on different locomotive building activities. A crane. A man in a flat cap guides pieces of metal together. Three men hammer down (perhaps for casting). The furnace pours hot metal. Lots of men casting hot metal into moulds from a large crucible. Metal chilling, rolling perhaps pistons. "The Erecting Shop receiving engine and tender parts".
Exterior shots of Swindon engine sheds with lots of locomotives outside in steam, quite a high- level shot and pan across the roofs of the sheds. "Preparing the Jigs and Fixtures. Jig Boring in the Toolroom".
Man enters an office with paper rolls which he shows to another. They examine the drawings which again are designs. They point to areas of interest with pencils. Another medium shot of the railway office. Mr. Roberts gets on the phone and the clerk leaves the office with the rolled up plans. One locomotive with a large single wheel is high on a plinth as another passes overhead on a crane. The factory floor. A man works at a drill, machining a locomotive part.
"Erecting Stage 1. The Engine Frames Arrive". "The Progress Arrange Delivery". Small truck arrives at the factory floor. Several locomotives being constructed with a side panel on a crane overhead. Side panels on a flat bench being marked out. "The Optical Lining Apparatus in Use". Men seem to work on alignment equipment. "Steel Top Pits Uniform Frame Supports with central Ring Fixtures ensure a correct assembly of frames, cylinder castings and boiler". "Outside pit. Men fix pistons in place."
"Erecting stage 2. Frames and cylinders on the drilling plant." Factory floor with big welding plugs. Hitting cold rivets with a big hammer. Grinding and tightening screws with locomotives behind. Engine parts are lowered by crane. Nut tightening. Cranes bring parts together for assembling, man-handled by the work crews. More nut screwing. Welding rivets in place. "Grinding the Horns A double sided Operation". Very large grinding machine "Boiler Preparation to meet the Frame" a metal cutting machine, maybe a nibbler(?). The boiler is lifted by crane and the chimney lowered.

Part 2
"The boiler receives similar jig and fixture methods as the frame in 4 stages, drilling, plastering, cleating, mounting. "A man uses a drill, while another smoothes the plaster on the side of the boiler. Rolled sections of steel are then mounted by two men. Two men on ladders paint.
"In the copper shop" a man moves a chimney in position while it is hammered. A chimney is polished to a high polish and the collar of the chimney is fitted as a man leans over it and polishes. Another man hammers a panel by hand. The boiler without its wheels moves by rail and is lifted by a crane. Nut tightening crew work on the lower parts of the engine. "Erecting stage 3 fixing boiler on frames and cab assembly". The roof of the cab is fixed on and the cab and wheel arches craned. "In the Machine Shop" "Broaching(?6b) crosshead and piston cotterways". Men work at lathe and assembling piston heads. "In the wheel shop" putting flanged tyres onto wheels in a gas pit(?). Hammering them in place. Soldering them in place. Trimming the wheels on their axles. Testing wheels under speed. Wheels on the electric traverser all the way across the Swindon shed with a train speeding by outside.
"Erecting stage 4 wheeling, springing and valve setting "Boiler and cab on a crane is lifted and traverses the factory at ceiling level then lowered onto the wheels. "The Night shift follows on "a line of men lift a piston off the floor to the locomotive. Fitting the springs. Cleaning the pistons. "Frames of another chassis being zeissed. Overhead view of the factory floor. More assembling. Men in flat caps do various operations. A man in flat cap neats rivets. The chimney is lowered onto the boiler. The moving parts are turned and checked slowly. Fixing a transfer sign "British Railways" with the lion emblem on the side of the tender. The tender with the BR paintwork is lifted by crane and lifted onto bogey. More blue collar workers involved in the production.
"The finishing stage" Engine 7033 Hartlebury Castle (Castle class) finally comes together. A whole team polish the bright paintwork. "others who have taken part" Cleaners and sweepers and other staff. Crane maintenance crews. The first-aid post. A worker has a cut hand attended to by a male nurse. A painter finishes the livery, free hand chalking the lines. Chain making. The electric traverse across the factory floor. The engine is mounted on the traverser and outside the shed to the line. More checking. In steam, 7033 backs into a weighing shed "Weighing and spring adjustment" Wonderful "Henry Poole" weighing machines. An engineman oils the pistons. Amazingly wonderful shot of 7033 emerging from a huge cloud of steam along side the Swindon sheds. "Over the Weigh table then to the..... table" A line of men exchange coins for a ticket, perhaps tokens for a pay packet. Nunney castle on the (?) bed. The Last of the Castle. Swindon by HRH Princess Elizabeth at the locomotive Works, Swindon Nov 15th 1950 slightly out of focus shots as Princess Elizabeth mounts a podium and opens the curtains of a nameplate of locomotive "Swindon" 7037. She talks to the Mayor. 4034 rushes through Swindon, close-up of the pistons. The End.

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