Film: 6368

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | B/W


Three men in a sewer. Tunnels go off either side of them. There is dingy brickwork all around. Each man wears high rubber boots and a donkey jacket. They stand about calf-deep in dirty water. Close-up on one man who is being interviewed by someone off-camera who has an 'old BBC' accent. The speaking man has a cockney accent and is answering a question about the composition of the sludge at the bottom of the water. Three men viewed from above, through a grating. Cut back to the man. He is speaking about his working hours. We learn that they work nights between 9pm and 6am. A second man is questioned. We see the interviewer from the back. The sewerman leans against a shovel. He is discussing night work and says he prefers working with sludge to being a milkman. They go on to discuss wages. Cut to view from above of all three. Interviewer "climbs back to the outside world". We see his head poking out of a manhole as he makes his closing speech (incomplete because of coming join).
-join- possibly earlier in the film - shot of "activated sludge" ( these are the first words we hear as we see a trough of sewage). Pan up to processing works and an explanation of how waste is purified by bacteria. -join- even earlier in the film- camera follows a large pipe into a hole where the sewage is swirling away. Funky banjo music plays. Boat pulling away from port. Back to "fascinating sewage treatment". Next shot is a repeat of "activated sludge" section. Gets halfway through 'bacteria' speech then film ends.

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