Film: 8640

Railways | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Changing work practises because of good ideas from the work force themselves 1950's

Credits. An industrial welding machine, throwing of lots of sparks. The operator describes the process himself in voice-over. They are welding huge rail-racks together. The operator, wearing overalls and a soft hat, looks at the machine from behind a protective screen. Outside a workman in hat, apron, protective gloves and wearing goggles, buffs the rails to make sure they will conduct electricity. The rails have to be turned on the trestles. Several workmen manually turn a rail on the ground using grips. It is hard work. A single workman tries to turn a rail on his own using a crowbar, very dangerous. The welders have come up with an idea in the workshop. A gadget for turning rails is cut using a circular saw. A welder's shadow flashes on a wall. The pieces of the tool are bolted together in a vice. The tool with a handle can be used at either end of a rail to turn it. Two men turn several rails using the tool. The workman can buff the rails much more easily and safely. Two long freight trains curve around a track. The worker's voice is replaced by an official voice-over. Lines of train wheels in a factory. One man working amongst them is dwarfed. Industry relies on people. A factory making locomotive engines. Men are operating machinery to overhaul the locomotives. Spanners are used everywhere in the factory. Various men using different sizes and types of spanner on different jobs. The worn spanners used to be scrapped. A blacksmith's forge. A spanner is being heated to be knocked back into shape. A young apprentice blacksmith with an open-necked shirt and soddy face heats the spanner. He brings the spanner to an anvil and begins knocking it back into shape with another man helping. A young trainee in the workshop files the spanner to the correct gauge. Spanners are heat-hardened and tempered. A spanner put into water to cool, it can now go back into circulation. The factory's smithy is visited by two men in bowler hats, one wearing a suit, the other a work-coat. The idea has been taken up. The locomotive production line. Commuters taking escalators down to the tube. One is smoking a pipe. The wooden steps get worn and need replacing. People's feet stepping off the escalator. A pile of wooden steps in a factory. A man uses a circular saw to cut the wood around the screws. He is wearing a shirt and tie and apron. A hammer knocks out at the wood between the screws. The wood around the screws is knocked out with a hammer and chisel. A automatic extractor pulls the old screws out. The slats are taken from a pile and holes bored in them to be fitted onto the old bases. An older man in flat cap and rolled shirt sleeves uses a machine to screw in the new slats. The chisel knocking out the small bits of wood. Two men in suits are talking at an old drill in the workshop. The other men are working around them. A file filing a piece of the slat. The automatic screw extractor. The two men weld the tools together to do both jobs. The new tool is fitted to the drill. The others gather round. The inventor lowers the bit which cuts into the wood and pulls out the screw. The chipper works the new machine and selects which slats to remove. The man who saved the wood before can use the machine for something else.

The new machine at work. The whole workshop working productivity. A small country railway station. The barrier is down. The timetable alterations are written on a blackboard. The signalman, Victor Sayer, walks down the steps from the signal box and onto the platform. Mr. Thompson, the duty station master, asks him if Mr. Clay, a regular passenger, has seen the blackboard alterations. They do not think so and Mr. Thompson checks the directory and the operator for Mr. Clay's telephone number. The signalman carries on locking up the station. Mr. Thompson sits at his desk behind the ticket window grill. The Clays are not on the telephone so Mr. Thompson tells Victor to drop a note into the on his way home or to set off before he goes home. Victor takes down the address and message and sets off on his bicycle. He rides through country lanes and narrow tracks. He has changed out of his work suit into a more casual jacket and shirt. There is no answer at the door so he goes round the back. The cottage is thatched. A married couple are working in the garden. Mr. Clay is wearing a white shirt with sleeves rolled up, trousers and wellington boots. Victor tells him about the time of Monday's train changing and starts to go. Mr. and Mrs. Clay show him around the garden. Victor's bicycle with flowers on the front, they have been given to him by the Clays for his wife. He whistles as he cycles down a country lane on a summer's day. He is another example of somebody who has thought beyond his job to be helpful. The voice-over asks whether the next instalment of the process will come from you?

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