A Flourish of Tubes

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Promotional film showing the work of the steel tube division of Tube Investments Ltd (TI).





Film type:

Colour / Sound




Greenpark Productions

Master format:



The film shows the manufacture, testing and applications of various types of steel tubes made by Tube Investments Ltd.

The film starts by showing a group of school boys visiting a TI factory where they see tubes being made. A voice over describes the many and varied types of tubes made by TI beginning with hot rolling of solid steel. We then see inside a factory which uses the cold working process to draw tubes through a die. The seamless method of tube manufacture using steel plate and an electro-resistance welding technique is also show. The rigorous testing methods employed by TI are seen in a laboratory. Next, we see the applications for some of the company's products: stacking tubular chairs; pipe-work for a milking machine; motorcycle frames; mining equipment; and an archer's bow.

We then see the latest developments in tube design and manufacture, many of which are destined for the nuclear industry and we see an establishing shot of Calder Hall nuclear power station and an oil refinery. Finally more applications are shown: scientific instruments; traffic in London; Donald Campbell's Bluebird boat; motorcycle racing; the Short SC1 prototype vertical take off and landing aircraft at an air show (possibly Farnborough in 1960); and a ship at sea.

The film ends by listing the member companies of the Steel Tube Division of Tube Investments: Accles & Pollock Ltd; Alma & Cranmore Tube Co. Ltd; Chesterfield Tube Co. Ltd; Helliwells Ltd; Howell & Co. Ltd; Jarrow Tube Works Ltd; National Tube Co. Ltd; Reynolds Tube Co. Ltd; Richards & Ross Ltd; Talbot-Stead Tube Co. Ltd; Tube Products Ltd; Tubes Ltd; Weldless Steel Tube Co. Ltd.


Photographed by Arthur Lavis
Assistant Director - John Smith
Sound by Ron Abbott
Dubbing Editor - Michael Shah Dayan
Music by Spike Hughes with a section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer
Narrated by Bernard Miles
Produced by G. Buckland-Smith
Written and Directed by Clifford Hornby


It is not clear exactly which factories (as listed at the end of the film) are actually seen. Accles & Pollock Ltd were based at Oldbury and were one of the founders of TI in 1919. Helliwells Ltd and the Talbot-Stead Tube Co. Ltd were both based at Walsall. TI also operated a stainless steel tube works at Dudley.