06 November 2016

1961 film of Hammersmith Flyover construction

Three years ago I visited London's Hammersmith Flyover, one of the most innovative bridges to be built in Britain in the last century. It was one of the world's first precast, segmental, prestressed concrete viaducts, constructed using a complex kit of different concrete elements.

One of my readers recently alerted me to a 1961 film documenting the bridge's construction, produced by the Cement & Concrete Association and available on the BFI website.

This is an excellent film, well worth watching, for many reasons. It remains a hugely informative documentary, full of technical detail on all phases of the bridge's construction. There's plenty to learn not only about how bridges were built over 50 years ago, but about how they are still built today.

One further attraction is the somewhat Cholmondley-Warner style of narration, but probably the most interesting aspect is the difference in approach to worker and public safety from 1961 to today. You could watch this film while marking off a bingo scorecard of what would now be considered quite unacceptable safety practices. In some sections, you'd struggle to keep up, there are so many.

I definitely recommend taking a look, it's an excellent film of considerable historical value.


Anonymous said...

This BFI film is apparently unavailable in the USA. Anyone have any ideas how it can be viewed over here on the left side of the pond?

The Happy Pontist said...

There are online services that can assist, although if they are designed to circumvent copyright licensing restrictions, you may be breaking the law. Search online for SmartDNS or anonymous VPN - most of these services disguise your internet connection to make it appear as if you're in a different country.

juan kis said...

The film is not available to be seen im my country (Mexico). Oh! Now I read the previous comment and answer. Thank you.