Film Documentation

2014/007
Report with photographs relating to the filming of a documentary on the construction of the Forth Road Bridge by Random Film Productions Ltd under the directorship of Gordon Cecil Lang

Description

Report with photographs (and other associated documents) relating to the filming of a documentary on the construction of the Forth Road Bridge by Random Film Productions Ltd under the directorship of Gordon Cecil Lang. The film, completed in 1965, was titled ‘The Forth Road Bridge’.

The photographs are titled:

  • INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF THE FORTH ROAD BRIDGE. The Rt. Hon Sir John Maclay turning on the power to drive the first pile
  • INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF THE FORTH ROAD BRIDGE. The Rt. Hon Sir John Maclay, M.P., Secretary of State for Scotland and Sir John Howard turning on the switch to drive the first pile
  • Starting the anchor tunnels
  • At the bottom of one of the 300 ft. deep anchor tunnels
  • The gang who are erecting the steel for the anchor tunnel
  • Erecting steelwork at the base of the tunnel
  • Engineer and foreman check progress at the base of the tunnel
  • State of Progress on the site at November 20th, 1959
  • Jetty out to the site of the main north tower
  • Pile driving on the south tower site
  • The north side tower starting to take shape
  • The south side waling, assembled on the north side, awaiting high water, to be floated across (May 1959)
  • Towing the waling from the north to the south side, past the existing railway bridge
  • The waling arriving at the south side (May 1959)
  • Details of construction of one of the towers (June 1959)

The other items are:

  • A clipping from the Scotsman of Saturday 5 September 1964 showing a photograph of the opening ceremony
  • A Weekly Scotsman Forth Road Bridge Souvenir colour edition dated Thursday 3 September 1964
  • The Forth Road Bridge The Official Story (published by the Forth Road Bridge Joint Board)
  • GPO First Day Cover “Forth Road Bridge 1964” dated 4 September 1964 with 3d and 6d stamps affixed
  • Small photographic prints of Cecil Lang on the Forth Road Bridge
  • A small print showing an artist’s impression of the Forth Road Bridge

These papers were the property of the donor’s father, Gordon Cecil Lang (1912 – 1988) who directed the film. The donor reports that his father “can claim to have been, perhaps the first civilian to walk on the road bridge as he recorded the Queen being the first person to ‘officially’ drive over the bridge on the opening day”. Interestingly, in 1966 the film was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Documentary Feature (it didn’t win). In 1965 the film won First Prize at the Sixth International Industrial Film Festival in Rouen, France. This film may be viewed on the National Library of Scotland website at http://ssa.nls.uk/film/2208.

Gordon Lang also directed a number of other documentary films including one relating to Coventry Cathedral.

Additional information

Acquisition Number

2014/007

Item Type

Short Description

Report with photographs relating to the filming of a documentary on the construction of the Forth Road Bridge

Manufactured by

Date of Manufacture

1959

Sub-items

None

Supporting Items

None

Makers Number

None

Marks

None

Dimensions (mm)

216 x 343

Donor

Date Donated

April 2014

Materials

Paper and photographic paper

Condition

Good

Display Location