Tuesday, July 05, 2011

150 - The Restoration of Saltburn's Cliff Lift

‘150’ celebrates the care and craftsmanship that went into re-creating Britain’s oldest working water-balanced cliff-lift, and returning it, with its restored companion, in time for Saltburn’s 150th anniversary year.

Jan Cawood of Tin Man Films wanted 150 to convey the wonder of 19th century engineering while also focusing in on human skills. There’s some use of modern tools and machinery, but traditional tools and techniques do most of the work – mallet, clamps, wedges, sand-paper and, above all, human hand and effort, lifting, tapping, stirring paint, sanding and, for the other vital ingredient, holding mugs of coffee.

Stanegate Restorations of Haltwhistle carried out the work, led by Ian Yates, who also narrates the film. Scenes of his team are intercut with shots of the December sea-front, snow-covered rails waiting for their carriages to come back, and the expanse of beach, crossed by a few strollers and dogs.

‘150’ is a companion-piece for Jan’s film ’55 seconds’ - which is the journey time for the cliff-lift. It portrays a typical day on the vehicles through the images and voices of their passengers and crew. More information about the film-making process with images can be found at Tin Man Films blog.

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