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May 30 2013

Stockton Festival to host Film Premiere 1-2 June 2013

STOCKTON‘S Riveting Stuff engineering festival will be hosting a film premiere about one of the Borough’s most famous company’s – Head Wrightson.

A Pride Job explores the work of the Head Wrightson engineering plant and its role in the lives of those who worked there and within the wider Stockton community.  The film features interviews with former workers and archive footage of the plant, which contributed significantly towards the region’s engineering expertise and played a major role in the post second world war reconstruction of the UK.  The history-changing employment of women during the war is also explored.

A Pride Job promises to be a fascinating insight into a company which defined the lives of several generations.

Margret Thatcher’s 1987 ‘walk in the wilderness’ inspired producer Derek Smith to find out more about the industries which stood on the, by then, unused land on the banks of the Tees, now the thriving Teesdale site.

Derek’s research led him to Head Wrightson. He said: “I tracked down and interviewed 25 ex-workers from the Head Wrightson engineering plant and uncovered a story of achievements, togetherness and pride. Whole families worked there for generations and the link between work and community was remarkable. Head Wrightson was revered worldwide and it built many of London ’s landmarks. Workers describe their training at the renowned apprentice school which was so good it gave them a passport to future work anywhere in the world.

I realised the world-famous Head Wrightson, the major employer in Thornaby and where my ancestors came from Ireland to work, would soon be beyond living memory. So I set out to record the experiences of the everyday drillers, welders and platers as well as management who made a remarkable contribution to the war effort as well as the post war reconstruction of Britain .  A Pride Job is a tribute to these unsung heroes.”

Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Ken Dixon, said: “We’re thrilled to be hosting the premiere of A Pride Job.  Head Wrightson is an important part of the Borough’s history and more than deserving of its own film.  We’re proud to be chosen to be the venue for the film’s first public screening.”

Screenings of A Pride Job will take place during Riveting Stuff in the classroom in the north abutment tower of the Tees Barrage.  People can book their free place on the day at the Information desk in the Archimedes Marquee (the main marquee next to the Barrage). There is a maximum of 25 places per screening.

Screening times

Saturday 1 June

11:00 – full 60 minute screening

15:00 – 45 minute edited version, followed by a Q&A with Derek Smith and former employees, including Albert Roxburgh, author of the book Life at Heads about his experiences at Head Wrightson.

Sunday 2 June

11:30 – full 60 minute screening

15:00 – 45 minute edited version followed by Q&A with Derek Smith and former employees, including Albert Roxburgh, author of the book Life at Heads about his experiences at Head Wrightson.

Copies of A Pride Job and Life at Heads will be available to buy for just £8.99 in the Heritage Marquee, which also includes a stunning photography display featuring many images from Head Wrightson.