Social History | 1930 | Sound | B/W
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A smoky industrial northern town has its ordinary every day life analysed including Wakes week where they go to Blackpool 1930's
Shot of an industrial town, classical music plays, people cross the road, we see a clock tower. The narrator tells us that this is 'Anytown,'. We see shots of streets and a pub called the' Spinners Arm'. We then see a train station which says 'Anytown' on its front, a car is parked outside and a few people are moving around. The narrator tells us that the town’s very existence depends on transport. Shots of smoking chimneys, industry workers run around the streets, shots of large factories, factory pulleys pull. A group of workers take an elevator down at a coal mine, while another group stand queuing. We see the top of the elevator structure as it pulls elevators to the surface. A miner hacks at coal, he is covered in dirt. We can also see the collieries workings. The collieries we are told are miles from the town, a miner stands next to a cart that is filled with coal. There is then a shot of a group coal carts that are filled with coal, the narrator explains that trains are used to transport these carts around the country, we then see a train pulling carts along the track, alongside this are various shots of the train some are close ups on the wheels as it travels at high speeds and some are of the train from a distance.
We then see a cart full of coal being emptied, the coal is facing the camera as it is being poured out, and dust comes up as it collides together. A miner puts coal into a furnace. We see workers wearing eye protection as they pour hot molten liquid into moulds, sparks fly in some of the shots and loud orchestral music plays. A press comes down firmly onto the mould. We see shots of reels spinning large ribbons and then a close up of a drill, there is then a montage of workers as they stand by very large industrial machines, the workers are wearing overalls. Close up of the molten liquid pouring. A shot of the landscape of the factories, smoke is bellowing from the chimneys.
The narrator tells us that these machines and the factories we see could not work without a good transport network. A truck pulls up filled with sacks of coal for delivery, a man gets out of the truck and takes out a sack of coal and goes to a house. Inside we can see a group of three people, an elderly couple and a young woman, they are using the wood to heat up a stove, and on the side is a kettle. A busy street, on either side are people walking along the streets, a truck filled with bags of fuel drives down this road. We see a car parked at the side of the street, the truck carrying the fuel sacks continues up the hill. A fishing boat sailing along the sea, people are visible on its deck, and the narrator tells us that 100,000 people have to be fed every day in these towns. Fishermen pull in nets filled with fish, we then see the fish being dropped onto the deck of the ship. Looking out of the front of the boat as it crashes along the waves, rising up and then coming down and making a large splash.
There is then a shot of a field full of what appears to be corn crops, a harvester is being pulled by horses, three trees can be seen in the background. Close shot of the horse drawn harvesting machine as we are told that farmers sow the seeds and reap the harvest. Classical music plays again and we can see a behind shot of the machine as it continues away from the camera. We can again see the fishermen, they are now pulling their catch off of the boat. This quickly goes to a horse drawn cart that is filled with hay, there is a verge behind the cart and three people stand on this looking out over the cart. A worker pulls a bucket towards the camera, the bucket appears to be filled with fish. Outside a farm house three pigs are being fed by the farmer, to the farmers side is a large pile of wood. The narrator tells us that livestock is raised and tended, and that countless activates go on throughout the length and breadth of the country. We then see boxes filled with fish, a worker tends to them and then we see a large group of sheep run across a field, and then a shot of knives being sharpened. Four large crates of food produce stand on end while three workers stand around them. We then see a train pull out slowly, and two others stand next to it.
Hung pieces of meat are now on display, a butcher picks one of these up, we then see a crate being moved through a door, and then into another room wear another person quickly picks it up and takes it through another door. There is then a shot of the goods train as it pulls a long load across the camera, this is interspersed with close ups of the trains wheels. There are more shots of the train together with one of a train leaving a yard. A man can then be seen pulling a kind of up right trolley, and then another man takes out pieces of meat from a van. There are various shots of men working, one is pushing a barrel, the next is then transporting a crate and then we see a van leaving containing food for the workers. The narrator tells us that people are putting in the effort every day and night to ensure that food is on the table for the workers. We then see a truck pull up at fishmongers and then at butchers to deliver stock.
Then we see an aerial shot of a market with people buying their shopping. We then see from behind a market stall where people are buying products, some of these products are hung up, we see more people from above buying groceries, a woman purchases fruit from a stall while the narrator tells us that these towns depend on transport links for their very existence. We are then inside a house as a family eats their food, an elderly woman pours tea while the others are a man and wife and their young children.
The narrator tells us that the manufacturing arm of Anytown must look for produce far and wide, a man is sitting behind a desk behind him is a map of Britain, he turns to the map and puts pins on various locations around the map, he then reaches down at an intercom, presses it and then another man comes into his office. He asks the man who has just come into the office to go and collect some crates from the railway. Another man goes into a different office, he reaches for the phone and says 'anytown 349' and that he wants to arrange for goods to be collected. We see the man on the other end of the phone, talking about the cost of delivery, and then there is another man sat next to him asking the cost to transport to Gloucester. We see other people on the phones making arrangements for goods to be picked up and transported. Then a shot of a train as it transports goods. Shots of trains are now interspersed with shots of people talking about how much it costs to transport goods to various parts of the country. We then see crates being moved by workers, a transport crate is then hoisted up, and we then see a man wrap rope around a pulley. Two trains emerge from a tunnel, and are then connected, we then see a train leaving the yard. There are shots of the man in the office as he places pins on a map of Britain, then these are cut against shots of a train travelling.
We now look at a newspaper stand, the head lines says 'more signs of growing prosperity,' people come and buy the newspaper. There are more shots of trains transporting goods around the country, then there is a shot of a man placing a marker on a map while the narrator says that transporting goods around the country is vital for Britain. We then see an aerial shot of a sea port, cars are busy around, people walk around the yard, to the side are cranes. Large sacks of goods, the narrator tells us that the goods from Anytown are going abroad, we then see the cranes loading the ships, with pallets piled high with boxes. Another pin is placed onto a map and then we see a crates being taken out and placed onto the ship yard. We then see the ship sailing, it is a large ship and there is large exhaust fumes coming from the top.
The man in the office places more pins in the map and then sits down and picks up the phone, on the phone he says that he wants to catch the 3:15 train, two other people, picking up the phone and arranging to travel by train. Wigan North Western train station, the stairs leading up to the platforms, a large crowd of people stand on the platforms waiting for their train. We are told that Anytown is dependent on trains for both its business and leisure activities, a man being escorted to the train, then a close up of the trains wheels, they start and then we see the train leaving. A man puts his coat onto a rack in an individual carriage. The train travelling over a long, high bridge, a train passes another train and we see people inside the carriage talking to each other. The camera then looks out as the train travels at a high speed along the tracks and we again see the people talking in the carriage booths. The narrator informs us that in on trains now you can receive your meals at 70 mph. There are shots of the train travelling around corners at high speeds and then the people on the carriages talking amongst themselves, looking out of the window a train passes speeding by. The man from the office is sitting in one of the booths and reaches inside his briefcase to pull out a business papers, the train passes another train, and men in business suits walk down the aisle in the train. Dinner is then served to two businessmen sitting side by side, taking drinks. There then follows more shots of what goes on in the train, people taking dinner, working on papers all interspersed with footage of the train speeding past.
A man smartly dressed exits the train, then there is a close up of a calendar. Crowds of workers leave the factories and the narrator tells us that it is time for them to go on holiday. A sign says,' Anytown manfg. Closes for Wake's week' , a worker shuts the gate of the factory, and we see the store fronts shown earlier in the film with closed for wake's week signs in their windows. A man and his wife pack a suit case of clothes for their holiday. The family leaves their house which looks to be a miner's cottage typical of Northern towns, the husband locks his door and leads his daughter away by the hand. A large group of people leave the trains, they are all smartly dressed, the narrator says that only transport can take the people to their 'desired amusement,' large groups of people move around the station's platforms. An announcer stands holding a cone to carry his voice as he addresses the large group of people that have gathered. People board a train, they are all well dressed, there seems to be a lot of well dressed women. A train pulls out, they are filled with passengers looking at the camera as the train leaves. We can see the shops that are closed down in Anytown, then a shot of the factories that are no longer working, then a train comes directly at the camera and two trains pass each other, a train looks up from the tracks as a train passes over head. An aerial shot of a large train station surrounded by houses. Then the screen fades to reveal a coastal town as way of comparison, from the air people bathing are clearly visible. The narrator at this point talks about the joys of the countryside. We can then see the family that we saw leaving their house for a holiday, building sandcastles on the beech, the sand castle has both a Union Jack and an Australian flag on their castle tops. Small children and their parents paddling in the sea, which is then compared to the deserted shot of Anytown. After we can see a swimming pool that is filled with people, slides are to one side and people slide down them to the pool. Then there is a fun fair, we see a ride of spaceships spin around in the air. A shot of the empty Anytown streets, which cuts back to children’s rides and then to children running around shouting, another child comes down the slide towards the camera , then we see people go down the steepest part of the roller coaster.
Train tracks coming towards the camera, a shot of a lake with large rolling hills in the background. Two golfers stroll down a hill side bank, the factories of Anytown are still deserted, and then we see two walkers stroll down a path as the sun comes down on them. Three people lean over a railing looking out at the sea front and a group of people fishing is now shown, then another shot of the deserted Anytown. Shots of people in a restaurant dining, looking out a window at the view, and then a shot of a large hotel which is followed by the tennis courts at the back of it. Groups of people and then ships sailing with the country side behind them. As the narrator announces that it is time for Anytown to return to work, a train travelling from the right to the left of the screen. Then several shots of a train travelling towards the camera as it pulls into a station, people get out of the train and fill the platform, going down the stairs, another shot of the trains as they pull into a station, and more people leaving the trains as the narrator says that they have returned with 'happy memories,'. There are more shots of the people travelling through the train station and then a shot of the sign saying that Anytown is shut for the Wake's week being taken down. The narrator informs us that 'industries wheel turns again,' as we see the workers return to their factories, another shot of the Anytown factories which are now starting to begin to work again, to symbolise this we can hear orchestral music start to play which sounds like 'flight of the bumble bee,'. We then see workers putting coal into the furnaces and then the chimneys as they start to bellow smoke. Against these shots of the chimneys are shots of the machines of the factories working, followed by shots of the workers. Finally ending with a shots of people on boats and trains as the narrator goes, 'whether it be by land or sea, or air, transport is always there,' Against this we can see a bi-plane take off.
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