Film: 8674

Industry + Work | 1940 | Sound | Colour


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A LMS (London Midland and Scottish Railway Company) film charting the journey of raw cotton, wool and wood pulp to England and the various processes they go through before reaching the consumer 1940's

A steam train pulls into a station (the number on the train looks like 8660). Commentary refers to rail network connecting the British Isles and being essential for commerce. A man pulls on big levers. The signals change. The drivers inside the cockpit of the train pull switches. The driver descends the side of the train. Number on the side reads 8361. He wears blue overalls and the commentary explains the fibres they are made out of. His co-driver joins him and they wipe their hands with rags. Shots of levers being pulled and men tending to the track. A man in a cap makes notes from the side of the train. The side reads "LMS 13T 409287". A guard waves a flag. Close-up of the drivers wiping their hands on cotton rags.
The Liverpool Docks. Blocks of cotton in its raw state and a man pulls some off and pats it together with his hands. Men secure the blocks onto crates. Busy scenes of unloading the blocks from a ship and lowering onto land. Ship reads "Zachary Taylor, San Francisco". Close-up of a man indicating with his hand where they should be put. Commentary explains how central cotton is to almost everything people wear.
Another port, crates of wood are unloaded from ships from Sweden and Canada. Heavy lifting machinery, crates are lined up. The ship reads "Britta Christensen Trelleborg". A man covers over the crates on a goods train, a Swedish flag flies in the background.
Wool is unloaded from a ship. A group of men untie the ropes around the bundles. A man pulls wool out of a bundle to examine and weigh. Bundles of wool lined up.
Train taking the materials to be made into rayon. Train number reads 5581. View of a factory with tall chimneys. Large round tanks lined up outside for the chemicals needed. Industrious scenes; men inside the factory weigh wood pulp and arrange into batches. The men dip the pulp into caustic soda. Pulp is poured into a grinder. A man operates spinning machines. Fibres are compressed to be transported to spinning mills.
Outside view of a Lancashire Mill. Men unload the bales of raw cotton for spinning. They pull big clumps of cotton and throw into a machine. A woman stands by the spinner watching. Close-up of the machine producing thread. A man pulls a large roll of cotton from a machine and places it on a scale to be weighed. Many close shots of the spinners in action with women working at them.
View of a Yorkshire mill with houses and trees in the foreground; plumes of smoke coming from the chimneys. Raw wool is unloaded and taken inside the mill. Men wheel baskets of wool inside, tip them on their side and push the wool into a machine.
A woman lines up strips of wool and threads them into the spinners. Close shot of a machine which hammers the wool into shape. Spinners making the wool into thread. Row of cotton reels. Cotton is woven by machine in very rhythmic movements. A woman pulls and folds the produced cloth. Large piles of the woven cloth is wrapped ready for transportation.
At a dying plant cloth falls into open containers and wave around like sails. One of the containers reads "Parkside No 1". Long strips lower into dye and emerge different colours. Men fold large pieces of coloured cloth. Scenes of sweeping fabric. Patterned fabric rolls through machines and dye is poured in. The wet cloth is draped over a hot roller to dry. Fabric is rolled up ready to be moved again.
Scene of mounds of coal. Coal is lifted by machinery for transportation. Engineering room with lots of dials and switches and men pulling levers. The generators for the fuel. A man with a white coat walks past the various dials and we focus on a dial with "slow" and "fast" either side of it.
Mill in the foreground and countryside in the background with no smoke coming from the chimneys. An empty side street without people and a row of closed shops. A shop window with a kitten on the ledge; a sign reads "Annual Holidays, closed from June 28th - July 7th". Wakes week.
A queue of people with luggage on a pebbled square move slowly into a railway station. Close view of people with happy faces handing their tickets to the guard and boarding a red LMS passenger train. Drivers lean out of the window. The guard waves the flag. Close view of the train wheels as they begin to move and steam rises. The train leaves the station and people look out of the window.
Red brick wall with a large poster of a seaside image which reads "Blackpool". A bustling scene as crowds of people leave the train. Camera pans from the crowd to Blackpool Tower. People gather on the promenade at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The beach with people relaxing in the sun. Three men come past on donkeys. A small child builds a sandcastle. High shot of the amusement park with the ferris wheel/big wheel. Carriages move up a rollercoaster and trundle down the other side. People entering "The Greatest Show on Earth" with a large man on the door. An ice cream cart on the beach selling cones to children.
A firm of clothing manufacturers in the Midlands; a women at a sewing machine. View of many women at sewing machines. At a long table covered with cloth a woman with a cutting implement carefully cuts fabric. A woman takes a handful of dresses from a rail and behind her a man and a woman pack dresses into boxes. Outside the plant a man delivers the boxes to a waiting van. The side of the van reads "LMS Express Parcels Traffic 1190D". Several vans leave a depot one by one. One of them has an advertisement for Bovril on the side. A D. H. Evans shop displays the new clothes and a woman looks in through the window. DH Evans. Two women walk past in the foreground. A fashion show where models walk along a catwalk wearing clothes made from the fabrics seen earlier. The watching women and their husbands nod and smile at each other.
Back garden and a woman and her daughter take down the washing from the line. One of the L.M.S. drivers enters the back garden and his daughter runs up to greet him. She takes off his cap and puts its on her head and laughs.


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