Film ID:
YFA 4935

ARMSTRONG PATENTS EAST GATE BEVERLEY SHOCK ABSORBER PRODUCTION CIRCA 1954

c.1954

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film was taken at Armstrong Factory in Beverley capturing a typical day in the factory.  Armstrong’s was one of the main employers in Beverley, mainly manufacturing shock absorbers for international distribution.  The film documents machinery and processes involved in the manufacture as well as the men and women who worked in the factory.

The film opens with a woman standing at a machine, and other workers can be seen in the background.  This is followed by exterior scenes of the Armstrong Patents Co. Ltd building.  Cyclists pass one way on the road while cars pass in the opposite direction.  Two women walk past a line of cars parked in front of the factory.  More cyclists, traffic, and pedestrians pass by. 

Inside the office main reception, there is a map of Beverley on the wall.  A man, dressed in an RAF uniform, speaks to the woman at the front desk.  Following this is footage taken from inside the factory itself.  There are stacks of boxes or crates full of products, and members of the workforce are working at many different machines at various stages of the production line.  There is very little space between the machines and workers on the factory floor.  Additionally, the majority of the workforce is made up of women, many of whom wear colourful aprons and headscarves. 

There are shots of the overall factory taken from an elevated position, and then from the floor level, there filmmaker captures individual aspects of the production process. 

Outside the factory, there is a brief shot of pallets of the product have been stacked up.  Two men are inside, and one of the men mixes the liquid metal.  Once set, a man uses large tongs to remove the moulded product, and there is a close-up of the product.  This is followed by more footage of the factory and different workers at machines. 

Women workers are now drilling holes into the shock absorbers.  Pieces of the shock absorber are piled up waiting for the next stage of the production process.  The metal pieces move down the conveyor belt where other workers check and stack the product.  They are then hung on a belt and taken up to the second floor where there are more machines and operators.  Some of the footage is filmed in slow motion, and at this point in the process, the cylinders are polished.

Two women are seated at a table where they put together nuts and bolts, placing the finished product in a box.  There is further small product assembly which takes place, all of which is done by hand.  Another woman uses a machine to test or assemble small parts, and this is followed by footage of the cylinders being polished. 

Now at a different stage of production, the women workers are wearing heavy rubber gloves to handle the product.  Hole size is also tested. 

Back to the small parts, further assembly takes place, and the assembled product moves down the production line.  Flat metal pieces are assembled, and holes are drilled in larger pieces of metal.  There is also close-up footage of this process.  Women workers, again many of whom are dressed in colourful outfits, assemble parts of the shock absorbers making sure the joins are coated with oil.  Larger pieces are assembled and placed in baskets. 

A man is smoking a cigarette while he works at a machine which tests the strength of the shock absorbers.  Once checked, the shock absorbers are hung on a conveyor belt, sprayed, and sent to be packaged.  Women place cardboard wrapping around the finished product and pack them in boxes.  Many tables are set up for the packaging part of the operation, and there are shots of boxes and larger wooded crates which will be shipped all over the world. 

A man operating a forklift moves the crates into a loading bay and then onto a pick-up truck.  This is followed by more male workers in the loading bay and exterior footage of the factory.  The boxes are to be shipped internationally, and some locations include Melbourne, Spain, Zurich, Auckland, Montreal, and Chicago.  One of the boxes also has the following address:  W.E. Jacketts, 1 Birklands Dive, Hull.