Film ID:
YFA 2024

THE BROOK

1959

Visitor Tabs

Description

A film made by Brooks Motors of Huddersfield, this is the story of a Yorkshire river and the industries along its banks as the river flows from its source to the sea.   The film includes a closer look at Brook Motors as well as Bamforths postcard manufacturing.   

The film opens with a scene of a brook running down the hillside and eventually growing into a river.  A little girl sails a boat.  Further downstream, there are shots of pollution as a result of rubbish dumped into the river. 

In Huddersfield, the skyline and surrounding factories can be seen as well as close-ups of houses.  The narrator explains how cloth used to be woven in homes, and there is a demonstration of hand weaving.  The next section focuses on the textile industry, and there are excellent shots of the weaving process.   

There is a mill in the distance, followed by interior shots of the processes starting with a man loading raw wool into a carding set.  Next the slubbing is spun into yarn on a huge machine.  The cloth is woven and a mender checks it. The cloth is washed and put through the cropping machine.  The final scene features a man wearing a suit made of the same cloth woven at the mill on the riverbank.  

The man looks across into a field where a David Brown tractor ploughs the field.  The next section is set inside the tractor factory and shows the production line starting with the engines and through to assembly, painting and testing.  Using a film editing technique, a tractor wheel dissolves into a mill wheel to signify another scene change.  This wheel runs a hemp mill, and there are shots of the river. 

The next section is about Brook Motors electric motor plant.  Different departments are featured including the production line, testing and packing departments. 

A girl in a floral dress sits by the river and writes on a postcard manufactured by Bamforths.  A closer look is taken at the card selection process, and the artists prepare the originals from which the printing blocks are made.  Ladies pack up the postcards for delivery to the shops.  The scene ends with two women choosing cards at a shop, and the scene also provides a good example of contemporary women’s fashion. 

A brewery is next, and the process is followed starting with soaking the barley, raking it on the malt house floor, and drying.  The mash goes into the mash tuns before going into the coppers where the hops are added.  Yeast is added to the fermenting tanks.  Next is the barrel washer which uses boiling water and steam to clean them.  After a barrel is filled, a Hammonds Brewery lorry delivers the beer.  Two men sit on the banks of the Ouse in York and drink beer.  They have tennis rackets, which provides the link to the next scene. 

This is the Slazenger tennis racket factory.  The entire production process can be seen starting with the raw wood to fabrication, stringing and the finished racket. 

Candle making is the next industry on which the film focuses, and parts of the process are documented in a short section.  There are brief shots of a power station which uses river water for cooling.  Finally at the coast, there are dock cranes and ships loaded with goods for export.   

The closing credits list the companies we have seen:

With acknowledgement to:

Bates and Co. Huddersfield Ltd.

John Lockwood & Sons Ltd.

Learwood Bors. & Co. Ltd.

David brown Tractors Ltd.

Bamforth & Co. Ltd.

Hammonds united Breweries Ltd.

Slazengers Ltd.

Kaye and Messanger Ltd.   

The End