Film ID:
YFA 1322



Visitor Tabs


This film portrays the working lives of different generations of factory workers in York’s chocolate industry.  The film goes about exploring the importance of the chocolate industry to the community and to York itself. It explores the different periods the industry has lived through, looking at different generations of employees and the changes within the industry.
The film begins with an animation of smarties, stacked as humans, dancing and moving towards a chocolate box with the title of the film on.

[clips of factory/York intertwined throughout] [many archival clips and footage used as well when relevant]
Title: Chocolate Families

The narrator introduces the focus of the film on Rowntree’s and Terry’s, and the importance of these factory’s to York. The film rolls through images of past employees. 

It then moves to introduce the first major characters the film focuses on; the Botterill Family 
It cuts to four men sat together; three in white coats and hairnets, and one in smart clothes. 

Victor Botterill, in smart attire, speaks of his family’s connection and how most members have at one point been employed by the chocolate industry in York, with he himself working from 1962 (Rowntree’s) to chief shop steward at Terry’s when the film was made.  The conversation moves to his family and how his brother, son and son in law work in the same factory and have done for 16 years. 

Location; St Sampson’s centre for the over 60’s

The next major character is introduced now; Joyce Burnett and her friends–she explains how she worked since age 14 in chocolate industry, moving to Rowntree’s when she married, where she remained for 39 years.  Her friends Kath Webster and Maud Clithero are introduced, and they reminisce on how happy they were working there together. It includes shots of the women wandering round York.  The film then cuts to a production line and interviews Denise Milner who discusses her responsibilities and how people are more involved in the running of the line.

Location; KitKat

Paul Kirkwood discusses the mechanisation of the industry and the changes Joyce would be able to see. Joyce is then shown remembering the fashion and alterations they used to make to the uniform and then her recreating how the workers would show the nurse they were not injured. The film then presents a recurring technique of showing figures spoken about on screen. With £620 million shown as the 1999 earnings from the children’s confectionary business.

A primary school student explains how her father works in a chocolate factory, and the amount of chocolate produced by this factory.

The narrator then mentions the association of chocolate with love and the chemicals experienced being similar, whilst different clips of chocolate being made, roll.  Kirkwood explains the preference of the UK population to milky chocolate and the difficulties in exporting it to the EU – with images of lorry’s emblazoned KitKat are shown.

The film goes back to Vic and he speaks of the sports clubs and competitions which used to be supported by Terry’s but have now diminished. The film then shows the workers playing football one of the few sports that continued – not funded by Terry’s.  The focus shifts back to Joyce who continues along the same theme but mentions the activities available to women.  
The need for a break is further shown through the shots of radio sets, and the 10:30 worker’s playtime scheduling. In the contemporary period the film shows a snooker table for worker entertainment. 


Joyce then speaks of her own family connection and how her brother, son and sister were involved in the industry. It also includes an insight into the testing needed to be hired when she was young. 

The film includes archival clips of workers and context of what the narrator is orating. 
The next sequence focuses on change in the industry with now empty floors of the factory shown and the difference in income highlighted by the Botterill family.  The figures of 16kg of chocolate used each year in Britain followed by the £51 million made by children buying smarties the year before shown on screen. 

The film then briefly includes a description of the cocoa bean and the history of it, and the need to sort and clean it being explained by Clint Smith who shows in his palm chocolate’s raw form.  Archival footage is then incorporated to show the visit of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting the plant in York in 1937. 

The concluding scenes focus on the change technology has had and Vic explains how there is a reduction in smaller brands and fear of job security with this rise in mechanisation, yet this is countered by Paul Kirkwood who explains how people remain at the heart of the industry. 
The film then finishes with shots of the people interviewed and the narrator explains how big chocolate is for York’s history and future. 

The Contributors:  Mark Botterill, Darren Gray, Paul Kirkwood, Denise Milner, Kath Webster, Clint Smith, Michael Douglas, Paul Botterill, Victor Botterill, Joyce Burnett, 
Maud Clithero
With special thanks to:  The children of St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Nestle UK, Kraft Foods (Terry Suchard), Mike Grimes
Voice over:  Edward Torsney 
Original music:  Rod Parker
Sound:  Phil Elliott, Ian Holdforth 
Cameras:  Andy Burns, Shaun Bradley, Dominic Day, Edward Torsney
Graphics & Animation:  Andy Burns 
Editor:  Dominic Day
Directed by Binny Baker
Produced by The Old Dairy Studios, 2000
Chocolate Families is part of the A4E Contemporary video collection 
As part of the Yorkshire Media Consortium 
Archived by Yorkshire Film Archive 
Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England 
And the City of York Council