Film ID:
NEFA 20826



Visitor Tabs


Well-made amateur film documenting the activities of the Middlesbrough Cooperative Society, produced by Middlesbrough cine-club founder Wilf Shaw.  Includes footage of dairy and bakery operations, coal deliveries, local area stores, and the construction of new Co-operative buildings on Linthorpe Road.

The film opens with a rooftop view across Middlesbrough. Roseberry Topping can be seen in the distance.

An immediate change of scene to two plumbers installing hand basins.

A suburban street scene follows showing a Co-operative milk float with the milkman delivering milk to the doorstep of a house. The milk float has written on the back: ‘Co-Op Model Dairy, Grove Hill’.

Milk is poured from churns into large vats.

Title: From Milk

Title: To Flour

Flour is poured into a large bowl or vat. The next shot gives us a better view of this machine. A man moves a sack from a store room. Large mechanical stirrers mix the flour with other ingredients as a worker regulates the amount of water being added to the mix. Close-ups of the machinery follow. The worker opens the lid of the vat to check on the progress of the bread dough. The dough is placed into another machine, which cuts and shapes the dough into bread loaves. A worker pulls a large tray from an industrial oven, showing dozens of newly baked loaves. These are moved on to another table to cool off. Another worker takes freshly rolled dough from a machine and places it into loaf tins. Another shot of dozens of loaves emerging from the oven.

Title: Ready For Your Table

A shot of newly baked loaves or buns.

Title: The Bakery Also Produces Pies and Confectionery

Workers stand near the pie making machine which uses a rotary mechanism to bring the newly made pies to  workers who are applying the top crusts by hand. The crusts are trimmed and the pies taken from their mould, and made ready for baking.

Title: Another Household Necessity Is Coal

Men load coal into hessian sacks marked M.C.S. (Middlesbrough Cooperative Society) from a railway wagon. The sacks are weighed then stacked before being loaded onto a horse and cart. The horse and cart is led out of the coal yard, past a building marked ‘Middlesbrough Cooperative Society Limited – Central Coal Depot’ and across the road.

The film now shows a sequence of Middlesbrough Cooperative shop frontages. The second shop front is of a Co-Op Store at the junction of Oak Street and Corporation Road. The next is of the old Victoria Buildings Co-Op shop, on the corner of Clifton Street and Linthorpe Road. The next store may be located in Linthorpe village. (?)

Small local Co-Operative stores seen on the outskirts of Middlesbrough include one in Acklam, at the corner of the junction of Coniston Grove and Acklam Road. Another location is a store in the Saltersgill area, at the junction of Saltersgill Avenue and Sutton Way.

The next few scenes show work in administrative offices, with a large number of employees, women mainly, working with adding machines and doing other tasks, connected with customer dividends.

The scene then switches to a well appointed board room, where smartly dressed men and women are in attendance, seated around a large table. Members of the board have in front of them ledgers and journals which provide the source for discussion.

The following shots show a building site board announcing ‘ Site for New Emporium for Middlesbrough Cooperative’.

Men and machines help erect the steel frame which will support the new building. Two men operate a steam crane on site. This is used to hoist steel girders into position. In the background one can see the old Middlesbrough Co-Op buildings, also know as the Victoria Buildings. A clock is mounted in the gable end of the roof.

An exterior view of the site, taken from the opposite side of Linthorpe Road, shows the security fencing surrounding the site. Shots follow of the extensive steelwork frame and of one of the steel girders bearing the name of the manufacturer, Dorman Long.

A  workman piles bricks into a wheelbarrow. He pushes the loaded barrow through a gate in the fencing, then onto site. Other men are working on constructing a floor. Another worker carries wooden planks on his shoulder to another part of the site. A workman wheels a barrow of freshly mixed cement onto the site. A group of men spread the new cement and finish off the surface of what will be a new floor. More cement is mixed, and other workers level the newly mixed cement.

Another shot of the steelwork frame. A shot of the exterior fencing at street level showing part of Linthorpe Road. Shots of the steel frame, and of lorries delivering materials.

Various shots of the exterior of the new building and much more brickwork is now in place. Scaffolding covers the outside of the building. Shots taken down side streets show that the structure is nearing completion. There is a sign on the exterior fence on the Linthorpe Road side of the building that reads 'Entrance to ARP shelter'. Another notice reads 'Public ARP Shelter for 1000 Persons'. The final shot shows Linthorpe Road looking towards the town centre.