Film ID:
NEFA 13203



Visitor Tabs


Through a combination of voiceover and footage, this promotional film for Ringtons Limited follows the cycle of tea production and distribution, from the Ceylon plantations to the Ringtons Tea factory in Algernon Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, and from the factory to the customer’s doorstep.

Title: The Cup That Cheers

Title: Produced for Ringtons Limited

Title: By Turners Film Productions. Newcastle Upon Tyne

Photography: Bryan Copplestone

Lighting: Peter Smith

Commentary: Richard Baker

In Charge Of Production: Brian Nicol A.R.P.S.

Title: The scenes in Ceylon and London are reproduced with kind permission of the TEA BUREAU, 22 Regent Str. London S.W.1

A housewife makes a pot of tea in her kitchen. [Titles over opening scene.]

The first section shows the whole process of tea growing and manufacture in Ceylon. Women pluck the tealeaf tips on plantations, the baskets are weighed, the leaf is transported by road, or aerial ropeway, to the tea factory. The green leaf is unloaded at the factory. The tea is then spread on hessian banks to whither. The leaves are removed when dried, for rolling. Large machines break up the green cells and liberate the juice over the surface of the leaf. The tea is broken up over sieves. Next, the leaf is spread out to oxidise in the fermenting room. It then passes into the drying machine for firing and slow moving trays carry it over a stream of hot air, which halts the oxidisation process. It is sorted into various grades, and women pick over the tea for the removal of stalks. It is poured into the familiar tea chests that are stamped 'Produce of Ceylon.' The chests are loaded into lorries for Colombo, where they will be shipped to the United Kingdom. At the quayside, the chests are loaded into lighters (flat bottomed boats) to be taken to the holds of waiting ships.

At the Tilbury Dock, in the Thames estuary, the ships tie up and the chests are offloaded into barges. The chests are unloaded by a crane and pulley system into bonded warehouses, near Tower Bridge, in the City of London. The tea chests are drilled and samples are taken, prior to sale by auction.

Next, we are in the headquarters of Ringtons Tea where two tea buyers look at catalogues of tea blends for sale. There is a close-up of Ringtons Tea packets, followed by an interior shot of the buyer’s room at Ringtons. Three women are preparing tea-making crockery and samples for tasting sessions. The samples arrive in hundreds of batches. A woman begins to prepare the samples, weighing each pot’s sample on a small hand scale to ensure uniform contents for each cup. Freshly boiled water is poured into each cup. There are close-ups of the tea liquor as it is strained into china bowls, and the wet leaf is then placed into pot lids for inspection.

Several men and women attend a tasting session in the Ringtons Tea buyer’s room. A woman sits typing at a teleprinter, where bids are sent directly to their London agents. There is an exterior shot of Plantation House, Mincing Lane in London. A sign points to the 'Tea Auditorium.' There are several shots of the auction room, buyers and auctioneers, and of an auction in process.

A general view of the Tyne bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne introduces the next sequence. At the quayside in Newcastle, Tyne-Tees coasters (merchant ships) deliver tea chests for Ringtons Tea. There are shots of the chests being unloaded from the ship holds by crane. There is an exterior shot of the Ringtons Tea Merchants Headquarters in Algernon Road, Newcastle. An interesting car is parked outside the building. A lorry arrives at the headquarters with the tea chests. The chests are unloaded and transported to upper floors on conveyor belts. They are stacked in bays under their various garden marks, (consignments from different plantations), and stored for blending. Two men blend different tea samples in varying proportions. There is a close-up of the miniature samples, weighed on scales. Blends are loaded into a tabletop blending machine. The small sample blends are placed in metal canisters. A man tastes the sample blend against the brand it is replenishing to ensure that is identical. The tasters spit out the tea after tasting.

A man checks the weight of each garden-marked chest in the warehouse, and the chests are emptied. There are close-ups of the tea as it goes through a sifting machine. A man demonstrates how the large permanent magnets at each side of the machine guard against stray bits of metal. An operator mans the giant drum double delivery blenders on the floor above. Magnetised strips on the chutes are demonstrated in a close-up shot. Tea chests are weighed. Men load hoppers with blended tea. There are close-ups of the tea in the hoppers feeding the floor below.

The following sequence depicts the step-by-step mechanised process where the tea is accurately weighed, packed in vanilla lined, greaseproof packets, and wrapped with the Ringtons Tea label. There are many dynamic shots of the machine in action. The last process shows the application to the label of dividend stamps exchangeable for cash. A close-up of hands sticking Ringtons’ dividend stamps onto a card follows.

The film continues with a sequence of operations in the printing department where coloured labels are produced for the packing departments in Newcastle and Leeds factories. The packets are then placed into large cartons for distribution. Women quickly pack the tea as it appears on the conveyor system. A man performs a quality and weight sample check. Packed and weighed boxes are trucked to the loading bays to be dispatched to Ringtons Tea depots. Next, coffee is roast, ground and packaged, as it is also sold by the company.

Next, men load boxes of tea and coffee to dispatch to the company’s delivery depots. A black, green, and gold Ringtons van drives out of the headquarters in Newcastle. A Ringtons van backs into a local delivery depot. Maps indicate Ringtons delivery locations in the north of England. Delivery vans are out on the roads, making door-to-door tea deliveries to some of the locations indicated on the maps. These include Carlisle, Durham, Sunderland and generic sites such as council housing estates.

A van drives out of the Ringtons Tea warehouse in Ladypit Lane, Leeds, which serves the Yorkshire market. There are general views of locations in Scarborough, and the distinctive Ringtons van appears in one shot. A horse-drawn Ringtons Tea van delivers on the streets of Newcastle, where the company maintain one last vehicle of this kind as a living trademark. A Ringtons salesman delivers an order to a semi-detached house, where the housewife seen in the opening titles answers the door, purchases tea and makes a pot, which she then drinks with her friend.

End title: Good Tea Is More Economical And More Refreshing [titles over closing scene.]