Film ID:
NEFA 8753



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ICI Billingham Film Unit cine-magazine consisting of three items that spotlight the life and work of ICI employees. Long serving employees are served a formal dinner; sports club members gather in front of a crowd of 5000 for an athletics event; a behind the scenes look at how the weekly pay packet is calculated.

Number 3
June 1946

Title: Presenting Long Service Awards

A Union Flag flutters in the breeze for Empire Day. The table is set for a celebration dinner, each place setting with a pint glass. Workers are served dinner by waitresses on long formal tables. The film is accompanied by comprehensive voice over narration describing the evening's events.

The dinner is attended by Sir Frederick Bain (Personnel Director) and Mr Zealy. Men retire to the Green Lounge of the Synthonia Club to drink beer, “suitable liquid refreshment”, and smoke cigarettes. Awards are presented by Sir Frederick, who shakes a man’s hand as the audience applaud. A waitress clears glasses from a table where a man can be seen holding a rolled certificate.

Title: Synthonia Club Holds First Open Sports Meeting

Opening pan around some of the 5000 Teesside sports fans who have invaded the Synthonia Club’s field on the 25th of May. A crowd close-up shows a young woman in a turban scarf. Men smoking pipes administer the paperwork for the sports entries. Mrs Zealy and Sir Frederick Bain are shown in quick succession. Further crowd shots show men, women, and children eagerly anticipating the action.

A bicycle race is started by a firing pistol, and a rider is given a shove as he sets off. Exhausted looking runners coast past the camera. A second distance race sets off followed by footage of junior athletes changing batons in a relay. A sprinter crosses the finishing line.

As the announcer reads into a microphone, two men, one of them smoking a pipe, can be seen peeping out of a tent behind him.

Other sprinters finish their races. One simulates throwing his baton to the ground and is embraced by a spectator. Close-up of Sydney Wooderson, one of Britain’s greatest middle-distance runners, smiling before a race, and shots as he finishes the mile-long circuit in first place.

Title: Wages – The story of the weekly pay packet

Men and women queue outside corrugated iron roofed sheds as bicycles speed past along the road. Close-ups of excited-looking smiling crowd. Men return the clocking cards to the rack. The Time Clerk collects all the clocking cards.

At the Central Time Clerk’s office, clerks count and sort cards.The clerk holds a cigarette in his left hand as he works. A woman processes cards. Stacks of hundreds of cards surround clerks, then are packed into bags by a woman wearing a flower-pattern knitted jumper. The cards are loaded into a car and delivered to the Wages Section.

Men and women work at desks divided by screens. There are close-ups of women’s faces and of their hands operating an embossing machine. Skilled women, who need several months of training, operate calculating machines. Women sit at banks of desks working calculating machines.

Bags of cash are collected from the bank and loaded into the back seat of a car.

Three women crowd a hatch to collect their wages, one of them flashes a glance and mouths ‘thank you’. Two further shots of men and women collecting pay packets.

Stacks of bank notes and coins are handled by clerks under the supervision of a police officer who wears the number 481 on his collar. Suitcases are then loaded into the back of a lorry.

Crowd scenes of pay-day. Location shots of the Cashier’s office on Roscoe Road, and Area Pay Offices at Station Road, Billingham; Wesley Hall, Wesley Street, Middlesbrough; and Dovecot Street, Stockton. There are further shots of queuing, occasionally waving, staff.

The commentary states: "When you get your next payslip and pay packet with all the details correctly recorded and the right money in the packet, think for a moment of the work that lies behind the making up of that pay packet. Making your time into your money."

Title: A Billingham Film
Title: The End