Film ID:
YFA 4852



Visitor Tabs


This is one of three films made of the building and opening of the new Lewis's Store in Leeds between 1930 and 1932.  Lewis’s was the product of industrialist Sir Edwin Airey, and the store in Leeds used his third invention, the Aerodome floor.  The design was much lighter than the floor designed by the structural engineer and resulted in a savings of 4000 tons of steel for the frame of the building as well as the building being completed 20 weeks ahead of schedule.

The film begins showing a sign for ‘Lewis's Yorkshire Store, also at Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.’   The store is shown under construction, looking over the rooftop and from street level.

Intertitle – Placing a girder in position

A girder is being lifted by a crane and placed into position by a workman standing high up on another girder.  He then knocks some rivets in.  Other workers are shown fixing the various parts of the steel construction while sitting or standing high up on the girders.  A flag flies with Airey Areodome Floors written on it.  A man works at some architectural drawings.  A horse and cart arrives pulling large stone bricks.  Following this, the floors are being constructed, and the air vents being put in place.  Cement gets carried to the roof in a lift.  This is laid over the air vents.

Intertitle – Commencement of stone work

The outside walls are shown being built with the large white stone slabs.  Gradually the building takes shape.  A large sign outside lists all the companies involved in the building project, with Airey and Son at the top.  The store is shown from across the street, with pedestrians, trams and cars going past.  The roof is tarred for waterproofing.  Inside the store is taking shape, while outside there is a banner at the top of the building declaring: ‘Lewis's Yorkshire Store, the store for the thrifty, for people who pay as they go’.  Back inside and the fittings and stands are getting ready for opening.  Work is still being done outside.  Another banner at the top of the building declares: ‘Lewis's Yorkshire Store backed by 75 years reputation for quality and value’.  Nearly finished, again we are shown the store form across the road.  Outside there is a long line of Lewis's vans with their uniformed drivers stood alongside them.  Then crowds are shown milling around the store on opening day.  Several of the managers or owners speak into the camera.

Intertitle – Sir Edwin Airey the building contractor

He poses for the camera and the film comes to an end.