Film ID:
NEFA 12178

MCADAM DEPARTMENT STORE: STAFF PORTRAITS AND OUTING

1939-1946

Visitor Tabs

Description

This amateur film features portraits of many of the employees at the McAdam department store in Newcastle, footage of staff working in the offices and sales rooms, and a staff outing to the coast.

The first sequence of the film consists of a series of portrait screen shots of individual employees of McAdams, a department store in Newcastle. Filmed on a street near the store, each employee speaks a few words to camera as they pose, some laughing.

The second sequence also records portrait shots of a range of McAdam employees as they pose light-heartedly on the flat roof of the store, with a view across Newcastle city roofs. One man smokes. Another female emplyee begins to perform a Scottish jig. Each displays a different character to camera.

Interior shots of the store follow. In the offices, men and women employees are working at various jobs, including typing and bookkeeping.

Title: The Manager’s Downfall
Title: 'Did He Fall Or Was He Pushed?'

The next sequence records a staff outing at the seaside. There is a shot of a man (the McAdam manager) and a woman lying together casually on a beach, the man with a cigarette in his mouth and the woman with bare legs and feet. A man off-screen jokily grabs hold of her legs and pulls, swinging her around. Several more male employees then join in and start pulling the two apart. In the next shot two women are playfully eating from opposite ends of a chocolate bar, laughing. A group of colleagues surrounding them are also laughing.

Back in the offices, the manager is handed a paper to sign and speaks on the phone. Another male employee in glasses is writing in a ledger. The camera focuses on individual employees in the office as they perform their work. Some smile and speak to camera. A man looks through slips of paper in a stock room filled with rails and shelves full of clothes, fabric, and sacks. The film then cuts back to the offices with more individual portraits of the male employees in suits.

The final section of the film documents everyday sales on the shop floor. A female assistant discusses a coat with a woman in a fur coat.

There is a portrait of two female workers at a desk in front of rails as they write in ledgers.

A female assistant is arranging a silk dress on a hanger. Assistants organise merchandise on clothes rails. An assistant is measuring out material with a yardstick, and stacks of filled shelves are in the background.

On one sales floor a female assistant folds items into a display case. At a counter, sales assistants are fulfilling orders in a busy department. Other assistants are folding and storing piles of merchandise.

A woman assistant is taking shoes out of boxes. A man picks a shoe box from the shelves. Another male shop assistant helps a man on with shoes. A female assistant is showing a woman client a display of shoes at a window, whilst others are trying on shoes in the shop.