Film ID:
YFA 4930



Visitor Tabs


This is a Ministry of Information Film held as part of the collection of films of Sheffield teacher William Gordon Gregory.  The film was made to encourage schoolboys to take up apprenticeships in building trades towards the close of the Second World War.

The film begins showing bomb damaged housing and buildings.  It then shows the front covers of many publications relating to the need for building houses; such as Post-War Building by Alfred C Bosson and A Hindren, and New Towns by A Trystan Edwards.  It then shows the London County Council School of Building.  Many new students arrive and look at the board telling them of the different subject classes and grades.  A group go into the brickwork shop where a trainee is making a brick wall, whilst one of the trainees explains what is involved.  Then on to the plastering shop where a trainee is making some ornamental plaster work and others are plastering onto rough walls.  A trainee gives a voiceover again explaining the procedure of applying several coats.  Then the film moves on to the workshops for masonry, carpentry and joinery.  In the plumbing shop a trainee is shaping a lead fitting.  The narrator explains that having had a go with each of the trades it is necessary to choose one.

Then there is a class for building construction where more basic building aspects are explained.  The narration explains that other subjects are also taught there, although with a focus on their relevance for building; with examples including geography and geometry, chemistry and workshop drawing.
The film then goes to a construction site, and shows how two farm cottages are built from scratch, starting with surveying.  The draughtsmen make drawings from the architect’s plans.  Building materials are delivered and the site is prepared.  Trenches are made for the walls.  These are cemented and the brick walls built, starting from the corners.  Timber frames get put in for doors and windows.  Then floor joists and the scaffolding for putting the roof on.  First the rafters and then the battens are put in place, followed by the tiles.  Next come the gutters and drain pipes.

On the inside the ceilings and walls are rendered, followed by the second coat of plaster.  Then the plumber and the joiner get to work.  Apprentices are shown on site also working.  It is explained that you can work one day per week for pay.  The building industry has room for 15,000 apprentices each year, and the narration claims that, “yours will be an essential job, look around”.  Examples of new buildings are shown, including St John’s Wood Station, schools and office buildings.  Finally, the trainees are shown leaving the school, to the sound of Sibelius’ Karelia Suite, with text at the end explaining how to go about becoming an apprentice: “'Several thousand boys in Britain are completing courses at building schools and will become apprentices. All boys have not been able to take courses in building schools, but they too can become apprentices. With proper apprenticeships you can be registered as an approved apprentice in the building industry. You can have the help of local apprenticeship committees to see that your training is right. You can get a certificate of completion of apprenticeship issued under the authority of the Building Apprenticeship and Training Council set up by the Ministry of Works. Ask your schoolmaster about it.”

End Titles:
Made by Paul Rotha Productions 1944, Direction Kay Mander
A Ministry of Information Film for the Building Apprenticeship and Training Council