Film ID:
YFA 1576



Visitor Tabs


This is a promotional film made by Parkers Mill, a textile company based in Pudsey, which specialized in the manufacture or rayon, or artificial silk.  The film includes a re-enactment which dramatizes the history of the company and its beginnings in Bingley in 1890 as well as the modernization of the factory and a typical working day in 1948.  The film shows the making of their products, including extensive footage of the machinery involved, as well as marketing and sale of the products.  It also shows the employees’ annual outing, sports day and garden party.

Title and Credits – Rayon Fabrics By Messrs Parker and Co. Ltd.
& Members of the Firm
Photography and Direction by A. Norman Riley esq. and Frank H. Laycock esq.

The film begins with extensive shots of fabrics which are displayed, draped on a lit stage, and with headless mannequins adorned with long, flowing dresses.  The film also focuses on the many different kinds of fabric designs.

(Black & White)
Title – Our story commences in the year eighteen hundred and ninety.

There is a snow covered path seen through rows of trees.

Title – The ‘Knocker Up.’

A clock on a wall shows half past five, and a man in a bowler hat emerges from a building.  He carries a long forked pole with wires on the end which he uses to bang on the upstairs windows of a large old industrial building.  This causes two women in cloth hair ties and nightgowns to put their heads out of the window.  He carries on doing the same at other windows waking up the factory employees to begin their day.  The women emerge from their room, carrying a candle, and knock on another door from where a man emerges in his nightgown as well.  He then rouses his room companion.  Downstairs in the kitchen, other tenants gather and sit down for a cup of tea.  After, they put on their coats, shawls and scarves.  An older woman clears the table, and the workers make their way to the factory.  They are all dressed in 19th century dress. 

Title – The Founder of the firm.

Abraham Parker, a well dressed bearded gentleman, checks his pocket watch as the workers arrive.  They enter a door with the sign ‘Abraham Parker, Manufacturer, Bingley.’  Inside the factory, the women get to work at their large electric looms, which can be seen in action.

Title – The Hand Loom.

Some men work on smaller mechanical hand looms.

Title – Breakfast time, old style.

A woman pours hot water from a large kettle, and near their workplaces, the women and men sit with mugs of tea and sandwiches.

Title – The day after.

Abraham Parker again stands by his door checking his pocket watch.  He warns one worker for being late.  Inside he takes count of his finances while recording them in a book.  He then talks to some of the workers at the looms on the shop floor.  Active machinery can be seen all around him.  Back in his office, Parker inspects some of the cotton and fabric.

Title – Now, after fifty seven years of progress.
Modern days.
Arrival of employees

Now, in present day, factory workers arrive in contemporary dress and enter the factory entrance door.

Title – Arrival of warp and weft at factory.

A truck, Ben Wade of Pudsey, backs into the factory where it is unloaded.  A wicker basket is filled with rolls of thread.

Title – The ‘Schweiter’ Winder.

A woman works on the factory floor where the Schweiter Winder is at work.  One of the men who unloaded the truck brings up part of the delivery, and many of the winders can be seen in action.  Another man wheels away a large roll of cloth, an d a man takes away some of the finished bobbins.

Title Looming.

A woman checks the threads on one of the looms.

Title – Sleying.

A man is shown sleying (setting the warps).

Title – Warp goes to loom

Two men insert a large roll of thread onto a loom.

Title – The art of weaving demonstrated.

The process of weaving is shown with the looms fully set up.  A shuttle passes back and forth.  A woman stands at the machine while it runs, and many other looms can be seen in operation in the background.

Title – The wrong way ‘trouble brewing’

While standing at the loom, a man and a woman have an argument about what they are doing.  There are close-ups of the damaged thread. 

Title – Breakfast in the canteen.

The workers make their way into the canteen where kitchen staff have set up and are ready to serve.  The workers queue for mugs of tea and breakfast before sitting down to eat.  With the wall clock showing 9 o’ clock, a man pulls a rope, presumably a whistle, and the workers emerge from the canteen to resume work.

Title – The laggard.

A woman arrives late and is told off as she clocks in.  Her clock card is held up to the camera, and after getting changed she makes her way to her workplace. She starts up several machines and a dial shows how much has been done.  There is additional close-up footage of the machines at work. 

Title – Felling out.

Using a large stick, a man pulls the threads away from the machine and cuts them.  He carries the empty roll out. 

Title – The Uster Twisting Machine.

This machine is shown in action.

Title – The cloth taken for inspection.

Two women remove a roll of cloth from a machine and take it into another part of the factory to be inspected.

Title – Inspection and Burling of Grey Cloth.

In another room, men and women inspect cloth which has been stretched out on tables.

Title – Lunch.

In the kitchen women are washing up and preparing to serve lunch.  Workers arrive at the canteen and queue up to be served dinner.  They sit and eat together at small tables. 

Title – After lunch.
The recreation room.

Here the workers sit around talking, playing cards, and reading magazines and newspapers.  There are also two men who play table tennis.  At 1.30 pm, all the workers line up to clock back in.

Title - The ‘Staubli’ paper dobby.

A room of punch card machines are at work creating the cards which will be used for the weaving designs.  After which, a woman gets attention at a first aid station after cutting her finger.  A man taking care of her ties a bandage on the wound. 

Title – Afternoon tea.

A woman raises a tea trolley on a lift which she winds by hand.  Then two women who work in the kitchen take the trolley around the shop floor at 3 pm.  Workers are handed a mug of tea as they work at their machines.

Title – Learning to weave.
First day instruction.

A man shows a woman how to thread on a weaving machine.

Title – After a Fortnight.

Another woman is shown how to work a machine and switch a shuttle.

Title – Six weeks.

A woman putting bobbins on a machine is watched over by a supervisor.

Title – The Ruti Jacquard.

This weaving loom is shown in action, and a woman watches the cloth as it comes out.

Title – ‘Ceorcette’ weaving.

After finishing at her loom, a woman goes into the Ladies Restroom to wash her hands.  She fixes her hair and make-up in the mirror and gets ready to leave.

Title – A deal in yarn.

Two businessmen look at some samples of yarn together.  Then, one of the men has his secretary dictate a letter before phoning through a request of documents to be looked at. 

Title – A Canadian Buyer.

A businessman enters the office and presents the man, who works for Parkers Mill, a card from J. F. Peacock Fabrics Ltd..  He is shown into the room where the men shake hands, and the visitor is offered a cigar.  He is then shown samples of cloth through which he looks before making note of which he’d like to order.  ]

Title – Export

Above a filing cabinet labelled “Export Orders,” there is a map of the world with flags stuck on it.   A man gives instructions to two other office workers regarding the buyer’s order. 

Title – Perching and Measuring.

A woman makes some marks on a roll of stretched out cloth, and a man inspects a roll of cloth as it passes through a measuring machine equipped with a counter.  In a warehouse wooden crates are marked to destinations: Port Elizabeth, Bombay, Cape Town, Nairobi and Dublin.  In an office a man inspects a piece of cloth through a magnifying glass and holds up different fabric designs.  The man also holds up his inspection equipment for the camera.  Following this is a flashback sequence featuring Abraham Parker is again seen, this time looking through his books.

Title – The annual outing.

Many buses, marked for Blackpool, are parked outside the factory.  The employees gather and make their way on board.  Some of them stop to pose for the camera.  Once in Blackpool, some of them walk around the town while others can be seen on the fairground rides.  The outing comes to an end as the workers make their way to a canteen where they sit in rows at long tables to eat their meal. 

Title – An Annual Event.
Sports Day.

The women have a sprint race across a field, and this is followed by a men’s sprint race.  Then, both men and women take part in a three-legged race.  Additionally there is a men’s relay race around the field and a wheel barrow race before the Tug-of-War.  After the events, medals and awards are presented to the winners. 

Title – The Garden Party.

In a large back garden, families sit around tables eating and drinking.  Some tables are set up on the porch near the building, and others on the grass. 

Title – The uninvited guest.

A dog arrives and is greeted by a young girl.  Elsewhere, a man plays with a baby.  Women sit around the edge of the garden and some girls eat ice cream from bowls.  Other attendees chat and mingle before there is then a game of cricket.  Some of the onlookers are seen, sitting on the swing and drinking beer. 

Title – Design & Colour.

A man shifts through some samples of different designs and selects one which is shown in close up.  He compares others to colour watches, and a few designs are shown.  

Title – The Pattern Room.

Samples of all the different patterns are brought into a room where they are laid out on a table.  A man and woman inspect some of the samples, most very colourful designs. 

Title – Fashion Parade.
Materials – ‘Par Fabrics’
Gowns. – Messrs, Brown Muff Ltd.

Two women model gowns, one whilst sat smoking, the other stood powdering her face.  The women then model many dresses on a small stages draped in colourful fabric.  The women walk up to the stage, turn, and leave.  Different types of dresses are being modelled including day and evening wear as well as a wedding gown. 

The next scene features busy docks where a ship, ‘Beaverford London’, is being loaded with wooden crates for export.  The film shows the massive port area, and a train can be seen passing in the background.  Fully loaded, the ship sets sail.  The film closes with a close-up of a Union Jack waving in the wind. 

Title – The End.