Film ID: YFA 1421 Video of YFA_1421 W & J Whitehead's ... Blackpool W & J WHITEHEAD'S CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS IN BLACKPOOL 1958 Visitor TabsDescription Made by C.H. Wood of Bradford, this film documents the company trip to Blackpool in celebration of the firm’s centenary. The film includes footage of the employee’s train journey to Blackpool as well as the entertaining activities in which they take part on their day out. Title - W & J Whitehead’s Centenary Celebrations in Blackpool The film begins with a close up of an invitation which reads: “W & J Whitehead (Laisterdyke) Limited. Centenary Celebrations 1858 – 1958. Blackpool 14th June 1958”. Factory employees stand on a cobbled street at some gates. A sign that can be seen behind them says “Kessler and Co. Ltd”. There is a pile of rubble to the left of them. There is a close up of a piece of paper which reads: “The Time of your Train Outward N784 N785 N786 Laisterdyke 7-25am 7-40am 7-55am Blackpool Central 9-37am 9-58am 10-08am Return Blackpool Central 10-35pm 10-45pm 10-55pm Laisterdyke 12-43am 12-53am 1-09 am” The film cuts to a shot of a Blackboard: “Whitehead’s Excursion Red Tickets 7.25” The male employees in the film often wear flat caps and suits, some shown with overcoats. Some of the women wear horn rimmed glasses, some wear headscarves, some of the younger ones wear large earrings. We also see an example of what look to be South Asians in the footage, a few men and one child appear in the film. The employees are shown walking down the station steps. A sign next to the steps reads: “Way out. Cross the line by bridge”. There is a clock on the station which tells the time seven thirty. There are three posters shown on the railway wall. Poster one says “Paignton – Yorkshire’s Ideal Holiday Central” and features an illustration of a woman, men and children playing in the sea. Poster number two says “Weston Super Mare. The Smile of Smiling Somerset. Travel by train”. There is an illustration of a woman in a red bathing suit stretching with the seaside behind her. The third poster says “Ifracombe” and shows a painted sea view from a cliff. Employees wait on a crowded platform. The train comes in, the N784. People board; the drivers look back to check everyone is on. A smiling blonde woman wearing red lipstick looks at the camera from the train window as it pulls away. She waves. Two women and one man, all wearing a black uniform, talk amongst themselves. Once again, more employees walk down steps. Many of the women are wearing brightly coloured coats and brooches. Some wave and everyone is smiling. Title – Joe Field, our longest serving employee There then follows a shot of Joe in a grey suit stood next to a middle aged to elderly woman who wears a white beret. Women on the train are playing cards. One pretends to eat an unpeeled banana out of another woman’s hand. Two women play wind instruments along with a man who plays a harmonica. There is a close up of a newspaper someone is reading. The headlines are: “England wait for Finney test before naming team but… CHARLTON’S A CERT”. “Gladwin hat trick was a smasher!” A woman stands in the carriageway and lifts a bottle of beer in the air. There seems to be a generally excited atmosphere. Shots out of the window show a lake as the train travels over a bridge. A sign on top of a wooden railway building says “Preston No. 2A”, signalling a milestone on the journey. A train passes by on the other track, going the opposite way, and the camera films the windows. From the window, Blackpool tower is visible in the distance. The N785 sits in Blackpool Central, having arrived. Employees queue up at the left luggage room. The exterior of the station is marked “British Railways Blackpool Central”. Two women, having just exited, laugh at a man wearing a joke tie. There is a life ring by the beach with the words “Blackpool Corporation” printed on it. The beach is very busy and deckchairs and donkeys are visible. Some people have arranged their deckchairs so they form a circle looking in at each other. One young man is dressed in a black with white trim and wearing a black cowboy hat with a white star. He holds a sailor doll and laughs whilst sitting in a deck chair. A close up of the sailor doll shows it to be wearing blue jeans, a white jumper, a sailors hat and smoking a cigarette. A man leapfrogs over two bent over women. A group of women gather around a stall which is marked as “Noted Oysters. Cockles, Mussels, Whelks, Shrimps”. The camera looks down a street and towards the tower and then focuses on a queue for the ladies’ toilets. On the pier, there are advertisements for Ken Dodd, Josef Locke and Don Land. Other acts are listed below including Vanda, Wally Harper, Liss Lennon and Victor Gilling. Another sign reads: “Peter Webster’s Special Sunday Show. Star guest artistes. All seats bookable. 2’s. Twice nightly 6.00, 8.30. Matinee Thursday 2.30”. There are five boards in the pavement propped up next to each other with photographs of performers and their names. They include Don Lang, Vanda, Ken Dodd, Brenda Barry and Josef Locke. There are signs for Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, and for an arcade: “Admission free. The Bee. Upstairs for more fun. Rifle range. Winchester and Remington. Learn to shoot. Voice recorder. Bee Amusements”. Another sign reads: “See ? Stella ? See Stella? Palace of Strange Girls. The Show They Tried to Stop. She was beautiful at birth! Doctors baffled. ? See Stella?. Another: “Funlandia. Ghost train. Dodgem. Derby. Modern amusements”. A stall next to Funlandia reads: “Fry’s Rock. 2/6 bag. Ask for sample. Fry’s Rock Blackpool”. Another building: “Montmartre theatre presents Show Sensational. The most controversial type of entertainment ever seen in this country. Barbaric. Spectacular. Strictly adults only”. The camera then moves to the tower, where “Reginald Dixon” [is] “at the Wurlitzer” and then the zoo which boasts “Wallabies, Raccoons, Skunks, Porcupines”. There is an animal in a glass cage and a parrot in a mesh cage. Three budgies sit on a branch together, all yellow and green. The camera shows a view from the tower life as it ascends, looking out over the town and sea. It then descends showing more views. Title - The directors and their families assemble to welcome their guests People shake hands on a car park. A man (presumably a director) who walks with two walking sticks gets out of a car. A woman sits at a table outside; the table has on it a bottle of Schweppes and bowls containing various snacks. Title - …And 421 employees with over 20 years’ service are entertained to lunch Employees are shown sitting at several long tables ready to eat. There is much talking and smiling. A man pours bottled beer into a glass. They each have a bread roll. Waitresses wear black dresses with white hats and aprons. Waiters are in suits, and pour what looks like white wine and serve chicken legs. One man smokes a cigar with his dinner Employees sit on The Big Dipper rollercoasters, they wave at the camera and the man in the back carriage smokes a cigarette. Other employees are on a spinning ride. Three men walk with linked arms kicking their legs in the air. They have a small crowd following them. A couple of women are on a boat ride, one wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap. A rocket ride and a Noah’s ark ride are also visible. The film concludes with an intertitle which reads “The End. Photography by… C. H. Wood Bradford”. Context Journey back in time to an age when entire factories would collectively head off for a trip to the seaside. Workers at the Bradford textile firm of W & J Whitehead, including an early group of Asian employees, carry on their usual diversions and antics on the train and on their day out to Blackpool. Here they enjoy the fine view from the Tower and the traditional pleasures that the resort has long offered, with the 1950s clothes and fair rides looking great in Kodachrome colour. The film was made by local Bradford filmmakers C H Wood, renowned for their sports films, to commemorate the company’s centenary. Blackpool was the most popular destination for the mill towns of the West Riding for their Wakes Weeks, when entire towns would close for the annual week holiday. Companies would hire special excursion trains, as here. The camaraderie of these outings, much in evidence here, has sadly disappeared with the increase in staggered family-based holidays. Of interest are the long forgotten names playing at the Central Pier: Don Lang, Vanda and Brenda Barry. Note also the newspaper headline marking Bobby Charlton’s selection for the 1958 World Cup squad (though he never kicked a ball).