Film ID:
YFA 114

WORMALD AND WALKER BLANKET MILL, DEWSBURY

1932

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by the Empire Marketing Board for Wormald and Walker Blanket Mills, this film documents the entire process of making woollen blankets at a mill in Dewsbury. 

The film begins with an aerial view of Wormald and Walker Blanket Mills.  Inside the mill there is a long line of machinery in operation, with women working at the looms. A steam train passes by the station, and then raw stacks of wool are loaded onto a horse and cart from the loading bay.  At the factory, these are taken into a warehouse and inspected.   In a large room workers are at long benches with account books.  The wool is being sorted.  The sacks of wool are emptied into a large storeroom, mixed, and loaded onto a conveyor belt into more machinery.  Women are working the Jacquard looms.  In another room, men are brushing down the blanket material.  The wool is then boiled and put onto carts for the next stage.  The wool goes through various stages of treatment before being loaded into carts from large barrels.   It is then packed into bags and continues through a number of different stages including dying and weaving into the finished carpets.  Scenes of men stoking the boilers follow this.   

There is a large room full of looms being worked by women.  The blankets are then finished off by hand, cleaned of excess wool using brushes, inspected, and packed up.  There is a room with piles of unfinished blankets, and machinists are at work sewing the edges.   In a machine tool room, red hot metal is being made into machine parts.  In other rooms the machines are being maintained, timber is used (for packing boxes?), and baskets are hand woven. 

A group of elderly staff pose for a photograph outside a large doorway, focusing on one man in particular. He is William Robinson, who, at the age of 90, had just been awarded a medal by the Yorkshire Post for having worked at one firm for longer than anyone else in Yorkshire.   This posed scene is followed by another group of elderly women in working clothes.  Next, the workers leave the factory at the end of the shift.  

At an outdoor event, possibly the factory sports day, a man makes a speech which is followed by a game where people try to flip coins into a bowl.  There are also other games including one with a blindfolded woman as well as a cricket match during which the factory can be seen in the background.   

Back at the factory, men are checking and folding blankets, and the blankets are taken through large machines.  Two women carry piles of finished blankets to a large store.  Next long the lines of blankets hung on wooden drying racks are drying outside the factory.  The blankets are then packaged for distribution, using a compression machine, and taken away in wooden crates by horse and cart.  A steam engine pulls a train of goods wagons. 

At an outdoor event, there is a brief speech.  Additionally, there is more footage of the blankets drying outdoors.  Also, there are women working the looms and brief scenes of further components of the blanket making process.   

There is a brief scene of houses and streets before blankets on a roller ad then returning to the cricket game.  Next wool is spun onto large spools, and then there is an external view of the factory.  Large outside vats of water are shown before a river with a bridge and church.  The horse drawn wagon loaded with blankets crosses the bridge.  Original patterned blankets are opened up for display, and one of the women holds up a very fluffy white blanket.   

There is a building with a lantern over the doorway as well as more scenes of the bridge.  Then a woman finishes off the ends of a blanket on a sewing machine and holds it up for the camera.  An almost finished carpet goes through a machine.  Wool is cleaned or dyed in a steaming liquid.   

Following this are many of the stages of the blanket making process and all the machines are in action.  A man holds up for display a handful of pine shaped brushes.  The blanket material is being hung out for drying before the film ends with men folding up the dried blanket.