Film ID: YFA 4786 Video of YFA 4786 Your Move next YOUR MOVE NEXT 1981 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film commissioned by Sheffield City Council to promote Sheffield as a place for companies to relocate to, providing an account of the advantages that can be gained by doing so. The film begins showing busy streets in London with cars, buses and pedestrians. Titles: Your Move Next A film for Sheffield City Council By Martin John Harris and David Falconer Rea Assisted by David Alfred Bower The film switches to a committee meeting of a company with a senior manager giving a speech on the need to plan spaces and cut costs. He proposes that they relocate to Sheffield. Another member complains that it is like "the inside of a chimney" and that "they all wear clogs". But the man persists, recounting his visit to Sheffield, praising their town planning and architecture, with the film showing the Crucible Theatre and the building behind it, and a new building going up near the corner of Paradise Square. He explains that there will be government grants and loans because they will be creating new jobs in the area, and that they will also get tax allowance. More new buildings are shown, such as Jubilee House. He explains that under the regional development scheme there is assistance with moving the workforce, with Sheffield Council having a policy of allocating housing to their personnel. He states that there is plenty of available land, at the right place, and that they will be able to organise facilities according to the company's needs; the film showing new industrial units. He then extols the benefits of Sheffield from the point of view of communications, being centrally placed. He recounts that he has met the Sheffield Company's Development Team; whilst the film shows a welter of leaflets for different locations is shown, focusing on Mosborough and Holbrook Industrial Estate. Building work is shown being done on the Estate, and also showing residential zones. Then we see Sheffield Industrial Advisory Committee in a meeting. Someone asks about Sheffield's reputation for bad labour relations. The senior manager states that there has been only one stoppage in 30 years. Work is shown on the production line of Bassets, making liquorice Allsorts. He gives an account of the research going on in Sheffield, with examples in glass, springs and cutlery. He mentions the University and Polytechnic, and then we see the Central Library with an information desk. The senior manager goers on to discuss the environment, stating that in 1972 Sheffield completed a 13 year clear air programme, making it the cleanest industrial city in Europe. An old computer screen shows a questionnaire from the Midland Bank between 1975 and 1979, and Alan Eastwood, the Assistant General Manager for computer operations of the bank, gives his positive views on Sheffield. There is another interview with John Cooper of the Manpower Services Commission who provides an account of the benefits in communications, education, housing, labour etc.. Staff are reassured about Sheffield as a place to live, praising the local authority for their efforts, showing pleasant suburban housing and the countryside outside of Sheffield, a beautiful village and some mountaineering. The film moves to the City centre, with view down Fargate, Cole Brothers, the 'hole-in-the-road' and the shops. When asked about how staff have reacted to Sheffield, there is a picture of Scamps and film of the inside a pub where a traditional jazz band is playing in front of a large fireplace. People are shown playing golf and boating in a park lake. The question is posed about what help might be expected from the University, and we see Hicks, the engineering building, the Alfred Denny Building and the Arts Tower in the background with Western Bank. There is film of people walking around the City Centre, accompanied by narration extolling the qualities of the local population for staffing purposes. Two local employers being interviewed state that their staff are happy and that their business has been a success. The Cast - D Geoff Tomlinson, Jane Southwell, Edmund Wilson, Brian Shaw, Michael Bags, Ann Kirby, Chris Mckoen, Alec Currie, John Unsworth, Russell Bradbury, David Carr-Brown, Simon Helland, Jon Brooks, Trevor Neal, Malcolm Hague, Alfred Zurbr?gg Thanks to the Sheffield Twist Drill and Steel Co. Ltd. and Kenning Car Hire Context This is one of many films produced by Sheffield City Council promoting their services made during the 1950s through to the 1980s. By the time of the 1980s however the political context had changed dramatically. Now a Labour Council, as it had been for the most part right back to the 1930s, was in sharp conflict with Thatcher’s administration; as were most other local Labour controlled authorities. This manifested in its involvement in more overtly political films during that decade, such as Road to Ruin made in 1985 by Sheffield Bus Campaign supported by Sheffield Transport Dept., defending Sheffield County Council and bus services from Tory policies, such as the Transport Act and abolition of South Yorkshire County Council. A similar film, also titled Your Move Next, was made in 1965 by the GLC, which also sought to encourage people and business to relocate out of London, only this time just to the suburbs. The two main makers of the film, Martin John Harris and David Falconer Rea, also worked together on another City Council promotional film, Free for All (1976). They have both gone on to have highly successful careers in film and TV. Martin John Harris graduated from Sheffield College of Art, and then worked as a film editor at the BBC and later as a freelance film editor. Among productions that have won awards that Martin John Harris has worked are We Are Poets, which won the Youth Jury Prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2011, the BBC series Bombay Railway which won a Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary in 2008, and God’s Waiting Room, a documentary by Channel Four and Century Films, which won the same award in 2009 as well as the Prix Europa, in Berlin and won Best Multicultural Film. He now lectures at Leeds Beckett University. David Falconer Rea has also worked on many documentaries and films, including the 2010 traffic police TV documentary series Crossing the Line. He is currently Company Director of Falcon Films. The film was made in the context of a rapid decline in the steel and engineering industries in the 1970s, which had historically been the main source of Sheffield employment. Nearly 20,000 toolmakers lost their jobs between 1970 and 1991 and the heavy forgings industry declined from 13,000 workers in 1973 to 5,000 in 1983. The reason for this are complicated, but in large part stem from the general decline in British manufacturing upon which these industries depended, and falling behind in productivity to its French and West German rivals. Some have blamed the nationalised British Steel for failing to invest sufficiently in new technology and allowing over-staffing. Others argue that in any case, new technology and trimming the workforce would itself have led to more unemployment. The intense national steel strike which started January 2, 1980 – the industry’s first national strike in more than 50 years – was a symptom of this situation. As is often the case, the steel workers – looking for 20% pay rise with rapidly rising inflation – were in a no win situation, which led some steel workers, especially in the remaining privatised companies, like Hadfield’s giant East Hecla Works in Sheffield, to oppose the strike, fearing consequential redundancies: as indeed happened with a phased closure of this works beginning in 1984. There was a growing struggle of resistance to redundancies in the 1970s and into the 1980s, and campaigns against unemployment with, for example, the 'People's March for Jobs' in 1981. The claim in the film that Sheffield only had one stoppage in 30 years – presumably the recent 13 week steel strike – ignores numerous strikes and occupations that in fact occurred. The Labour group in Sheffield City Council was divided between a left and right response to this. In the end the City Council, under the leadership of David Blunket, opted for a policy of public-private partnership, and working with the Manpower Services Commission. This film would have been a part of this strategy to re-train workers in new skills, attract more outside companies and develop service industries. David Blunket, the Leader of the City Council at the time, in his effort to attract business, was perhaps preparing himself for his future role as Employment Minister. This strategy, at least in the short term, failed to make good the loss of jobs in steel and engineering; although Sheffield has picked up substantially in the last two decades. The 1997 film The Full Monty, giving a humorous side to the struggles of redundant Sheffield steel workers, was set in the mid-1980s. As the conflict between central and local government heated up, two years later Sheffield City Council commissioned another film from C.H. Wood of Bradford, Don't Talk to me About Rates. With the issue of funding for local services becoming an increasingly hot political issue, this film was made to explain exactly where the Council money is spent in the city, and how the services benefit the locals. With its large areas of industry, and the consequent pollution that this entailed, Sheffield had developed a reputation for being an 'ugly' city. As part of research for his book, The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell spent several days in Sheffield in March 1936, stating that, “Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World.” The film clearly aims to alter this image, and since the Second World War Sheffield has become England's greenest city, with more than 150 woodlands and public parks, one third of the city within the Peak National Park, and half of the city's population live within 15 minutes’ drive of open country. References Clyde Binfield et al (eds), The History of the City of Sheffield, Vols. 1, 2 & 3, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993. P Seyd, 'The Political Management of Decline 1973-1993', Ibid, Vol 1 W A Hampton, 'Optimism and Growth, 1951-1973', Ibid, Vol 1 Nick Howard, The rise and fall of socialism in one city, ISJ 69, Winter 1995. John Phelan, The truth about Thatcher and the steel industry A brief history of manufacturing in Sheffield Chris Hobbs, George Orwell and Sheffield Further Information Geoffrey Tweedale, Steel City, Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Technology in Sheffield 1743-1993, OUP, 1995.