The fourteenth of my slots about London’s Industrial Heritage, on BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms Show , sees me look at the Capital city’s factories on screen.
As well as the countless appearances with motion pictures, television and music videos, these long gone industrial sites also appeared in British Pathé newsreels.
Pathé News was a producer of newsreels and documentaries from 1910 until 1970 in the UK. Its founder, Charles Pathé, was a pioneer of moving pictures in the silent era. The Pathé News archive is known today as British Pathé. Its collection of news film and movies is fully digitised and available online.
I did a fairly thorough search of the online archive to find these London factories, that were caught on Pathé’s cameras over the years. So have a click on the links, and enjoy –
Footage shot in the early 1930’s with great exterior shots of the grand art-deco building, and then showing the manufacture of parts for their famous vacuum cleaners.- https://www.britishpathe.com/video/hoover-clean-sweep-reel-1/query/hoover+factory
J. Lyons & Co, Cadby Hall, Kensington.
(Colour) Lyons Maid Choc ices being made in 1957 – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/ice-cream-factory/query/lyons+factory
The huge factory under construction in the early 1930s – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/taking-shape/query/ford+factory
Lines Brothers, Merton.
Pedigree dolls being made in 1937 – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/miss-dolly-comes-to-town/query/factory
World War one period footage of the large lightbulb factory – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/osram-factory/query/factory
The Wallis Gilbert & Partners-designed art-deco factory at the time of its opening in 1928 (although the stated date says 1930) https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVACH5YWQH2V0YM6JATWASPNH1M1-ARCHITECTURE-PYRENE-FACTORY-OPENED-IN-BRENTFORD/query/factory
Schweppes, West Hendon.
The filling of soda syphons and soda bottles in the 1920s – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/industrial-news-supplement-soda-water-factory/query/factory
Prices Candles, Battersea.
(Colour) Candles being made in 1959- https://www.britishpathe.com/video/candle-making-beware-other-colour-pics-share-this/query/factory
The exterior of the factory that made bearings, shot at dusk in 1962 – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVA4S6LVBWVD5Q9MWLLBK1MZ9101-UK-EXTERIOR-OF-VANDERVELL-FACTORY/query/factory
Handley Page, Cricklewood.
The Prince of Wales visits the factory in 1919- https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVA6NX9ZD17HB2EKCDO7YK6P6GD7-PRINCE-OF-WALES-VISITS-HANDLEY-PAGE-WORKS/query/factory
Footage taken at the 1968 Brighton Toy fair, and at the factory – https://www.britishpathe.com/video/toy-fair-5/query/factory
Links published with Permission from British Pathé. Visit their site here -www.britishpathe.com
I then discovered (of course), that there was also Movietone News, which was Pathé’s great newsreel rival. This great archive is now owneed and marketed by AP.
I need to have a good look through, but I have found this gem, which was shot at the Lesney Products & Co ‘Matchbox’ toys in 1968 – https://youtu.be/agIWoLNWKwo
..and then I spotted this gem, which came via Michael Spicer’s excellent @CFBClips Twitter page, showing a Mars ad made in the late 1980s, at the Hoover factory, in Perivale. We get interiors of the office areas, and also the exterior, as the actress walks into the building –