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Keep the Wheels Turning

The State seized control of much of British industry at the start of the war. Mills and factories now produced munitions, planes, tanks and uniforms, while mines yielded the coal to power it all.

Production went into overdrive. Workforces in key industries like coalmining and shipbuilding were classed as 'reserved occupations' and spared the draft, while an army of women took to the machines to meet the constant demand for munitions and uniforms. In hindsight, we can see that the foundations of the postwar settlement were being laid. The wartime economy was formidable: workers pulled together to meet ever-increasing demand for resources and government oversight kept the motors running.

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Yesterday Is over Your ShoulderYesterday Is over Your Shoulder

Industry sponsored film19408 mins

An enticing government call for men to retrain as skilled engineers to help with the war effort.

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Warwork News No 11Warwork News No 11

Government sponsored film194212 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Worker and War Front No. 3Worker and War Front No. 3

Government sponsored film194211 mins Location: Liverpool

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Behind the GunsBehind the Guns

Documentary194020 minsSilent

A Second World War propaganda film, looking at the industrial might behind Great Britain’s armed forces.

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ShipbuildersShipbuilders

Government sponsored film194010 mins

Shipwrights, plate-fitters and riveters support the war effort as their ships take majestic shape in this tour of British shipyards.

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The Port of Cardiff 2The Port of Cardiff 2

Promotional194325 minsSilent Location: Whitchurch

Meat and wheat, oranges and eggs (dried), salmon and peaches (tinned) arrive in Cardiff from Brazil, America, Canada and New Zealand to keep war-time’s wolf from the allied door.

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Her Father's DaughterHer Father's Daughter

Government sponsored film19419 mins

Women on the factory floor? An engineer needs convincing that war work is a feminine pursuit.

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Warwork News No 33Warwork News No 33

Government sponsored film194311 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Worker and War Front No. 10Worker and War Front No. 10

Government sponsored film194412 mins

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Butterley 1943: Codnor Park Wagon WorksButterley 1943: Codnor Park Wagon Works

Promotional194310 mins Location: Butterley

Amongst the white hot metal and the pounding drop hammer the men and women of Butterley Engineering work tirelessly in producing railway wagons for Britain's war effort.

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Good ValueGood Value

Documentary19428 mins

A tribute to British workmanship - from Witney blankets to Sheffield cutlery.

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Furnaces of IndustryFurnaces of Industry

Documentary194011 mins

A patriotic look at British steelmaking.

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Cooke Troughton & Simms in Wartime 1939-1945Cooke Troughton & Simms in Wartime 1939-1945

Promotional193922 mins Location: York

Over 3000 men and women of York keep the war effort on target making tank periscopes and gun sights

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Warwork News No 24Warwork News No 24

Government sponsored film194311 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Wings for VictoryWings for Victory

Amateur film19433 minsSilent Location: Aylsham

The `Wings for Victory' parade, Aylsham, May 1943, captured by Richard Beard a master mariner who served as a Squadron Leader, based at Coltishall, during World War II.

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Worker and War Front No. 6Worker and War Front No. 6

Government sponsored film194311 mins Location: Rhondda

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Warwork News No 22Warwork News No 22

Government sponsored film194310 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Wings for Victory WeekWings for Victory Week

Amateur film19437 minsSilent Location: Banstead

The great and the good assemble to open Banstead ATC's new headquarters followed by a Wings for Victory Week parade with cadets, bands, armoured cars and enthusiastic civilians.

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A Job to Be DoneA Job to Be Done

Government sponsored film194010 minsSilent Location: Witney

Hard work on the home front: the story of the 'reserved occupations'.

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Worker and War Front No. 5Worker and War Front No. 5

Government sponsored film194313 mins Location: London

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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War-Time FundraisingWar-Time Fundraising

Amateur film194320 minsSilent Location: Wicken

Fundraising services and events for Cambridgeshire British Red Cross and St John Ambulance volunteers, captured by filmmaker William King, in 1943.

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Worker and War Front No. 8Worker and War Front No. 8

Government sponsored film194311 mins

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Woking reaches its target and military marchesWoking reaches its target and military marches

Amateur film194416 minsSilent Location: Woking

Over £680,000 is raised by Wartime Woking in this film from 1944 which features women on parade, Air Training Corps cadets and the Home Guard.

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Walton's Parade for VictoryWalton's Parade for Victory

Non-Fiction19414 mins Location: Walton-on-Thames

Men and women from Walton, Weybridge and Hersham's Civil Defence organisations are on the march in this local War Bonds fundraiser for War Weapons Week in March 1941.

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Warwork News No 12Warwork News No 12

Government sponsored film194210 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Worker and War Front No. 7Worker and War Front No. 7

Government sponsored film19438 mins Location: Berkhamsted

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Work PartyWork Party

Documentary19438 mins Location: London

A busy wartime family celebrate a 21st birthday, providing a rare opportunity for their guests to relax and socialise.

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Wartime savings rally, Winchester and Home GuardWartime savings rally, Winchester and Home Guard

Amateur film194012 minsSilent Location: Winchester

Wartime Winchester is the star of this film, which includes military marches, Home Guard exercises and an outdoor boxing match staged by the American Army.

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Warwork News No 25Warwork News No 25

Government sponsored film19439 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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The Marchwood Park Training Centre and power boatsThe Marchwood Park Training Centre and power boats

Amateur film193913 minsSilent Location: Hythe

Women train for war work at Marchwood Park House in this remarkable film which features camouflaged factories, barrage balloons, gas masks and a netball match.

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Worker and War Front No. 18Worker and War Front No. 18

Government sponsored film194511 minsSilent Location: Hackney

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Feed the FurnacesFeed the Furnaces

Government sponsored film19415 mins

An appeal for citizens to give up their old bed frames and garden tools, as part of a government drive to salvage resources for the war effort.

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Warwork News No 30Warwork News No 30

Government sponsored film194310 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Adderwell Armaments Factory in FromeAdderwell Armaments Factory in Frome

Amateur film194431 minsSilent Location: Frome

It's all work and plenty of play at the Adderwell Armaments Factory in Frome - featuring various weapons, choirs, comedians, boxing, Tessie O'Shea and a visit from Queen Mary.

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Worker and War Front No. 12Worker and War Front No. 12

Government sponsored film194411 mins Location: Bermondsey

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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The New CropThe New Crop

Government sponsored film194419 mins

Wartime woodland management: we can do it! Women add their labour to the work of axe and saw.

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Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to the Works of Chance Brothers and Co LimitedVisit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to the Works of Chance Brothers and Co Limited

Amateur film19408 minsSilent Location: Smethwick

19 April 1940 finds the King and Queen on a morale boosting visit to the glassworks of Chance Brothers in Smethwick - another vital cog in the wheel of British war production.

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Worker and War Front No. 16Worker and War Front No. 16

Government sponsored film194510 mins Location: Edinburgh

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Lord Mayor's SpeechLord Mayor's Speech

Non-Fiction19433 mins Location: Cardiff Bay

The Lord Mayor of Cardiff speaks to camera, exhorting all good citizens to support the war-time Wings for Victory Week by saving and thereby lending money to the government.

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Warwork News No 72Warwork News No 72

Government sponsored film19459 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Wings for Victory 1943 Wings for Victory 1943

Non-Fiction19437 minsSilent Location: Beverley

A chance to judge the mood of a typical English town, four years into a deadlocked war, as we witness the bearing of service men and women marching through the streets of Chapeltown.

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A Call for Arms!A Call for Arms!

Government sponsored film19408 minsSilent

A pair of 'nude' dancers find a new way of doing their bit for the boys in this fun propaganda short

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Settle Warships WeekSettle Warships Week

Non-Fiction194214 minsSilent Location: Settle

This is a fine example of an amateur filmmaker giving a real feel of their local town; here pulling together to raise money for a warship, and providing a glimpse into wartime life.

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Doncaster War WeekDoncaster War Week

Non-Fiction194112 minsSilent Location: Doncaster

A portrait of a Yorkshire town during a typical WW2 fund raising week for Warships, providing an insight into the fund raising, and an intriguing peak into wartime daily life.

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Warwork News No 78Warwork News No 78

Government sponsored film194510 mins

Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.

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Lockheed Wartime Factory FilmsLockheed Wartime Factory Films

Amateur film194356 minsSilent Location: Royal Leamington Spa

Camouflaged against aerial attack, the Lockheed aircraft factories in Leamington Spa and Leicester work day and night for the war effort.

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Worker and War Front No. 15Worker and War Front No. 15

Government sponsored film194510 mins Location: London

A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.

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Helping to Buy Beverley's SpitfireHelping to Buy Beverley's Spitfire

19414 minsSilent Location: Beverley

The Battle of Britain may be over but the war over the skies continues, and so the people of Beverly crowd the Market Square and dig deep to buy one of Britain’s greatest war assets.

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Wartime FactoryWartime Factory

Government sponsored film19409 minsSilent

The factory floor view of WWII, inside a busy aircraft works

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British Made 'ameri-cans' Something to Focus OnBritish Made 'ameri-cans' Something to Focus On

Industry sponsored film194424 mins

Visit the Magnatex factory, which constructs petrol cans for the war effort using American machinery and components.

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Dai JonesDai Jones

Documentary19417 mins Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd

An unemployed Welsh miner saves the day in this stirring WWII propaganda film.

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Our FilmOur Film

War194212 mins

A Russian activist intervenes to teach British factory managers and staff how to work together.