This film is part of Free
20,000 Employees Entering Lord Armstrong's Elswick Works (1900)
An astonishingly crowded Victorian street reveals the vast scale of Tyneside manufacturing.
"The men leaving Armstrong's works and other Newcastle sights are full of life, and create much excitement amongst the audience," reported Newcastle's Evening Chronicle at a screening of this film, in a mixed programme including Boer War and Boxer Rebellion scenes. The film was advertised as showing the men entering, not leaving the works, but either way, it's an impressive sight.
Some rather scrappy shots of parade, park and street scenes precede these magnificent main images. The film was commissioned and screened by prolific showman AD Thomas. You'll easily spot two of his men ushering parts of the enormous, almost all-male crowd... Lord Elswick was one of the great nineteenth-century industrialists who, incidentally, died the month after this film was made. He was by then no longer closely involved in running the Armstrong Whitworth company and its massive works, which fed many sectors of Britain's industrial economy, producing ships, trains, bridges, guns and much else besides.