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Butterley 1943: Codnor Park Wagon Works

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.

Promotional 1943 10 mins

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Logo for Media Archive for Central England


This wartime industrial film shows one small aspect of the giant Derbyshire based Butterley company: the Codnor Park wagon works. We see the construction of steel pit tubs as well as the renovation of wooden bodied coal wagons, demonstrating the wide ranging skills of the workforce. The commentator is keen to point out the work that can be carried out by 'girls', a good illustration of the changing role played by women during the war.

The Butterley company existed in various forms from 1790 producing iron and steel as well as bricks and working in construction and heavy engineering. The firm, most famous for the giant iron girders of St Pancras Station, went into administration in 2009. The Codnor Park site, close to the main Ripley works, was closed in 1965.