The Media Archive for Central England is the public screen archive for the East and West Midlands. An independent charity and company based at the University of Lincoln, MACE acquires, catalogues, preserves and makes widely available moving image materials that inform our understanding of the diverse cultures and histories of communities between the Lincolnshire coast and the Welsh border.
This film is part of Free
In over one hundred and fifty years little has changed in the chain forges of Cradley Heath where big, tough men hammer out the biggest and toughest chains.
Current affairs 1983 9 mins
From the collection of:
Griffin Woodhouse of Cradley Heath make chains - big and heavy ones - the biggest are used to moor the largest ships and oil rigs. All are heated up and hammered out in the age old way. It's not completely manual labour now as some machines have made inroads onto the shop floor, but the regulars of the Swan with Two Necks pub, chainmakers both young and old, all agree that it's still the hardest job of all.
Steel on Film
Pattern for Progress
Industry sponsored film 1948 42 mins Location: Ebbw Vale/Glyn Ebwy
The drama and spectacle of steelmaking at Ebbw Vale.
Iron Ore in Britain
Documentary 1956 30 mins Location: Corby
A richly detailed depiction of the history and technology of the iron ore industry - plus some dramatic explosions.
Ingot Pictorial No. 6
1950 21 mins Location: Panteg
This Ingot Pictorial – a quarterly review of life inside and outside RTB steelworks – brings back memories of summer events (carnival, tennis, singing cousins) in December.
Lancashire Steel Corporation - Irlam Works
Industry sponsored film 1935 16 mins Silent Location: Irlam
Inside the steel works - come and take a close look at a very heavy industry.
Sad Day for Bilston
Documentary 1979 24 mins Location: Bilston
A steelworks and a workforce under the shadow of closure. Bilston faces a cold winter as it loses its traditional heavy industry.
Ingot Pictorial No. 18
1954 21 mins Location: London
Tom Williams bridges industrial and rural life: he is a fitter at Bryngwyn Sheetworks but, at leisure, carves shepherd's crooks and competes in sheepdog trials with 'Cap'.
Cradley Heath Market
Non-Fiction 1967 4 mins Location: Cradley Heath
Black Country poet Harry Harrison gives his view on the appeal of Cradley Heath market hall.
Non-Fiction 1975 5 mins Location: Cradley Heath
The Black Country in 1975. Times change but one thing remains constant: John Priest manufactures chains using a forge first lit at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location