The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Geoffrey Howe's Speech at Enterprise Awards
News 1980 4 mins
From the collection of:
Sir Geoffrey Howe appears at the ‘Enterprise Westward’ business conference to discuss the steel industry’s decline in the UK. He was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry in 1972 and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1975 earning the full title in 1979. Before the Bessemer process steel was an expensive resource to produce.
Henry Bessemer demonstrated his technique of blowing air through pig iron to create steel in 1856. In 1875 Britain accounted for 47% of the world’s demand for pig iron and 40% of the Steel production. During the 1970s steel production declined to such an extent the factories and mills were barely operational. By the 1980s, Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher re-privatized the British Steel Corporation (BSC) formed in 1967 to British Steel and invested capital so Britain could once again compete in the global market. Britain's Coal and Steel Industry went into steep decline as public subsidies waned.
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'.
Rien ne va plus at El Matador
Current affairs 1962 4 mins Location: Taunton
Everything is going very well at El Matador Club where gambling forms part of a growing leisure activity.
Taunton College of Art Fashion Show
Current affairs 1975 2 mins Silent Location: Taunton
Students at the College of Art in Taunton hold an end of year fashion show with eye-catching futuristic designs.
One Per Cent of Us - One in a Hundred
News 1986 52 mins Location: Plymouth
This documentary charts the progress and challenges of disabled people living in the community.
Wassail Wear and Whimple
News 1975 2 mins Silent Location: Taunton
Wassail queens assemble at Taunton Castle before returning to their respective orchards.
Taunton Jazz Festival
News 1962 12 mins Location: Taunton
Notable interviews are with some of the greatest jazz talent as music lovers gather to celebrate jazz, trad and free.
Da Vinci's Wingman
News 1961 3 mins Silent Location: Taunton
An eccentric Englishman looks to achieve winged flight inspired by Leonardo
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