The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Dairy Box: Skiffle Cellar
Out goes the romantic gesture and in comes the hip as Una Stubbs and her fellow cats break open the chocolates in a groovy scene in a groovy club.
From the collection of:
Launched in 1936, Dairy Box is here re-marketed to fit the new jazz and pop age of the 1950s, thriving in bars and clubs in Soho at the time. Fresh from appearing as a dancer on ITV’s Cool for Cats, who better to represent the modern era than a young Una Stubbs, the 'Rowntrees Chocolate Girl'. While Una gets excited about the “soft centres”, the sophisticated and trendy youngsters dance around a skiffle club, replete with Parisian and American influences.
This is one of a large collection of films made by Rowntree’s (now Nestlé), mostly of confectionary adverts. From the arrival of ITV in 1955 a key part of Rowntree’s marketing strategy was brand recognition through television advertising. It isn’t clear whether this advert is filmed in a real jazz bar that had skiffle bands or just modelled on one: there was the Skiffle Cellar at 49 Greek Street in Soho – later, more famously, Les Cousins – and several similar in Soho at the time: it has a passing resemblance to the Soho Jazz Cellar. Una Stubbs appeared on all the Dairy Box ads of the 1950s and was an established dancer with Lionel Blair. Only in 2013 did Una become aware that her grandfather worked at Rowntree in York.