This film is part of Free

John Laing & Son Staff Outings 1953

The builders of some of Britain's biggest landmarks go on a jolly to celebrate the Queen's coronation year.

Amateur film 1953 67 mins Silent


Can you imagine your employer hiring a train to take you and colleagues on a trip to the seaside? John Laing & Son was Britain's biggest builder, constructing 100,000s of homes, large parts of the M1 motorway, cathedrals and aerodromes. This family firm had strong Christian principles, and made the welfare of its staff a high priority. Such staff outings were not one-off affairs, but the Coronation year seems to have made the occasion extra special.

The film compiles footage from six different trips across the UK, mostly to the seaside. The staff and their families seem relaxed, but still on their best behaviour. The men are all in suits and the kids in their Sunday best, or even school uniform, which looks a little peculiar to modern eyes. A good day out and a slap up meal are had by all, but the events are noticeably teetotal.