This film is part of Free

Last of the Lion Brand

A tale of donkeys and doorsteps, and the passing of a northern tradition.

Student film 1979 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North West Film Archive


Once upon a time, a woman scrubbing her front doorstep with a donkey stone was a common sight in northern cities. Times change, though, and this short colour film records the closure in February 1979 of Eli Whalley & Co, the last donkey stone manufacturer in Ashton-under-Lyne. We also learn of the efforts of Tameside Museum Service to preserve a material record of a once flourishing industry.

This film was produced by undergraduate film students at Manchester Polytechnic, now Manchester Metropolitan University.