Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.
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Enter a giant of the Belfast linen industry and get a joyful glimpse of workers in this bustling York Street mill.
Sponsored film 1957 1 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Witness one of Belfast’s largest mills at work in its final years. Delight in the rhythm of the weavers at work. Soak in the vibrant colours of the linen roving before joining the production line in its silent song.
This mighty industry has its roots in a 1778 experiment spinning cotton in Belfast’s Poor House. York Street Mill was first opened in 1830 and would close in the early 1960s. At its peak it employed many thousands and could boast some 90,000 spindles and 1,000 power looms. By the early Twentieth Century, Belfast was established as the foremost centre for linen production in the world. World War Two boosted the industry, with the manufacture of linen integral to the production of various items, from clothing to parachutes. In later years, a shift towards synthetic fibres would mark the decline of linen production. These rushes come from the collection of National Museums Northern Ireland.
Textiles on Film
Home movie 1937 20 mins Silent Location: Llangollen
Nellie Boote's laundry in Market Street in operation, the women dashing away with all manner of smoothing irons as clothes are sorted, mended, washed, ironed and sorted again.
Documentary 1965 24 mins Location: Langley Mill
A mile of yarn and a million loops to make one stocking: the culmination of a four hundred year old craft.
News 1967 6 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Fashion doesnt grow on treesor does it! Tyne Tees TV was bang on-trend with this brilliant news feature on the hip 1960s cult for a disposable age - paper fashion.
Industry sponsored film 1971 23 mins Location: Greengates
Twisted yarns and empty spindles, everything from Bouclé to Slub yarn, from beginning to end, and all, in the end, displayed on a ‘normal’ model in typical 1970s fashion.
Messrs. Barlow and Jones Ltd., Manchester and Bolton Messrs. Barlow and Jones Ltd., Manchester and Bolton
Promotional 1919 19 mins Silent Location: Bolton
From raw resource to finished product, by cleaning and spinning, weaving and bleaching - take a look at the textile industry from the inside.
Winter Fashions have been Modelled in a Park in Exmouth Winter Fashions have been Modelled in a Park in Exmouth
News 1977 2 mins Silent Location: Exmouth
Wearing Fur gets Hairy
Advert 6 mins Location: Belfast
Hangry animals demand better grub in this bizarre advert by E.T. Green
Advert 1960 0 mins Location: Belfast
This family favourite is guaranteed to have you singing all the way to the bread bin
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Location: Belfast
Seawards heads a great ship, the biggest of its day
Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent Location: Belfast
A view down the High Street featuring the Albert Clock, a shot of Queen's Bridge and the docks
News 1981 20 mins Location: Belfast
Join Belfast’s first female Lord Mayor and reconsider how disabled people navigate the streets of Belfast.
News 1976 7 mins Location: Belfast
Witness Northern Ireland’s first telecommunications device for Deaf people
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