This film is part of Free

Purfleet Floods

This film charts the spectacular turnaround following the devastation of the East Coast floods of '53 and the challenge of a riverside factory to get back into production.

Non-Fiction 1953 23 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Proof that margarine and water just don't mix! This film made by Unilever would have raised the spirits of many people affected by the floods. People worked round the clock to get the Van den Burghs and Jurgens margarine factory drained and rebuilt making the transformation from disaster back to business as usual within 43 days.

The Queen herself visited the factory to support and pay tribute to the workers. More than 2 million sand bags were filled and laid against the clock to stop the imminent high tides and more than 20 million tonnes of water drained from the site at Purfleet. To recover so quickly from such horrendous damage was certainly worth recording and this film is a tremendous tribute to all concerned.