This film is part of Free

Surprise Visit

Ideas for trendy knitwear - and promising careers - in this peppy promo film for Courtaulds spinning factories

Documentary 1974 20 mins


Eyes meet across a crowded knitwear store... and the awkward beginnings of a teenage romance turn into exciting career prospects with Courtaulds, one of the UK's largest textile firms. The 1970s saw the slow decline of British textiles continue, with almost one Lancashire mill - once synonymous with the power of cotton - closing a week. But, the factory in this colourful, upbeat film has made the transition to man-made fibres and so promises an abundance of jobs on the factory floor and beyond.

The mill proudly offers "jobs for everyone", with extensive training and welfare provision. But traditional gender roles abide - there's no question of Dad putting his career on hold to look after a child. While he's moved up the ladder to work in exports, Maureen is at home with the baby - but, the film reassures us, there'll always be a job waiting for her in textiles. This was perhaps over-optimistic - as late as 1988, Courtaulds still had 30 mills operating, but these were eventually sold as textile manufacturing moved abroad.