This film is part of Free

The Bradford Dyers Association's Offices in Shanghai and Messing About in the Courtyard

Work and play definitely mix in this short film featuring the staff of the Bradford Dyers Association's Shanghai office.

Amateur film 1929 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


In this short chiaroscuro-style film, we see the staff of the Bradford Dyers Association at work in their Shanghai office. A Chinese member of staff, wearing a traditional two-piece suit, poses for the camera while carrying cans bearing the logo of the company. We also see Charlotte Simpson with other staff members larking about in the office building's courtyard.

William Simpson, who made this film, worked for the Bradford Dyers Association in Shanghai, at Number 1, The Bund. The BDA was first registered on the 3rd December 1989 and its purpose was to acquire the business of various firms in Bradford and Yorkshire who were engaged in the piece dyeing trade. After almost a century of acquisitions, the BDA were themselves bought out by Viyella in 1964. It is not clear when the BDA's Shanghai office was opened but it is known that they were exporting silks, cottons and woollens, dyed in Bradford, all over the world. By the time the Japanese Imperial Army occupied most of Shanghai in late 1937, William and his wife Charlotte had already left the city.