This film is part of Free

Views Past and Present at Spring Grove Mills

A fascinating journey around the entire process of a typical 1930s textile mill, with young women workers, all sporting the same hairstyles, labouring at hypnotic machines.

1933 26 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Little seems to have changed in the production of thread, as seen here in Huddersfield in the 1930s, from the early days of the industrial revolution. Still using steam power, and with a maze of machines spinning, weaving and winding, the whole process looks befuddling to the outsider, but here at least we are provided with some guidance. Of particular interest is how much of the workforce is female, how many are very young, and how they all have the same short hair styles.

This is a fine example of an early company promotional film using detailed intertitles to explain each stage of the production process. Films of this kind were common in the 1930s, evolving into more sophisticated promotional films using voiceovers. The film also shows Noel Beardsell, himself a fine amateur filmmaker who made a sizeable collection of family films during the 1930s and ‘40s.