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Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to the Works of Chance Brothers and Co Limited

19 April 1940 finds the King and Queen on a morale boosting visit to the glassworks of Chance Brothers in Smethwick - another vital cog in the wheel of British war production.

Amateur film 1940 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


The Spon Lane works of Chance Brothers, makers of optical glass, was considered so important during the war that a shadow factory was created in St Helens, In this film the King and Queen are shown around the works by Hugh and Walter Chance. They stop off at various sections including those making sound locators and lighthouse glass. During the tour factory workers look on - an hour out of their vital war work.

The 'shadow factory' in Saint Helens was established so that it could continue productionshould the Smethwick factory be bombed.The Chance Brothers factory in Smethwick was closed in 1981. After many years under the ownership of Pilkington the surviving Chance factory at Malvern became independent again with a management buy-out in 1992.