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Summary: The rôle of women munitions workers in factories, showing the Herrick family and friends at work and play on Mary Herrick's birthday.
Description: In a munitions factory [Bourne Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex], 25-pounder guns are made by women workers, such as members of the Herrick family (who are seen at home in their dingy flat). The eldest daughter Mary, celebrating her 21st birthday, prepares for her first day at work. The factory's (male) supervisors praise the dedication of the women workers, and introduce some of them at work. "There's the Herrick girls, Sylvia and Mary"; sisters Mrs Parsons and Mrs Halliday at their machines, working to rigid requirements; Mrs Pugh, in change of "sleeve actuation"; Mrs Herrick operating a crane; Mrs Morton "who worked in munitions during the last war"; in Bay 5 "the Beddington girl" turning jackets; Mrs Cottingham, milling screw threads; Mrs Flynn "slinging loads" of gun barrels etc. In eight months, all these women have learned the way to make guns. Machinery is shown (one cleaning the insides of gun barrels) and other workers are introduced, including the shop steward, Mrs Johnson, a cutter and grinder. At the end of the day, all the ladies clock out and go to Mary's birthday party, where sandwiches and cake are in abundance ("neighbours help out with rations"). These women "who make the munitions but keep family life going at the same time" are praised once again; and a final plea for more women workers is made.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Realist (Production company)
Lye, Len (Production individual)
Taylor, John Elston1914-10-051992-09-15 (Production individual)
Jeakins, A E (Production individual)
Pearl, Albert (Production individual)
Meyer, Ernst H (Production individual)
Herrick Family (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 680 ft; Running time: 6 mins
Notes: Credits: on the film, these read "A Realist Film Unit Production with the Herrick Family. Technicians... Jeakins... Pearl... Meyer...". The director and producer's names do not appear, but have been taken from Frances Thorpe and Nicholas Pronay's "British Official Films in the Second World War: A Descriptive Catalogue" (Clio Press 1980).
Summary: print has censor's card at the beginning.
Summary: Information obtained by TV researcher for "The way we were" in July 2005 on family portrayed in film: "We tracked down the Mary Herrick in the film. She married David and is now Mary Scully. Amazing lady -remembered the film well. She and her mother and other sisters featured in the film as a 'morale boost' film. Life was tough. Her mother was widowed and left with 7 children. Father died at 33 years. Each child as they became old enough went out to work to contribute to the family's income. Mary very proud and devoted to the work her mother did.
Factory was the Munitions Factory in Bourne Avenue, Hayes, Middx. Mary still lives in Hayes
Mary had 5 sisters - SYLVIA, JULIE, LYLIE, HILDA ANDS RENEE and 1 brother EDWARD. Mary was eldest sister - sisters about 18 months apart and brother was 10 years younger.
All sisters worked during war - Mary on guns, did lathe training, another was ambulance driver and ARP messenger and another worked in nursery with flowers. Mother was the first women crane driver!
Her home then was 74 Princes Park Lane
Mary knows about film. She was shown it on her 50th birthday. Vivid memories of those days."