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Swaythling: From Blitz to Boom

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Wessex Film and Sound Archives

Hampshire Record Office

Sussex Street

Winchester

SO23 8TH

United Kingdom

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A special double-bill presenting rare cine-footage of Southampton’s wartime preparation in 1939 and then a 1995 radio documentary of the busy Swaythling Ford Assembly Plant during its peak production years with accompanying still images of factory life.

Southampton prepares for the Blitz, 1939
A film made in 1939 by Harry Thew of the Solent Cine Club, showing local preparations for the blitz on Southampton to come in 1940. The film shows the ARP control office at the Civic Centre, practising with gas masks, a child helping to put out an ‘incendiary device’, a pretend air raid with a family using their Anderson shelter, ‘casualties’ arriving at Bassett Green School, and the Auxiliary Fire Service in action, including putting out fires on one of the greens in Mansbridge.

Inside the Ford Assembly Plant, 1995
In this BBC Radio Solent documentary about the Ford factory in Swaythling, reporter Alan Jones interviews senior engineer Bill Murphy at the factory in 1995. Various processes are described as they walk around the factory, with staff being interviewed and the noises of production much in evidence, creating an evocative atmosphere of the time. The radio documentary is accompanied by still images showing factory production processes which were gathered during the 2018 Heritage Lottery funded project Transition: from Fields to Ford and Beyond.

Presented by David Lee

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Wessex Film and Sound Archives

Hampshire Record Office

Sussex Street

Winchester

SO23 8TH

United Kingdom

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