Title ID 1571Collection ID254
TitleWeights and Measures Service
Date1963 - 1969
CollectionAlan Wardle
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurInstitutionalNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
ThemePublic Services
KeywordsBuildings Food Law Enforcement Local Government Motor Vehicles Shops Trades
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionMr Alan Wardle
NarratorMr Alan Wardle
FormatStandard 8mm Colour Sound
Duration23min. 56sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This amateur film shows the work of the Surrey County Council Weights and Measures Service. The inspectors are seen testing a range of scales and checking weights and measurements at a variety of retailers and businesses. The postscript dramatises the new tasks the service will have to take on as a result of the 1968 Trade Protection Act. The film is accompanied by a music soundtrack and a narrative.


"The Inspector of Weights and Measures".

The film opens with a shot of "Surrey County Council, Woking U.D.C Weights and Measures Office" The inspectors leave the office and load up the Morris Minor Traveler outside. The narrator explains how the inspectors use their time to carry out inspections. Shots of a busy shopping street in Woking town centre. The inspectors visit numerous retailers including a butchers and graziers, grocers, tobacconists, chemists and jewelers to carry out inspections; they use weights to test the scales. The interiors of shops can be seen as well as a variety of different scales. The narrator explains how scales at farms, factories and warehouses must be tested as well. The inspectors reverse a van out of the drive at the office. They are seen testing a platform scale at a farm; at a rag and wool merchants they test another platform scale. Weighing scales are tested outside a chemist and the weights belonging to a coal merchant are tested. At a railway wagon weighbridge, red-tinged shots of the inspectors testing the weighbridge. A Surrey County Council lorry is used, which is equipped with roller weights and an electric hoist. The same roller weights are used to test a scale suspended from a crane or hoist. At a BP petrol station the pumps are tested for the accuracy of their delivery; close-up of pump as the display measures the fuel being dispensed. The inspectors now visit a pub to test the accuracy of measures of alcohol. A new lorry which will be used to hold sand and ballast is tested; an inspector stamps the lorry to show that it has passed the test. At an egg packing factory the inspectors test egg grading machines according the accuracy of their weight measurements using egg-shaped weights. The inspectors weights are checked by another official using a weighing machine which gives standard weights; differences are corrected. The working standard petrol measure is seen being tested by comparison with the glass automatic local standard measures. Inspectors are seen making a random check on a coal merchants lorry to check volume of coal being sold; the coal ticket is given to the inspector; the coal merchant places the sacks onto the inspectors scales in the back of their van to be measured before delivering them to the customer. The contents of a bakery van is inspected to ensure that bread loaves are the correct weight. A lorry containing horse feed is inspected. At a grocery shop, pre-packed meat, cheese and washing power is checked; the inspector shakes hands with the grocer. This part of the film concludes with shots of the inspectors completing paperwork back at the office. Title: "The End".

"Postscript", "1968"; "November".

Close-up shot of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. A man reads the Act at his desk. Fast-paced shots of materials, products, labels, prices, measurements and signs. The man scratches his head as he continues to read the Act. Further shots of signs, brochures and advertisements. The man throws the Act onto the desk; shots of the man spinning on his chair and acting out drinking "Harpic"; he pretends to collapse on his desk. Shots of a black granite gravestone; titles: "Black Granite", "? ?" & "The Very End".