Title ID 3266Collection ID563
TitleShippam’s Guide to Opera
CollectionShippam Ltd
ThemeWorking Life
KeywordsAnimals Broadcasting Companies Food Visual Arts
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionShippam Ltd
DirectorPeter Sachs
ProducerWilliam Larkins; W.M. Larkins Studio; Film Producers Guild
Commissioning bodyShippam Ltd
SoundWestrex Sound Recording
Other creditsAnimators: Denis Gilpin; Beryl Stevens; Richard Taylor
FormatColour Sound
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A short animated commercial for Shippam’s pastes. Late at night in a grocery shop, pots of Shippam’s paste and their ingredients sing operatic arias celebrating their quality.


A policeman shines his torch into a shop window at night, the curtain rises. Animated characters sing operatic arias with a promoting Shippam’s products and the firm’s family tradition. A chicken sings an aria. A pilchard dances with a tomato and they sing a duet. Samples of canned meat and fish paste join in a chorus. The curtain drops. The policeman’s torch lights up the slogan: Shippam’s for Tea.


A still from 'Shippam's Guide to Opera' (1955) - an animated chicken with fish paste jar

Contextual information

Shippam Ltd, an established, family-run Chichester-based company, was quick to exploit the advertising opportunities of the moving image during the 1950s. The company ran a successful marketing campaign on both cinema and television screens during this decade. The short, typically animated advertisements were fun and energetic, catching the eye of the spectator and thus the potential consumer. The adverts were also well-made - Shippam’s Guide to Opera (1955), for example, won a First Award at the Monte Carlo Film Advertising Festival in 1955. This film is also of interest because it was one of the first made by the company for the new commercial television channel ITV (ITV first transmitted content on 22 Sept 1955).

Screen Archive South East houses a large collection of Shippam advertising films. A Family Tradition (1954) is a promotional film commissioned by the company which shows the processes involved in making Shippam’s paste as well as highlighting the company's family-centred ethos. [Shippam’s Rock and Roll] (1950s) and Shippam’s Tattoo (1958) are animated advertisements which were made for the cinema.

Related titles

Related resources


C. Shippam Ltd. Shippam's. Chichester: C. Shippam Ltd, 1997

A copy of this book is available at Chichester Library.

Shippam's of Chichester. Shippams of Chichester: A Family Affair. Chichester: C. Shippam, 1962

A copy of this book is available at Chichester Library.

Shippam's of Chichester. Shippams of Chichester: A Family Tradition. Ipswich: W.A. Cowell Ltd, ca. 1955

A copy of this book is available at Chichester Library.


The Novium Museum, Chichester

The collections span thousands of years of human history - from Prehistoric stone tools to protest banners from the 1990s. The social history, archaeology and geology collections catalogue the history of the district and directly connect us to our ancestors. The collections also tell the big stories of invasion and immigration, as well as the individual stories of local heroes and villains!. The musuem collections can be searched online, through the website.

West Sussex Record Office

The West Sussex Record Office (WSRO) holds Shippam’s non-film collection which includes lantern slides by Cecil Shippam (and some commercially produced slides), photographs, printing blocks (with company logo) and company correspondence. The WSRO collections can be searched on the National Archives website.

WSRO collections via The National Archives

The Animation Research Centre (ARC)

The ARC was established in 2000 to promote, contribute to and support the under-researched discipline of animation theory. In its interdisciplinary approach, it addresses both practice and theory in the fields of arts, media, design and visual culture. The ARC also houses and promotes a major collection of UK animation in its Archive.

Journal Articles

Grieves, Keith. "'There are times when we would all prefer the factory life': letters from the trenches to the Shippam works in Chichester during the First World War." Family and Community History 6.1 (2003): 59-71.

This article looks at some of the letters sent by soldiers in France to their employer during the First World War.

Further Information on File at Screen Archive South East

The Screen Archive South East holds a number of documents relating to the Shippam collection. Contact the archive for details.