Title ID 455Collection ID1285
TitleThe Lunsford Co. Ltd
Date[ca. 1930s]
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent Artist/Film-makerNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
ThemeWorking Life
KeywordsBuilding Construction Houses Industry Labour Trades Workers
LocalBexhill-on-Sea Herstmonceux
RegionalEast Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionNot known
ParticipantsMusic: Page, The Sound Expert. (Bohemian Rd. St. Leonards)
FormatMixed Colour and Black & White Silent
Duration35 min.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A portrait of a brick and tile manufacturer, made by an unknown amateur film-maker, possibly an employee of the company. The factory is shown inside and out; intertitles explain each scene.


The opening credits outline the company’s work and show Herstmonceux Castle as an example of restoration work in which Lunsford’s bricks were used. Exterior shots of the factory show the kiln chimneys. Inside the pottery workshop the pot-making process is demonstrated. A woman throws a pot on a potter’s wheel, fires it in the kiln, paints it and returns it to the kiln. A close-up of the finished decorative vase. Ceramic pots, decorative vases, wall tiles and figurines on display in the workshop are shown in colour.

Scenes in the clay pit of men extracting the clay with pick axes and transporting it away in small wagons. The wagons are pulled along a track towards the works. Inside the Big Mill large wheels and machinery grind the clay and in another part of the works men make a brick, tiled fireplace. When finished it is hoisted out to the showroom. Inside the showroom other products are displayed: wash basins, baths, toilets and more fireplaces. An exterior shot of the Sackville Hotel with scaffolding; men carry tiles and work on the roof. The company’s fleet of lorries is shown leaving the works. Inside, the modernity of the Ledger Department is demonstrated by a woman operating an automatic calculating machine.

In the factory a man operates a brick cutting machine, then outside the bricks are transferred to the kiln, where they are arranged inside. Inside the workshop engineering bricks are made on a machine, while outside a man makes bricks by hand, packing clay into wooden moulds. Another machine inside presses filter tiles for a reservoir. The manager discusses an order with the foreman, amongst piles of bricks. Colour shots of brick samples. An abstract shot of the inside of the furnace follows and on the outside a man shovels fuel into the furnace. The final shot is a tinted close-up of the flames.


A still from 'The Lunsford Co. Ltd' (1930s)

Contextual information

It is not known who made this film, though it is most likely to have been an employee or one of the partners of the Lunsford Company. The film dates from the mid 1930s; the colour parts are Dufaycolor so can be dated to late 1934 or after. The film was probably made as a commercial for the company to be shown at cinemas in the region.

Related resources


Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum holds artifacts relating to brick making as well as samples of bricks and tiles. “Agriculture and domestic life are interpreted through exhibitions and displays". The Museum has a reference library "relating to vernacular architecture, building conservation and rural crafts and skills”

Other Resources

The British Brick Society

“The Society, founded in 1972, promotes the study and recording of all aspects of the archaeology and history of bricks, brickmaking and brickwork.”