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Bristol’s working life – the foundation of the city’s economy – is explored in great depth in this fascinating DVD, produced by history specialist 1st Take. Based on John Penny’s best-selling book, the story, is enhanced by interviews with Bristol workers of bygone years and a remarkable selection of rare archive footage, photographs and advertisements as well as stunning modern film from the perspective of Bristol City Docks.
Fortunately for Bristol’s economic development, its favourable geographical position ensured that a varied range of trades and industries became established in the city. Its motto ‘Virtue et Industria’ (by Virtue and Industry) is evident, as over the years skilled and industrious workers have manufactured a wide range of products which came to held in high esteem throughout the world. Few Bristol businesses have survived from time to time of the Industrial Revolution, and others have reinvented themselves, or been replaced by those more suited to the times. Yet all have played their part in ensuring Bristol’s continued prosperity.
Beginning with the port, other industries covered include shipbuilding, coal, potteries, soap making, metalworking, tobacco, brewing, chocolate, printing and packaging, motor vehicles and aeroplanes. The examples selected clearly illustrate the diversity of industry that survived in Bristol until the latter half of half of the twentieth century, and will remind people of those companies, both past and present, which have established Bristol as the undisputed ‘Metropolis of the West’.