This film is part of Free

Adderwell Armaments Factory in Frome

It's all work and plenty of play at the Adderwell Armaments Factory in Frome - featuring various weapons, choirs, comedians, boxing, Tessie O'Shea and a visit from Queen Mary.

Amateur film 1944 31 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


This film shows work and play at the Aderwell Armaments Factory in Frome, Somerset. We begin with men inspecting and loading guns for shipment before switching to a factory canteen where a lunch-time concert is being broadcast by the BBC. Boxing scenes are followed by a visit by Queen Mary who meets with women workers. While RAF trucks are loaded another concert gets underway with Tessie O'Shea playing banjo and Jack Ballantyne on concertina. More boxing follows.

William J Evans owned an engineering business, J Evans & Son (Portsmouth) Ltd, which relocated to the Adderwell Works in Frome, Somerset, along with many of the workforce, after Portsmouth was blitzed in 1940-41. During this intensely busy period, he still found time to film some of the activities at the factory such as a ‘Works Wonders’ concert, boxing matches and a visit by HRH Queen Mary, who insisted on being filmed meeting the factory’s women workers. 'Works Wonders', a forerunner to Worker’s Playtime, took to the air in November 1940 and was broadcast lunch-time concerts staged in factory canteens across the country. It often featured amateur performers drawn from the factory’s own workforce.