This film is part of Free

Alarm Call

A drink for all occasions, but especially to relieve the stress of those brave souls battling fires, floods and well-behaved children.

Advert 1955 2 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is one of several cinema ads for Rowntree’s cocoa produced in 1955, all on the theme of returning from the cold or from dangerous occupations to be soothed by a hot cup of cocoa. In this one we have the fire brigade haring along to a fire, climbing ladders and dealing with falling buildings. At last the firemen get a chance to relax, while back home the wife of one of them warms their rain-soaked children with a cup.

This is one of a large collection of films made by Rowntree’s of York (now Nestlé), most of which are adverts for their confectionary products. In Georgian times London's decadent chocolate houses, like the Cocoa Tree on Pall Mall, would be frequented by the wealthy, who would display the kind of debauchery and rowdy behaviour typical of their class and time. Yet ironically, as a Quaker, Joseph Rowntree saw cocoa as a healthy alternative to the evils of alcohol, and promoted it as a temperance drink. Cocoa, which of course forms the basis for all chocolate products, is much less common as a drink these days, being overtaken by hot chocolate, which retains the cocoa butter.