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Britain Can Make It (1946)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A three-part study of concrete dry docks, motion in factory production, and the War Artists' Exhibition in London.

A concrete floating dock is manufactured. Two men roll out a strip of Crown paper on a flat surface, thoroughly soaking it all over. Steel bars are laid over this, criss-cross fashion, and secured with wires. These are then surrounded with wooden strips and filled with ready-mixed concrete. The mixture is smoothed over until quite flat, and left to dry. The moulds are then taken away and the paper stripped off, making it ready for use.

The slab is lifted up by crane and placed on a lorry to take it to the site where the Admiralty floating dock is being constructed. At the dockside, the pre-fabricated slabs are joined together. When the slabs are in place, the decks are laid, strutted with wood and filled with concrete. A minesweeper tests a floating dock.

A motion study is conducted in a factory. A man picks some pegs out of a box and puts them into holes that have been punched into a board. However, his left hand remains virtually idle throughout. A better method is to place the board in front of the box, which is at an angle, and to lift the pegs out with both hands, putting them in the board starting from the furthest edge towards the box, thus using minimum effort.

A similar time and motion study is applied to the packing of valve holders. Originally, they were put into the boxes one by one, with the process repeated for a second layer. Two jigs are fixed onto the table to make rests for the holder, so that both layers can be done at the same time and be put into the box together.

Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, explains that motion study in factories is needed so as to step up production the easy way, lessening fatigue and not putting people out of their jobs.

At the War Artists' Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, various people view paintings including Paul Nash's 'Battle of Britain', John Armstrong's 'September 1940' and John Piper's 'Coventry Cathedral'.