16mm film Colour Sound 1974 16:12
Summary: A film showing the opening of the New Western International Market in 1974, and the closure of the old. Brentford Fruit and Vegetable market. The film captures the work of the traders and porters of the market,and provides a glimpse into their profession.
Title number: 411
Description: The Western International Market, N. Hyde, Heston, opened in June 1974 and replaced Brentford wholesale green groceries and fruit market.
Opening Title; Western International
Agricultural landscape showing a large and expansive field with a sole tractor ploughing the field, in the distance we can see a range of urban housing, birds follow the tractor and swoop down on the field to feed.
Narrator Michael Barratt
An ariel view of the Thames by Kew Bridge showing the river and surrounding area, we zoom into a view of Brentford market.A close up of the Middlesex Council badge showing the three seaxes emblem engarved in stone on a large building.
We now see the entrance to Brentford Market, an impressive stone archway with pillars either side, above the archway craved in stone appears 'Brentford Market 1905'.
Interior shots of the trading hall which is deserted, but shows signs of lots of activity earlier, as the remains of fruit and vegetables can be seen along with empty packaging and pallets.
Outside we see a range of stalls that are deserted and a man is sweeping up alongside empty pallets, other individuals are seen working, clearing up and stowing away produce, getting the market ready for another working day.
At night a range of different vehicles arrive at the market, a sign on one of the vehicles reads 'National Express Parcels' and bares an inter-city rail logo, a man can be seen taking boxes out of the vehicle. A number of other men take out boxes of vegetables from other delivery vehicles and stack them. In the early morning a number of vehicles arrive at the market which is open for business, it seems chaotic, as the vehicles jostle for position, and pour in through a narrow entrance, a man in uniform and a peaked hat with a ticket machine takes money from an asian customer, and waves the van in.
The trading hall is a hive of activity as traders move swiftly around the floor, often dodging each other. Customers and traders can be seen examining produce and agreeing on price, men store pallets on their heads and move produce around the trading hall which appears cramped and congested, outside vehicles are closely parked together as purchases are loaded.
A nun is in conversation with a trader, we see another trader enjoying a well earned cup of tea, and now see the nun carrying crates marked A Brownh & Son Harlington towards another nun standing by a parked car. Other scenes of traders and porters moving produce around the market, smiling and enjoying their work in a cramped environment. Porters are seen moving the produce out to the buyers skillfully negotiating the crowded exterior,some are carrying the produce, others are using small vehicles, weaving in and out of the tight and small areas.
The M4 motorway is seen from a bridge, vehicles speed up and down the motorway, as the camera pans left we see a field which will become the site of the new Western International Market. A prefabricated steel frame is being erected, men skillfully work on the frame bolting different sections together, as an architect looks through his instrument. The trading hall starts to take shape and we can see the huge size of the site. The roof is being completed on one of the trading halls and a man carefully lays out an insulation roll, while another puts down roof panels. Inside the hall we see a large interior with crisp straight lines.
Back at the old market a man in a cab looks up as he operates a crane lifting a porter's vehicle onto the back of a lorry, other vehicles are loaded as the market gets ready to close. A lorry is seen on the motorway taking the equipment to the new market.
A final shot of the market gates closed for the last time with a large steel padlock. Inside, the once bustling market is now deserted.A few banners flap, and old produce labels lie on the ground as a reminder of the trade that once took place.
A night scene at the new market. The outline of vehicles are seen queuing in a very orderly fashion to enter the market. A brand new street sign states 'Western International Market', with other signs directing traffic and designating parking areas. We see the Western International sign at the top of the new building,proudly announcing the new market.
Porters are moving produce around the new market using fork lift trucks, the work seems very orderly and efficient compared to the old market. The wide central halls of the trading market appear to provide ample room for the traders as they move around. A porter loads an order from a variety of pallets moving with ease around them as he completes his order.
A buyer and trader are inspecting a register perhaps agreeing terms or settling an account.
We see a variety of internal shots of the new market, which appears very spacious and orderly, showing buyers and traders conducting business. Outside we see the spacious parking area and porters loading produce into vehicles. A large articulated lorry turns with ease within the car park to exit the market. A small van is viewed being loaded by four men and a goods area shows purchases being loaded. A container lorry is seen being off loaded by three men. Porters trucks move around the goods area with ease, as a loaded lorry exits the market.
A portacabin acts as a traders office.We see a man walking up a staircase to enter his well ordered and tidy office. On the outside of the office is a sticker advertising Spanish oranges('Spanish oranges are a knockout mum' Henry Cooper). He enters the office and smiles to a colleague who is sitting down, he takes a clipboard down and inspects and reads it's contents.
Various scenes showing the facilities available at the new market, these include a pub(Market Tavern), Men's Clothes Shop and administration block.
A full car park gives a sense of scale of how big and well ordered the new market is compared to the old market.
A closing shot of the trading hall gives a sense of continuity between the old and the new.
Photography Brian Walker
Sound David Hewitt
Produced by John Haughton
Produced by John Haughton
A London Borough of Hounslow Film
Credits: Narrator Michael Barratt,Photography Brian Walker,Sound David Hewitt,Produced by John Haughton,Produced by John Haughton.
Further information: http://www.brentfordhistory.com/2013/04/11/the-markets-and-growers-of-brentford/
Keywords: markets; traders; porters;
Locations: United Kingdom;London;Middlesex;Brentford;North Hyde;Southall