Ulster Today

Ulster Today

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Belfast, Belleek, Craigavon, Dergalt, Lough Neagh, Portadown, Silent Valley, Silent Valley Dam, Strabane, The Mournes





18min 09sec








British Film Institute, National Museums NI

Rights Holder

British Film Institute, Central Office of Information


Overview of local industry - from hand-painted damask to state-of-the-art computer production - that proves "Ulster is not just yesterday, it is also tomorrow".

The film showcases Northern Ireland as an industrial hub. Our narrator extols the virtues of Ulster - how its people, economy and scenic grandeur all lend themselves to the industrialist's ambitions. Government incentives aimed at reducing costs and increasing productivity further demonstrate the region's appeal. The film also allows us a peek at some of the prime industries of the time, from Belleek pottery in Fermanagh to synthetic rubber manufacture in Derry. 

As part of August Craft Month 2016, five contemporary local makers have been invited to respond to Unlocking Film Heritage footage from the Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive, including this film, to produce new work for Film Makers an engaging exhibition of contemporay craft.  


The footage of the training centre - one of seven such centres in Northern Ireland at the time - highlights the plentitude of work within the industrial sector and how government tried to meet the need for vocational training. The result was the creation of a highly skilled workforce, ready not only to do specific jobs, but often to work for specific manufacturers. Also featured is Craigavon. At the time little more than three and a half miles of open land, it was then foreseen not only as a "new city, but a new centre of industry" and was held up as as an example of progressive thinking.


Featuring Patrick Allen 

Director James Allen

Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project



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