The Sewing Place

BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank

Manuela

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2019, 09:23:01 AM »
Found it on the iPlayer (via the search function) - will watch it tonight   :)

rowe1311

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2019, 20:19:09 PM »
So will I.  I went to visit it for an amazing display in their museum.  Such lovely people organised it. 

Marniesews

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2019, 01:27:22 AM »
I found it fascinating, sad and hopeful all at once. The charity Tools for Self Reliance is a fantastic thing - they also have a gift scheme where you can make a gift to Equip a Tailor for £10.

I've donated in the past and thought what a great charity it was but it was only seeing this programme that its historical relevance really occurred to me. The machines that gave women in this country life-changing opportunities to support families and develop their independence 70+ years ago are now doing the same in their second lease of life all these years later in other parts of the world.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 13:25:18 PM by Marniesews »
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

Manuela

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2019, 12:09:06 PM »
I really enjoyed the documentary, it was sad and hopeful at the same time. Tools for Self Reliance have branches allover the UK. When we’re over, we always pop in to their Bristol branch. Last time we met a colleague of Mr Manuela’s #2 son there, a young naval engineer repairing sewing machines  :)

wrenkins

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2019, 13:06:42 PM »
I haven't seen the programme but as for the charity, we have an off-shoot here called Tools for Solidarity. I emailed them when I accidentally pulled the tension knob off my old Singer and they do repairs.
I know you folks on 'the Mainland' are spoiled for resources but some outliers might find a charity close by if they're stuck for parts or repair.
A donation goes a long way (cash or kind). They accept habby and bits and bobs too.  0_0
Fashion fades, style is forever!

Marniesews

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2019, 13:26:52 PM »
Looks like my link to the Equip a Tailor gift didn't complete properly so I've redone it here and in my reply.
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

KayK

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2019, 15:23:00 PM »
Ah ha!  Managed to watch it on laptop, but not on iPlayer TV - Still, enjoyed it immensely but was very moved by the chap and his poem about the clock.  So pleased to see the old handcranks being put to good use elsewhere too!
Vintage machine lover, Singer 201K, 99K, 401G, 27K,Singer 780 Touch and Sew, Juki TL-98P, Bernina 1260 and Brother V5.  I must stop buying second hand machines.......in fact I must stop buying machines full stop!

sewingj

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2019, 20:12:32 PM »
Excellent programme..Listening to the ladies reminded me of my mum talking about working at Cadburys in Birmingham.
My first machine was a Singer in the 1970s but it was very poor. Mother-in-law had an older one but quite recently gave it away and can't remember where to!!

Sewingsue

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2019, 12:12:31 PM »
Having recorded it I finally sat down and watched it this morning. Absolutely fascinating.

They were right, Singer did have a monopoly, I remember being surprised that the 'new' names I saw advertised had been in business for years - you just didn't think of anyone other than Singer.

I suppose though that it is inevitable that if you are the first with a product when other companies come along and set up new factories with new equipment you are going to have to take the decision to spend the money and modernise or lose out.

I wish they could have found out the story behind the decision to demolish the clock when they did. It sounded as if they didn't want Clydebank to have the chance to campaign to retain it.

Lovely ending though with all those machines having a new life and giving a new life to the women who will be using them.
Bernina Aurora 440QE, Brother BC-2500, Singer 99K (1938), Silver Viscount 620D overlocker.

Radiofan

Re: BBC1 Scotland documentary about the Singer factory in Clydebank
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2019, 13:11:36 PM »
There is much more to the rise and fall of the Singer Manufacturing Company. There is a great book by Jack Buckman titled "Unravelling The Threads: The life, death and resurrection of the Singer company".

At first, the 4 principal patent holders formed a patent pool, preventing anyone else from entering the market. This is illegal today, it's effectively a cartel. As they innovated, the founding companies created new patents, keeping a grip on the market.

Then came the end of World War 2. In order to prevent the sort of economic collapse that lead to the war in the first place, as part of a redevelopment initiative, Germany was given car manufacturing and Japan was given sewing machines. Both countries did well out of it. This is why many of the early Japanese sewing machines look like Singers.

Then came mass consumerism resulting in a much reduced demand for sewing machines. Diversified corporate culture (conglomeration) axeing the least profitable product lines. Bad CEOs and a hostile takeover in the 80s, breaking the company into little pieces. Some of the pieces were picked up by the newly formed Singer company that we know today, which due to market contraction, also owns Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking.

Very little of this is mentioned in this in the programme, I guess they focus on the Kilbowie part of it. I highly recommend the book.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 13:43:23 PM by Radiofan »
Singer 538, there are many like it, but this one is mine.