"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Watching 'Made in Dagenham'

Please read all through the blog before deciding whether or not Elizannie has 'gone soft'.
I have just been to see the film 'Made in Dagenham' which is a fictionalised version of the 1968 strike by the women sewing machinists at the Ford, Dagenham factory. The settlement of the strike ultimately led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970. My companion was a Ford Pensioner, thus an ex-Ford worker, and he was also an ex-union official. As I wrote in my previous blog 'The Real Story of Made in Dagenham' [September 18th] I have family connections with Ford & Dagenham so we were both eager to find fault with the film!

Well, I won't lie to you, it wasn't as bad as I expected. There were continuity errors and remarks from my companion that certain things were anachronisms Ford wise - certain car models shown produced in Dagenham were not produced there etc etc. And I [being rather shallow] noticed some fashion errors in the characters' outfits! But all those can be allowed on the grounds of artistic licence....

I enjoyed the scenes with the women meeting Barbara Castle and thought John Sessions made an excellent Harold Wilson - I had not expected that at all! A couple of the fictionalised scenes actually made my eyes rather moist and yes there was a definite feel good factor to the whole thing. However the original reason for the 1968 strike - that the women should be re-graded from unskilled female labour to semi-skiilled gets a bit lost and the portrayal of the union and management negotiations - both when meeting together and between themselves - are more the stuff of film sets than actuality.

Bob Hoskins, as a fictionalised portrayal of the wonderful Bernie Passingham [in the film Albert Passingham], makes a comment that applies to many workers in many industries today [and many others fighting unfair conditions]:
Someone has got to stop those exploiting bastards from getting away with it
So lets hope the film sends the message to all sorts of oppressed groups that ordinary people can make a difference if they stand together. And I enjoyed the theme song for the film written by one of my musical and political heroes: 'The Bard of Barking', Billy Bragg with 'Made In Dagenham'.


  1. Yes, Bernie Passingham is quite wonderful. Thta's probably me being little bit biased though...

  2. Fabulous Alan - you are not biased at all from what I know! Are you related to Barry? If so Other Half worked with him for several years.If you would like to make contact: elizannieb@yahoo.co.uk

  3. Dave the Esthameian26 June 2012 at 14:16

    Firstly, thank you for posting a link on Facebook to your blog. I was impressed by the film and as with all films portraying historical events it has to be assumed that facts have been distorted so that the film fits time constraints and the requirement to be 'entertaining'. I hope that many like me were inspired to look further into the real story, although I was quite disappointed that Google did not lead me far. My initial conclusion was that few of the main characters involved could be traced and that records that existed at the time had been lost. As I am originally from the East End I was aware of the various strikes but at that age had little awareness of the issues. I still have a friend who retired from Ford just a few years ago although he has not mentioned the Visteon issue - I'll ask him about it when next we meet. Thank you once more for bringing this to a wider audience.