The opening of a tin of plum pudding from the Boer War at The British Food Manufacturing Industries Research Association in Leatherhead, Surrey, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of canning
C/U of Mr Ship's hands being helped into a pair of rubber gloves by two rubber-gloved hands; C/U of his head and shoulders as he finishes putting them on. M/S of Mr Selby placing a glass ball on the gas measuring machine; C/Us of a glass section of the machine as it fills with mercury. M/S of the machine; Mr Selby bangs a piece of metal piping into the top of a tin of plum pudding from the Boer War to take a sample of the gas that has collected in the small space at the top of the tin. The mercury moves down along the glass piping in the measuring machine as Mr Selby examines various parts of it and makes adjustments.
M/S as Mr Ship and Miss Cox walk towards a large incubator-type cabinet. To remove a sample of the plum pudding they work with their rubber-gloved hands sticking through circular holes in the cabinet, avoiding any contamination from outside bacteria. M/Ss and C/Us as Mr Ship swabs the can with antiseptic; Miss C holds the can in place as Mr Ship hammers a rod into the lid to puncture it and draws out a sample of the food in a glass rod. The sample is placed in a large test-tube that contains dark liquid and has cotton wool stuffed in the top of it; then a sample of the liquid is put into some smaller test-tubes. M/S as Miss C takes a large test-tube and walks out of shot.
M/S of Mr Jones sitting at a laboratory bench surrounded by lots of chemical apparatus; he is looking down a microscope as Miss Cox comes into shot and hands him the large test-tube which he places in a holder. M/S of Mr Selby standing before a different piece of equipment with glass piping filled with liquid; M/Ss and C/Us as he moves a piece of rubber piping up and down, making the liquid move up and down in the glass; he then examines them and makes a note of it.
C/U of the opened tin as a small amount of pudding is spooned out onto a plate; C/U of Mr Jones sampling it; M/S of Miss Neale and Dr Banfield tasting the food, pan right to show Mr Selby doing same.
M/S of Mr Martin standing at a display cabinet. C/U panning right of the contents which are very old containers and tins of food; commentator says "the Association's Museum even includes food samples from the Egyptian tombs". We can also see a tin of Harrod's Chocolates.
Note: documentation on file includes a newspaper article on Nicolas Appert (who discovered canning principle) written by JB Pollard of the British Food Manufacturing Industries Research Association, plus press release and extensive notes on the '150th Anniversary of the Science of Canning Fresh Foods - 1810-1960'.