Trussing The Cooper 1956

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  • Description

    Whitbread's City Brewery, London.

    Barbaric looking British tradition of "Trussing the Cooper" - an initiation ceremony for apprentice beer barrel makers that hasn't changed since the 14th century. The Society of Coopers perform this ceremony once an worker has completed five years apprenticeship - good sequence showing workers "ringing in" the apprentice and performing the rituals of the ceremony.

    Jim Elliott of Dagenham is put into a barrel and covered with dirty water and a barrel of "muck". The workers hammer the sides of the barrel, laughing at the apprentice who is black from the water and muck. The ceremony is all the more bizarre because Jim's mother is there, along with a crowd of other people watching. Women shriek with laughter as the poor boy is rolled around inside the barrel and generally mistreated. Mrs Elliott is seen mouthing the words "my son, my boy" with a very proud look on her face! Jim emerges from the barrel looking shocked but eventually smiles.

    Sequence follows showing Jim at work in the Coopers yard. He planes a piece of wood using eye and experience rather than measuring tools. Narrator explains how barrels are made over shots of the barrel taking shape. Narrator observes that this is "an art that is perhaps dying" but a skill that is handed down from generation to generation.

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  • Data

    Cataloguer:
    Jenny
    Stock:
    Colour
    Sound:
    sound
    Media URN:
    1228
    Sort Number:
    CP 105
    Time in/Out:
    01:16:54:00 / 01:19:54:00
    Canister:
    CP 105
    Film ID:
    57.09
    Issue Date:
    31/12/1956
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    Entertainment & Humour Trade & Industry
    WorkSpaces
    Laughter Shepherd Neame
  • Stills

Comments (2)

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  • Just to confirm that in the first line, the spelling should be "Whitbread's".

    jamied 16th May 2012
  • Thanks for the confirmation.

    British Pathé 10th Aug 2012

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