Days Of Hot Metal: Life On Fleet Street

Last year we told you about Going Underground, a fascinating oral history documentary about the tube, made by primary schoolchildren and educational charity digital: works. They’ve done it again with Banging Out, an engrossing tale of Fleet Street, talking to the old printers and journalists, intercutting talking heads with archive footage and personal photos.

The second half moves on to the Wapping dispute, when 6,000 workers at Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers were sacked without redundancy while on strike. Several interviewees were on the picket lines and have some hair-raising and shocking tales to tell.

The film is nearly an hour long but we couldn’t tear ourselves away from this look behind the scenes at what was, until recently, such a huge part of London. It’s a slice of important social history plus little vignettes, like the first time women were allowed to order a drink at El Vino’s bar (in the early 1980s!) and the best way to get rid of police horses. Enjoy.

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  • Roger Manser

    I only had three (or was it six months?) of hot metal experience in the very early 1980s – a London-based publication, printed in Richmond – but it was fascinating – lots of noise, low ceilings, black type…. etc etc

  • Dave K

    What a thoroughly fascinating documentary. As an graphic designer in my mid 40s I am in awe of these workers who gave their soul and unique skills into each issue, their determination and character is wonderful. It is criminal that Murdoch treated them in such a callous and underhand manner – true craftsmen and women deserve better. Well done to all involved in this documentary.