One of the regeneration success stories of recent years is the refurbishment and re-use of old buildings. It is often the case that, although the buildings exterior remains largely un-altered, the interior has to be gutted, to make way for modern fixtures and fittings. Broad Street Warehouse, at the top of Wolverhampton Locks, was one such building, destined to become a trendy town-centre night club. The warehouse had been used as storage space for British Waterways maintenance teams ever since it ceased trans-shipment duties in the early 1960s.
British Waterways' Operations Manager, Glyn Phillips, realised that the warehouse was in original condition and went with a small group of enthusiasts to inspect the building. To their amazement the original belt and shaft driven lifting cranes were still there and only needed a little attention to bring them back to working order. So began the plan to record the workings of an 1890s canal warehouse before it was too late.
Warehouse at Work is the story of Broad Street Warehouse. In loving detail this small group of experts reconstructed the way that boats entered the building's indoor wharf and were unloaded, how the warehousemen would have used the lifting machinery, and the sights and sounds of a building that had remained silent for nearly 40 years.
This touching film is the result of two years work by Glyn Phillips, Tony Gregory. Peter Freakley, IA Recordings (Peter Eggleston, Andrew Rutter and Kelvin Lake) and Tony Lewery. The film would not of been possible
without the help of Dr Patrick Thorn, The Black Country Living Museum, The National Waterways Museum, the Dudley Canal Trust, British Waterways Birmingham and Black Country Canals and others.