The Ghosts of British Shoe: A Haunting Narrative of Modern-Day Industrial Ruins

The Ghosts of British Shoe: A Haunting Narrative of Modern-Day Industrial Ruins

The Ghosts Of British Shoe is a four-minute documentary short film by English filmmaker Bill Newsinger, a powerful narrative of modern-day industrial ambition and loss. The film presents a hauntingly beautiful, but very lonely tour through the now-abandoned British United Shoe Machinery, with the  ghostly sounds and starkly riveting images of the factory’s decrepid ruins.

British United Shoe Machinery was the head office in Leicester, England, of a company that for most of the 20th century was the world’s largest manufacturer of footwear machinery and materials. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was Leicester’s biggest employer, employing more than 4,500 people locally and 9,500 workers worldwide.

The company was destroyed in 2000 by a private equity firm that bought it out and then quickly went bankrupt. The workers abruptly lost not only their life-long jobs, they also had their entire pensions stolen from under their noses. It’s made even more sad knowing now that the British government encouraged the company’s demise, vastly increasing its bureaucracy and running the industry into the ground. And this film shows the very sad, tragic outcome.

The Ghosts of British Shoe: A Haunting Narrative of Modern-Day Industrial Ruins

Photo-Gallery: The Ghosts of British Shoe

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