I Want to be an Engineer - City College Course

  • Theme - Education
  • Year - 1956
  • Location - Norwich
  • Filmmaker - Mr. Farrent


In 1956, Laurence, Scott and Electromotors produced a promotional film in order to recruit apprentices to train at their firm. Young men from local Secondary Modern Schools and technical colleges could train to become engineers between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one.

Alongside their practical, ‘hands-on’ training in LSE’s Hardy Road factory in Norwich, these apprentices also had to complete a theoretical element to their course. As the film states, it was important for them to be able to learn specific details about the various metals and tools they were regularly handling in the workshops and to become used to producing and reading technical diagrams.

Trainees could sign up for day or evening classes, in which they would obtain a working knowledge of electricity and engineering. Rather than being purely desk-orientated, much of the work was focussed around learning from instructional, practical experiments.

At this time, LSE prided itself on offering a number of benefits for its workers. Employees of the firm were once able to join a company social club and were encouraged to pursue recreational interests in their spare time. LSE had its own football team, ‘Gothic’, named after the 'Gothic Works' on Hardy Road, who regularly played in the Eastern Counties League. Other sports were also on offer and the firm had a photographic group and a popular motoring club.

Laurence, Scott and Electromotors was founded in 1883 by W.H. Scott and E.A. Paris. The company was partly funded by J.J. Colman, of the famous local mustard estate. The company once made parts for the notorious ship, ‘Titantic’ and its designers had a hand in the emergence of the modern traffic light system which we now use every day.

Having completed a huge amount of engineering work during the two wars, LSE was one of Norwich’s principal manufacturers by the 1950's. This film is clear evidence of that fact.
Since the early 1990’s, the company has reduced its production in East Anglia, however Laurence, Scott and Electromotors continues to be one of the major global producers of electrical motors today.


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