max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C


Ipswich: Engineering company formed backdrop for Attenborough’s film the Angry Silence

07:00 26 August 2014

Richard Attenborough in the Angry Silence, filmed at Reavell.

Richard Attenborough in the Angry Silence, filmed at Reavell.

One of Richard Attenborough’s most successful films of the late 1950s was “The Angry Silence” which featured many scenes filmed at the Reavell works (later Compair Reavell) in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich.

It was a story about a young worker who stands up to the union leadership at a large engineering work – and while Attenborough was already a big star, this helped to confirm his reputation as one of the country’s top film actors.

The story was about a young worker who resists pressure to enrol him into trade union activities and is then ostracised by the rest of the workforce.

Many of the staff in the workshop at Reavell were extras in the film which had a gala premiere at the Ritz Cinema in the Buttermarket (later the ABC) in 1960.

Former Ipswich council leader and major Peter Gardiner worked at Compair Reavell for several decades, and started work in 1963, just a few years after the filming.

He said: “People would talk about the film quite a lot – it was certainly a major topic of conversation in the place for several years.

“A lot of people saw themselves in the film – but that time the only place you could see it was in the cinema, although it did turn up on the television once or twice.”

He did not recall any of his colleagues having mentioned meeting the stars, but they did have fond memories of their brush with fame.

Had he had his way, he would have had another East Anglian connection – for years he tried to get enough backing to make a biopic of the Thetford-born revolutionary philosopher Tom Paine, but no one would back his vision with hard cash.


  • I watched them filming in Cowell street as a youngster with my Mum. They had to do another take because my Mum was talking. I remember them using a Ransome and Rapier crane.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Other Ipswich places were also used in the film, including the Wherstead Road area (right near the start you see the workers walking to work up Cowell Street with the now-demolished St Etheldreda's church behind), Ipswich station and Clifford Road school.

    Report this comment

    Simon K

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police have released CCTV images of a man they wish to speak to after a home in Ipswich was burgled last month.

Halloween is just around the corner, meaning pumpkin carving and trick or treating will take over our lives for the next few days.

This week our iwitness themes was eerie Suffolk - open to anything that may spook or look odd.

A woman woke up to find a burglar in her bedroom last night after he had broken in using an axe.

Although the new Odeon building next to the Ipswich Regent may have been vacant for the past 11 years, it was once the place for blockbuster movies.

Everyday our readers send in photos to iwitness24 that they have taken while out and about along the Suffolk coast, visiting one of our many beauty spots or while relaxing in their own gardens.

When businessman Aidan Coughlan bought the historic Isaac Lord buildings, some of which date back to medieval times, there were people who thought he was mad.

Popular Pigs Gone Wild sculpture Elvis Porksley is back in the building after being returned to St Elizabeth Hospice this week.

Suffolk residents have been left scratching their heads after surveys on council services started asking personal questions about their race, religion, and sexuality.

Wondering if your house is also home to Casper the friendly ghost? Take this quiz and find out.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24