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

PUBLISHED: 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.

A man has been jailed for seven years and four months after sexually assaulting a woman who was on her way home after a night out with friends in Colchester.

A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm, with intent to cause fear of violence, following an incident in Ipswich on Thursday.

A breakdown recovery man, who fled an A12 accident he caused, sending a car into a tree and a bridge, has been spared immediate jail.

In the past week children across East Anglia exited school gates sheepishly clutching brown envelopes with a look of dread writ large across their faces.

The family of missing Corrie McKeague are “devastated” by the news that they may now never know what has happened to the 23-year-old RAF gunner, after police called off a 20-week landfill search.

A Sudbury man has completed a circumnavigation of Jersey in a kayak to raise money for a meningitis charity 20 years after he recovered from the life-threatening infection.

Four Suffolk Asda checkout operators who stole hundreds of items in a “skim-scanning” fiddle have each been jailed for 10 months.

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