Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

The launch of 'Pigs Gone Wild' at Trinity Park.

A piggie parade that is set to draw many visitors to Ipswich and raise £100,000 for a hospice charity took off in style last night at a glittering launch event.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service attended two road traffic collisions this evening.

Needham Road in Stowmarket where the crash took place

An 81-year-old cyclist who sustained serious injuries following a collision in Stowmarket last week has died.

Chelmsford Crown Court

Two teenagers that caused extensive burns to a Witham man’s face after throwing a corrosive liquid at him in a case of mistaken identity have been found guilty.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance is in attendance.

A woman has suffered a “potentially life-changing” head injury during a crash in Beccles.

Pc Jason Lambourne

When Pc Jason Lambourne isn’t working for Suffolk Constabulary, he dons another emergency services uniform for work as an extra in hit television shows and films, including the latest 007 movie.

The area off Mount Pleasant in Framlingham which could see 95 new homes built on it.

Campaigners have been left “outraged” after a decision on whether to allow 95 homes to be built on greenfield land in a historic market town was deferred.

Michael Scott, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust . Photo: Steve Adams

A lack of beds and increased demand led to a four-fold increase in the cost of sending people with mental health problems outside of Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014/15.

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of drink-driving.

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after her car mounted a roundabout and collided with a sign.

Police called following contentious meeting of Long Melford Parish Council

Police were called to “restore order” at a parish council meeting in a picture postcard Suffolk village because one of the councillors claimed he “feared for his safety”.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages