Residents' views of the overspill town of Haverhill.
Documentary; Portrait of a Place
The film opens with shots of he countryside and nearby town. The commentary explains that Haverhill is 60 miles from London, in the Stour Valley. In 1958 it was designated an expanding town, designed to take the overspill population from London. Notice boards around the town advertise excursions to London, Clacton and Cambridge.
There are shots of children playing on a playground and of the new housing. A paperboy delivers newspapers. The commentary speaks of the social reconstruction that is occurring in Haverhill. A woman talks about her house and about the move to Haverhill. There are interior scenes of her house and of her and her daughter eating breakfast. She talks of the community, of wives' clubs and social clubs. In another room, a young man awakes when his alarm sounds. The commentary emphasises that Haverhill is still a small town. People do not have too far to travel to work and can spend a few more minutes in bed and have extra time for socialising. There are shots of the older are of town that are contrasted with the new. People walk to work and there are shots of the traffic on the roads going into the industrial estate.
A man, the woman's husband, talks of the improvements in working conditions. A company director talks about moving his company to Haverhill from London. Interior shots of his factory, which makes scales, are intercut with scenes of him driving into his factory through the Suffolk countryside and villages. He explains the attractions of Haverhill. One of these is its proximity to the east coast ports. He explains that he believes that it is only a matter of time before the UK enters the EEC. Then the east coast ports will come into their own. There is a motorway planned and good road links to the Midlands.
There are scenes of Haverhill town centre and of the market. The woman introduced earlier talks about shopping and complains about the volume of traffic. She also mentions the plans for the new town centre. At the factory a young man talks about living in Haverhill. There is a youth club and men play football. A beat group plays and there are scenes of people dancing. Back at the factory, cargo is loaded bound for the University of Texas in Austin. There is a still of a map of the area and a lorry is filmed en route to Felixstowe. It enters the port. There are shots of the port of Felixstowe and of the ships. The family visit the seaside. There are shots of sailing and of them walking along the sea front. They visit a 'hall of mirrors' and a fairground. There are shots of the lanes as they drive home and then over interior pub scenes the husband talks of the time he first visited Haverhill. The film concludes with the view that Haverhill is a youthful town looking to an exciting future and quite enjoying today.