Cat no. 299

Alderman Riley Chairman Would Like A Word With You

Running time2:29 Black & White Sound 1939 Norwich, Norfolk

Loading the player ...

A recruitment film for the Air Raid Precautions (ARP).



Alderman Riley, Chairman of the ARP Committee, speaks directly to the camera, whilst sitting at his desk. He talks of how 'our ancestors' have fought to protect themselves over the centuries and of how many of the civic buildings of Norwich are a testimony to their 'heroic self defence.' The film cuts away to an aerial shot of Norwich Castle. As Alderman Riley speaks of the dangers posed by Norwich's geographical position, and the lessons to be learned from the experiences of civilians in Spain and China, there are scenes of a display of firefighting and of men dealing with casualties. Wearing gas masks, they are shown lifting stretchers into a Norwich Red Cross ambulance. There are also scenes of a shelter under construction. This is mixed with everyday Norwich scenes. Workers leave Caley Mackintosh's factory and there is a view along Earlham Road towards the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. In this scene there is a solitary car driving along the road. Whilst Alderman Riley talks of the needs for men and women to volunteer, policemen leave the Bethel Street police station and there is another display of firefighting at the fire station next door. The film shows the Guildhall and the City Hall before Alderman Riley impersonates Kitchener, pointing to the camera saying, 'Will you Help?'The film finishes with instructions of how to 'sign up'.

Background Information:

Walter Alfred Riley was a director of Morgan's Brewery from 1926. He wrote a standard textbook on brewing. He became a member of the Council in 1923, becoming a Alderman in 1937, a magistrate in 1940 and leader of the Council from 1939. At the outbreak of war he served as Chairman of the Air Raid Precautions Committee. As Chairman of the Sewerage Committee, he was instrumental in the re-organisation of the Whittlingham Plant. He died in 1948. (See: P.T.R. Palgrave-Moore, The Mayors and Lord Mayors of Norwich 1836 - 1974. C. Elvery Dowers Publication, Norwich, 1978.)

Featured People:

Alderman W. A. Riley, Chairman ARP

Featured Organisations:


Featured Buildings:

Bethel Street Police Station; Bethel Street Fire Station; Caley Mackintosh's Factory; City Hall ; The Guildhall ; Norwich Castle ; The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John The Baptist

NSS Trailers

Walter Alfred Riley

Terms and conditions

The Terms and Conditions apply to the website (the Website) and by accessing the website you are agreeing to abide by them.

 We may modify the terms and conditions or withdraw or deny access to the Website at any time at our sole discretion.

In your use of the Website you agree not to, at any time:

  1. Conduct or promote any illegal activities
  2. Attempt to reverse engineer or jeopardize in any way the correct functioning of the Website and its services or otherwise attempt to derive the source code or other code or software that enables the operation of this website.
  3. Use any automatic, electronic or manual process not provided by this website to access search or harvest any information from the website or to interfere in any way with its proper functioning.
  4. Mirror or frame the website or any portion thereof, place pop-up windows over its pages or otherwise affect the display of its pages.

Every effort has been made to exclude or flag content that may be upsetting or cause offence and not to include films that are unsuitable, however the East Anglian Film Archive bears no responsibility for people under the age of 18 viewing the Website or for any offence that may be caused by people viewing the Website. If you feel that some items could cause offence please contact us in the first instance. If you would like to have access to any of the films available for purposes not permitted by these Terms and Conditions, including any commercial venture, then please contact us.


The content of the Website including but not limited to the text are Copyright © 2011 The East Anglian Film Archive of the University of East Anglia.

The copyright in the original film materials and the digital reproductions of all still and moving images herein and their arrangements in many cases may be owned by a number of parties. Any requests for copyright clearance for use of the material should be directed to the East Anglian Film Archive in the first instance. It is the requester’s responsibility to obtain such necessary clearance and the East Anglian Film Archive will not be held responsible for any failure on the requester’s part to do so.

The contents on the Website may be accessed as view only and purely for non commercial personal, educational and cultural interest. Under no circumstances shall any content be downloaded, transferred, copied or re-produced in whole or in part in any manner or in or on any media without the prior written consent of The East Anglian Film Archive.

The East Anglian Film Archive would like to thank those who allowed copyright permission for the use and display of works that appear on this site.


The East Anglian Film Archive has made every reasonable effort to locate, contact and acknowledge copyright owners. There are a small number of cases where, despite our efforts, the copyright owner has not been identified. In these cases, we welcome contact from copyright owners and will take immediate action to gain any appropriate clearances or remove the items if requested.

We do not guarantee that the Website will be compatible with any and all hardware or software which you may use nor that the Website will be available all of the time or at any specific times.

The East Anglian Film Archive makes no warranty that the Website is free from computer viruses or any other malicious or impairing computer program.

The Website contains links to other websites with their own terms and conditions. The East Anglian Film Archive is not responsible for the terms and conditions of these websites.


The East Anglian Film Archive is committed to a high standard of quality in all its work and with this in mind every attempt has been made to present up to date and accurate information on this website. However, visitors need to bear in mind that it is possible that information contained on this website may be out of date, incomplete, the opinion of the author or the opinion  “of the time” and may contain technical inaccuracies and typographical errors. We accept no responsibility for keeping the information in these pages up to date or liability for not doing so. If you notice information that needs to be updated or corrected, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Personal data

The Website may contain some personal data such as names of film-makers, some film participants etc. We have taken all reasonable care to ensure that we operate within the provisions of data protection legislation. If you believe that any of the data on the Website causes or is likely to cause damage or distress to you or any other living person, please contact us with details.

Liability and indemnification

Any unauthorised use you make of the University of East Anglia or East Anglian Film Archive copyright and/or trademarks will constitute an infringement of the University of East Anglia’s Intellectual Property and may lead to legal action and other such remedies in accordance with the governing law.

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the University of East Anglia and its employees, affiliates and students

Except to the extent prohibited by the governing law the University of East Anglia accepts no responsibility for any use you may make of the Website.

The University of East Anglia is only liable to you for direct losses which you may reasonably be expected to suffer where you can show that such losses were as a result of our breach of these terms and conditions. Any implied warranties and conditions are fully excluded.

Our Liability to you shall in no circumstances include any loss of profit or revenue or any other indirect losses you may incur whether foreseen or not.

Governing Law

The Laws of England and Wales shall govern and the Courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over

  1. The formation, existence, construction, performance, validity and all other aspects of these terms and conditions whatsoever
  2. Any and all claims made by you or us for any and all breaches acts omissions, misuses, liability and copyright claims as set out in these terms and conditions.

The East Anglian Film Archive is owned and operated by the University of East Anglia

© 2011 The East Anglian Film Archive of the University of East Anglia.