Firework makers, 1932.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of four women carrying giant fireworks made for Christmas at CT Brocks' factory in Cheam, Surrey, taken by George Woodbine for the Daily Herald newspaper on 14 December, 1932. The workforce at Brocks were mostly women, employed seasonally. Those who worked with gunpowder wore black boilersuits, while packers wore white overalls. Founded in London in 1725, Brocks produced rockets, roman candles and special set piece fireworks for displays. They moved to a 200-acre site in Cheam in 1901, and continued manufacturing there until 1934. At one time the largest fireworks factory in the world, Brocks' many small workshops and stores were dispersed across the site to minimise the danger of accidental explosions.