Filming starts next month on star-studded Ford movie

John Phillips A FILM retracing the 1968 struggle of Ford Dagenham female workers that paved the way for equal pay in Britain will start shooting next month. Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins, 33, will star as one of 300 underpaid sewing machinists who led a protest to

John Phillips

A FILM retracing the 1968 struggle of Ford Dagenham female workers that paved the way for equal pay in Britain will start shooting next month.

Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins, 33, will star as one of 300 underpaid sewing machinists who led a protest to Westminster in the "feelgood" feature We Want Sex, directed by Calendar Girls' director Nigel Cole.

The Number 9 Films production team visited the Dagenham plant in Chequers Lane on Monday to look at old Ford models from its heritage collection.


You may also want to watch:


The seven-week filming schedule, due to kick off on Monday, June 29, will take actors including Bob Hoskins, 66, and former Bond girl Rosamund Pike, 30, to locations in Dagenham - though not the factory itself - other parts of Britain and 3 Mills Studios in Bow, east London.

The title for the film, due out next year and with an initial budget of �5million, was taken from the moment when the workers held a banner outside Parliament reading We Want Sex Equality which failed to unfurl properly.

Most Read

Although Ford bosses were at the heart of the pay dispute that led to the introduction of the Equal Act in 1970, a spokesman said this week they were "proud" the feature - part of their history - was being made.

They have helped the producers by opening the doors to their extensive photo library in Brentwood, Essex, and have also given them a tour of Rylands Estate, Dagenham, and Dagenham Docks in Ford cars.

A Ford spokesman said: "We are proud this helped bring about equal pay. We are quite happy, this is part of social history."

Co-producer Elizabeth Karlsen, of Number 9 Films, said: "As filmmakers, our own challenge will be to create the events, both hilarious and tragic in turn, that led to a groundbreaking law that enabled the empowerment of women around the world."

* Were you one of the machinists involved in the protest? We want to hear your story. Call John Phillips on 020 8477 3824 or email john.phillips@bdrecorder.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter