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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Does anyone out there have any material relating to MGM's offices at Scotsbridge Mill, Rickmansworth?

    The site stared out as a paper mill which was adapted in the 1920s to manufacture 'non-flam' cine film.

    MGM Pictures were involved in the project and in 1940 their London office was evacuated to the mill where they retained a presence until 1973.

    I've only found fleeting references so far and no images of it during the MGM years.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mikey's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    Have you found anything at Pressonline, or is that where your information originates from?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    The Rickmansworth Historical society were very helpful so I've combined their notes with my own:

    The mill was a fulling mill which turned to paper manufacture after the fulling residue poisoned the river.

    By the 1901 the mill was manufacturing paper and producing "automatic printing."

    The mill continued to produce photographic film and paper under a couple of owners until the last went into liquidation in 1938.

    With the coming of war in 1939 the Wardour Street film distributors were told to get out of London and take their stocks of flammable film with them - this is how MGM came to take over the mill.

    I'll let Mr Geoff Saul, former chairman of Rickmansworth Historical Society tell the rest of the story:

    "Even before the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, MGM started to move their personnel and offices out of London and into the Scotsbridge Mill. Several outbuildings were built including some windowless brick structures to be used as film vaults. The whole area was cleaned up, gardens were laid out and the site took on the appearance of a film studio, with an entrance gate manned by security guards in American style uniforms, an unusual sight in those days. The mill became the Corporation�s British Headquarters and remained so until they became part of the Cinema International Corporation and its operations were moved away.

    "Following MGM�s departure, part of one of the buildings was rented by Vie Bowyer, who has been stationery and printing manager for the company. He set up a company called Cygnet press. The rest of the buildings remained vacant. Cygnet Press continued to operate for ten years until 1983, when the whole site was put up for sale by the owners, still, Cinema International Corporation.

    "Over the next five years various companies showed interest in the premises with diverse purposes in mind but planning permission was never gained and the Scotsbridge Mill remained empty."

    As for "The Non-inflammable Film Company" - it only lasted for a couple of years and the work done at Scotsbridge Mill looks to have been on a pilot scale. No indication Metro had any direct interest in the company.

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