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Old 4th November 2020, 02:40 PM
Michael Michael is offline
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Default Corfield

I hadn't known until recently that Corfield made cameras (and other equipment) in Ballmoney, Co. Antrim. They moved there from Wolverhampton for various reasons, all made pretty clear on the website corfield.org .

I have also found this link to a short film made at the Ballymoney works. As the entire sequence is shown twice, it is only about six and a quarter minutes after all; but it does illustrate a very hands-on approach to camera manufacture. They're making Periflexes, of course.
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Old 4th November 2020, 03:29 PM
MikeHeller MikeHeller is offline
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Interesting film. Made before Health and Safety became the issue it is now!
Thanks for posting.

Mike
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Old 4th November 2020, 05:02 PM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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I met Sir Kenneth Corfield a few times at Photography at Work/Focus on Imaging some years ago at the NEC.

At the time he'd lot long retired from Standard Telephones and Cables (a sub division of ITT) where he'd been managing director. He'd become involved with rescuing Gandolfi when the last 2 brothers decided to retire. Always every approachable and friendly he did manage to revive Gandolfi along with Brian Gould who ran the company moving it to Andover.

After Brian's death an employee tried to continue the company finally giving up about 2 years ago but in reality little was made or done since the early 20000's.

Ian
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Old 4th November 2020, 09:12 PM
SanMiguel SanMiguel is offline
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I live close to Ballymoney (secret: I was Chair of Ballymoney Amateur Photography Club last year. This year I’m the Club’s “Film&Alternative Photography Secretary”, which suits me much better). I first learnt of Corfield cameras when visiting Ballymoney Museum a few years ago - not big, two rooms, one for motorcycle road racing (Joey Dunlop & his brother William, mostly) and one for everything else - from Bronze Age settlements to Corfield cameras. The Museum had a few photos & associated stories of the Ballymoney Corfield works, which were really interesting. Like you, Michael, I had no idea that we ever had a camera manufacturer in this part of the world! What a shame it died out.

Since then I’ve always kept a look out for Corfield equipment- they made some darkroom stuff too. But they seem to be quite collectible & prices can be a bit high.

Michael
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Old 4th November 2020, 09:33 PM
Michael Michael is offline
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Michael, there's a Corfield book by one John E. Lewis, self-published and launched in Ballymoney back in 2013 or so. Maybe a local contact of yours will know about it. My wife has a brother in law from Ballymoney who would have been 12 or so when the factory opened. I'm afraid he's rather ill at the moment and they live away in Eglinton; so contacting him would be impracticable for now.
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Old 5th November 2020, 11:04 AM
SanMiguel SanMiguel is offline
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I didn’t know about the book, Michael. I shall keep my eyes open for it.

Ballymoney (as you and I know, but perhaps others don’t), is a very rural town. The local nickname is Cow Town...so a camera factory is the most unlikely of things to come to the town. The people are wonderful, though - the most genuine and friendliest you’ll find anywhere. It’s a shame the factory disappeared but it’s a great story.

Michael
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Old 10th November 2020, 03:56 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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I've just watched the film.

It always amazes me when I see footage like this, how hands on some products are to make. I bet that it would be totally different today, with lots of machines doing the work, if they were still going.

Terry S
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