Banging Out – Fleet Street Remembered

A superb documentary with interviews from ex Fleet Street workers, produced by digital:works.

The interviewees give a real insight into what it was like to work in the UK national newspaper industry in those days.

“Banging Out” ceremonies are discussed in some detail, as well as Murdoch’s disgraceful treatment of his workforce.

I’m surprised none of the interviewees described the indelible red dye spraying that I witnessed. Some officers carried pressurised spraying equipment and sprayed copious amounts of dye.

Police dye-spraying equipment used at Wapping
Police with portable dye-spraying equipment during the Wapping Dispute

Indelible Red Dye

They sprayed the indelible red dye on pickets clothing. As well as ruining the clothing, it also acted as a marker enabling pickets to be identified on their way home. This often led to them being arrested on trumped up charges of being “drunk and disorderly,” etc.

Overall, though the film is a very heart-warming account of the UK national newspaper industry, described by some as “one big party.”

One thought on “Banging Out – Fleet Street Remembered”

  1. After re-watching the video, I managed to spot a policeman carrying the dye-spraying equipment at the 43-minute mark.
    I was beginning to think my mind was playing tricks on me, as nobody else seems to remember it!
    The Daily Telegraph carried a picture of the equipment during their coverage at the time, but described it as portable fire-fighting equipment to deal with petrol bombs!

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