Northern Sole

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Chris Middis, published by BBC in 2022 - English narration

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Image: Northern-Sole-Cover.jpg

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Cumbria has a long-standing relationship with shoe manufacturing. Roy Bell started his career in the industry as soon as he left school in 1970 at Millers Shoe Factory in Cockermouth. Millers closed its doors in the early 1990s, but by then Roy had already moved to another company. In 1982, New Balance set up a factory in Flimby, a small village just a few miles down the road, and Roy has been there ever since. At that time, the Flimby facility was the only factory owned by the multibillion-dollar American business outside the USA. The factory, located in a farmer’s field, with cattle casually grazing the surrounding area, now employs 275 people to make around 7,500 pairs of trainers every week and is planning a ten per cent increase to its workforce over the next five years. Staff work four days per week on ten-hour shifts. Roy is called a clicker because that’s the sound his machine makes when it presses down on a sheet of leather to cut the various components that go into a trainer. To an untrained eye it looks easy enough, but without the skill and experience that Roy has built up over the years, it could go horribly wrong very quickly. For Roy, the day-to-day process of leather cutting is coming to an end. Balloons and banners strung onto his workstation wish him a happy retirement. Work stops for a brief moment as his team gather round to wish him all the best. This year, New Balance celebrated 40 years of Cumbrian manufacturing by producing a special set of trainers to commemorate its milestone. The tongue proudly says 'Made In England', and the inside of the box pinpoints Flimby on a UK map. Eighty per cent of what they make in Flimby is exported all over the world, and the anniversary trainers will be no exception.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 21 (~2206Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: q91 CVBR 48KHz (130/206Kbps avg/peak)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 29 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 485 MB
  • Source: HDTV (1080i/h264 4456Kbps VBR 1.04GB)
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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