You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

Matthew Algie and Co at Kelvin Hall (Clip)

Tea and coffee merchant's stall at a food exhibition in 1946

  • Print All


Matthew Algie & Co Merchants' stand at a food exhibition in the Kelvin Hall. Cars parked at Kelvingrove Museum with shots of University and a tram going past Kelvin Hall. Close up shots of a sign reading "Sponsored by Evening Citizen Scotland's Food Exhibition Kelvin Hall Glasgow Admission 1/- April 8th - 19th". Shots inside Kevlin Hall with views over the exhibition stalls. Algie's Tea and Coffee stand showcasing products with images of people of colour on then backdrops. People wandering around the stall and a panning shot of other stalls including HM Tea, Clyde Confectionary. A large LED display advertising tea and a free pocket mirror. Shots of the Sunnyfresh orange juice stall; Algie's stall with a young woman promoting products next to a sign advertising vouchers for free samples. Various shots of Algies stand and other stalls including one displaying teapots and kettles. A cooking demonstration under the banner "Home of Good Tea" possibly by Fanny Craddock in an evening dress and her husband. An Indian assistant in a sari serves cocktails to the audience. The film was made by Grace Williamson (1900 - 1992) who was the Scottish industry's only woman tea buyer for many years. Grace took control of the company from her brother Thomas during the war. The company were originally located in Cadogan Street but moved to the Gorbals in 1964. Back information on the history of the Matthew Algie company is detailed in the book "Great Scots in Family Business" by Maurice Smith.

Questions & Activities


  • Who do you think made this - was it a professional or amateur?
  • Where does coffee and tea come from?
  • How did you get tea and coffee during the war?
  • What is it we value about celebrity chefs?
  • Who was Fanny Craddock and what was she famous for? Who would be her equivalent today?
  • Why do you think tea companies were established in Glasgow?
  • What ways are people drawing attention to their stalls?
  • What tea and coffee brands can you name today. Are any from Glasgow?
  • What other women in business can you think of today?


Media Studies: What style of filming would you expect from a professional and amateur filmmaker? What elements and visual clues would you have to make you think this was made by an amateur? What style of shots would you expect from a professional promotional film?

Business / Enterprise / Social History: This company was run by a woman during the war - why do you think this was and what other roles did women do that were considered unusual during the war years.

Gender / Business / Enterprise: Research women in business today and present a report / presentation about their business.

Business / Social History / Enterprise / International Studies: Research the history of the Matthew Algie company and find out how and when it was set up and what countries it imported tea and coffee from. Where other products imported by the company? How is this different today?

Geography / International Studies / Media Studies: Discuss the use of racial stereotypes in advertising and how and why they were forced to change?

Geography: Research the tradition of coffee importers in Scotland and the other industries that have grown up around them.

Geography / Business: Research the concept of Fairtrade - what are the requirements and how does this help the tea and coffee growers? When was the idea of the coffee shop established? Research the rise of the coffee shop during the last 20 years.

English / History: List the companies that you see promoted in the film? What companies would you see at exhibitions today?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-395-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 3444
Date 1946
Genre Amateur, Women Filmmakers
School Subject Media Studies, Economic History, Geography, International Studies, Social History
Subject Matter Business, Enterprise, World War 2, Home Front
Who Grace Williamson (filmmaker)
Where Kelvinhall, Partick
Event Food Festival
Attributes Colour, Silent
Clip Length 4:16
Film Length 07:40