An hour of TV is a short amount of time to fit in 100 years of local and global history.

Any programme on Clydebank needs to somehow capture the pride and skill of industry, the pain of its loss, and the sense of community that still remains. And it needs to get the sense of humour.

Picking comedian Marc Jennings as the initial entry point for The Singer Story: Made in Clydebank might seem odd at first, but it uses the humour and the self-deprecating analysis of the town to lead into an important reality later on: generations of Bankies have never known the craft of industry. They never got to see Clydebank at its most bustling.

The history of the machine and its expert marketing turned it into an essential item is a vital key to understanding the growth of Clydebank.

It's easy to forget one in five homes in the world was estimated to have a Singer sewing machine, and Bankies were instrumental to that.

Academics in business and textiles put Clydebank’s factory and its ups and downs in context.

Though Red Clydeside is often linked to the activism by men or the Govan rent strikes of 1915, it was the 1911 strike by women workers in the polishing department at Singer.

It was one of 56 departments and the documentary, which aired on Wednesday, heard a flavour of their stories from former workers: Isa McKenzie, employment department, Frances Railton, wages department, Charles Fraser, drawing office, Dougall McIntyre, operations analyst, Jim Mailer, quality manager, Elizabeth McGlaghlin, parts department, and Colin Scott, needle department.

Read more: Researchers want to hear from ex-Singers workers

The life-long friendship of so many former workers is most apparent in Maureen Smith and Anna Stones, both of whom worked in the parts department. They met on the day of their interviews and still see each other.

“The company makes all the difference in the world," says Maureen.

Anna says of her work: “It was an important part, no matter what you were doing, and you were proud to be making a small part and to know it was going to be a Singer sewing machine and it was going to give someone so much pleasure and be sent all over the world.”

The loss of Singers wasn't just one of employment, but also the iconic clock, visible for miles.

Colin Scott wrote a poem as the its demolition started decades ago and reads it in the documentary. The emotion of isn't softened by age.

"I’d like to find the culprit, the one who’ll take the blame,

that stole the Singer clock away and covered us in shame,

an edifice that filled the sky, a credit to the town,

I’d like to find the eejit who had our clock pulled down."

It would be easy, and lazy, as the documentary on the QE2 did last year, to say, “there was great industry, there’s nothing left, Clydebank’s a shell”.

But that ignores the families and friends who still live locally and remember Singers, and the legacy around the world for the machines they made.

That’s an important part of this documentary, for example how Singer machines bind books in Glasgow and are being restored by a charity to be sent to Ghana.

There old machines, restored and perfectly good decades on thanks to Clydebank craft, are giving women the independence to start their own businesses. Street Girls Aid are grateful for the machines.

They take a machine home after a year of training.

“Having a sewing machine is going to change my life, big time,” says Gloria Boakyewaa Brumpog.

Singers built Clydebank, and Bankies still help build the world.

- The Singer Story: Made in Clydebank is available on BBC iPlayer