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7 February 2011
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Miner underground
Take a journey into the North East's coal mines from the depression-torn 1930s to the modern pit of the 1960s and 70s.
Meet the miners who grafted at the coalface.

Pit head (Read about the conditions miners faced underground) Miner at Gala (Watch a film of the Durham Miners' Gala) Bedlington Miners Picnic (Watch the film)

The Colliery Band - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
Bedlington miner John Gibson talks about the Northumberland Miners' Picnic and explains the brass band contest. (2 minutes 42 seconds �BBC)

Judging The Brass Bands - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
Northumberland's colliery bands compete to be top brass whilst the beauty queens vie for the beauty crown. (3 minutes 27 seconds �BBC)

At The Pit - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
Miners toil down the pit for the end of a shift and then head off to meet up with the colliery band. (2 minutes 15 seconds �BBC)

Band Rehearsal - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
The Pegswood Colliery Band tune up and practice for the Northumberland Miners' Picnic brass band competition. (1 minute 56 seconds �BBC)

The Picnic - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
A parade of brass bands march down to the picnic field at the Bedlington Miners' Picnic. (3 minutes 27 seconds �BBC)

Evening Shows - Bedlington Miners' Picnic (1960/b&w/sound)
The Northumberland Miners' Picnic is in full swing with the miners' families listening to speeches by the politicians and braving a thunderstorm. (1 minute 12 seconds �BBC)

The Miners' March - Like A Candyman's Trumpet (1967/b&w/silent)
The marching miners, the pipe bands and the crowds at the Durham Miners' Gala. (4 minutes 15 seconds �BBC)

Crowds at Durham Miners' Gala - Like A Candyman's Trumpet (1967/b&w/sound)
People drinking, eating and rowing boats at Durham Miners' Gala. (1 minute 26 seconds �BBC)

Big Day Out - Like A Candyman's Trumpet (1967/b&w/sound)
Crowds at the Durham Miners Gala enjoying their day out and watching the political speeches. (1 minute 26 seconds �BBC)

The Coalface - A River Speaks (1950/b&w/sound)
The days when 'king coal' reigned in the Durham coalfield - above ground at the pit head and below ground to the coalface. (1 minute 32 seconds �NRFTA)

The Pit - British Coal: 40 Years On (1951/b&w/silent)
Miners worked in cramped conditions underground where work was often backbreaking, dehumanising and dangerous." (2 minutes 43 seconds �BBC)

Sorting the Coal - British Coal: 40 Years On (1951/b&w/silent)
Women were often employed above ground at the pits, sorting the coal." (20 seconds �BBC)

Going Down the Pit - British Coal: 40 Years On (1951/b&w/silent)
Underground at a North East mine with men working at the coal seams. (1 minute 15 seconds �BBC)

The Modern Pit - British Coal: 40 Years On (1951/b&w/silent)
Modern cutting machinery made life easier for miners in the pit during the 1950s. (2 minutes 15 seconds �BBC)

The Durham Miners' Gala - British Coal: 40 Years On (1951/b&w/silent)
Miners at their annual Gala in Durham city centre, meeting national politicians like Labour's George Brown." (31 seconds �BBC)

Looking Back - Mining Review 4 (1960s/b&w/sound)
Sid Chaplin on a tour around the former pits and colliery houses of County Durham. (2 minutes 2 seconds �NRFTA)

Underground - Mining Review 4 (1960s/b&w/sound)
Sid Chaplin goes underground at former pits in County Durham. (1 minute 52 seconds �NRFTA)

Down to the Sea - Mining Review 4 (1960s/b&w/sound)
A trip to Blyth to see King coal's port in action. (2 minutes 17 seconds �NRFTA)

Congratulations George - Mining Review 4 (1964/b&w/sound)
George Wilson, Britain's top mining student of 1964, takes us on a tour of his workplace. (2 minutes 18 seconds �NRFTA)

Looking Forward - Mining Review 4 (1966/colour/sound)
How the coal mining industry was brought up to date in the mid 1960s - with a look at computers, machinery, and new technology." (5 minutes 56 seconds �NRFTA)

Mining Disaster - West Stanley Pit Disaster (1970s/b&w/sound)
Former miners recall the West Stanley Pit Disaster in which 168 workers lost their lives. (4 minutes 14 seconds �NRFTA)

Mining Underground - West Stanley Pit Disaster (1970s/b&w/sound)
Miners discuss the harsh and difficult conditions underground at West Stanley pit. (1 minute 47 seconds �NRFTA)

Ariel Views of Coalfields - North by Northeast (1975/colour/sound)
Aerial footage of the Durham and Northumberland coal fields including the Lynemouth pit, once one of the most modern of its day." (48 seconds �NRFTA)

The Pit - Westoe - Last Pit on Tyneside (1994/colour/sound)
The final days of Westoe pit in South Tyneside which once employed 3,000 men." (1 minute 37 seconds �NRFTA)

At the Coalface - Westoe - Last Pit on Tyneside (1994/colour/sound)
The miner's cage goes down to the pit face at Westoe Colliery in Tyneside. (1 minute 23 seconds �NRFTA)

Miners - Working the Coal Face (1930s/b&w/silent)
Miners descend in cages to work at the coal face whilst the 'Belles of the Diamond Field' work at the pit mouth. (3 minutes 51 seconds �NRFTA)

Miners and Pigeon Lofts - Ashington Miners (1972/colour/sound)
Ashington miners talk about their favourite pastimes including pigeon racing. (4 minutes 22 seconds �BBC)

Down the Pit - Ashington Miners (1972/colour/sound)
Down the pit at Ashington showing conditions at a typical South East Northumberland coal mine. (2 minutes 7 seconds �BBC)

The West Stanley Pit Disaster - Deep Divisions: Coal and Class in County Durham (1909/b&w/silent)
The 1909 West Stanley Pit Disaster was one of the worst ever - 160 men were killed in a tragic accident which devastated a mining community. (1 minute 24 seconds �BBC)

Miners' Allotments - Ashington Miners (1972/colour/sound)
Ashington miners talk about one of their favourite pastimes - growing leeks. (1 minute 11 seconds �BBC)

Pigeons - The Bird Market (1950s/b&w/sound)
Durham miners indulge in their favourite pastime of keeping pigeons. (51 seconds �NRFTA)

Apprentice Strippers - School for Strippers (1975/b&w/sound)
A new apprentice at Gateshead's school for strippers learns how dirty dancing can help pay off the family bills in hard times after her husband lost his job in the mines following the coal strike. (8 minutes 5 seconds �BBC)

Housing for Miners - New Housing (1970s/b&w/sound)
An ex miner talks about how one Northumberland mining community is facing up to moving into new housing in nearby Amble. (4 minutes 10 seconds �BBC)

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