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Mining Review 1/2: Workington Football (1947)


Main image of Mining Review 1/2: Workington Football (1947)
Mining Review 1st Year No. 2: Workington Football Match
October 1947
35mm, black and white, 2 mins
Production CompanyCrown Film Unit
SponsorNational Coal Board
ProducerJohn Taylor

The traditional Easter game of street football in the Cumberland coastal town of Workington.

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24 years after being captured by the cameras in Topical Budget 599-1: 'Uppies' and 'Downies' (1923), Mining Review devoted one of its earliest items to the sport of unregulated mass street football in the Cumberland town of Workington, the excuse being that one of the competing teams, the 'Uppies', was traditionally made up of miners. They were based in the upper part of town, with the 'Downies' or sailors coming from nearer the docks.

The kick-off takes place at 6 p.m, but aside from that there are no real rules, no time limit, no referees and no limit to the number of players. The 'goals' are two miles apart, the Uppies favouring the grounds of Workington Hall, the Downies a capstone on the dockside.

The game may last an hour or more, with the struggle (or "boisterous tussle", as the commentator puts it) flowing through streets, rivers and even back gardens. The winning side (or at least those members who haven't ended up in hospital) parades the town with the man who scored the goal, collecting free drinks in the pub. The police are on standby, but the games, though frequently rough, are rarely violent: the townspeople have a tradition to preserve.

Michael Brooke

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Video Clips
Complete item (1:44)
Complete newsreel (9:38)
Mining Review 1/2: Bestwood Training Centre (1947)
Mining Review 1/2: Open Cast Mining (1947)
Mining Review 1/2: Welsh Debate (1947)
Topical Budget 494-1: Ye Olde Game of Football (1921)
Topical Budget 599-1: Fiercest Football (1923)
Topical Budget 606-1: 'Uppies' and 'Downies' (1923)
Crown Film Unit
Miners Above Ground
Mining Review: 1st Year (1947-48)