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Mining Review 1/2: Welsh Debate (1947)


Main image of Mining Review 1/2: Welsh Debate (1947)
Mining Review 1st Year No. 2: Welsh Debate
October 1947
35mm, black and white, 4 mins
Production CompanyCrown Film Unit
SponsorNational Coal Board
ProducerJohn Taylor

Members of the Lodge Committee of the Cwmgwrach Empire Colliery discuss the pros and cons of new mining equipment.

Show full synopsis

Following on from Five Day Week? in the first edition of Mining Review, this staged debate shows members of the Lodge Committee of the Cwmgrach Empire Colliery discussing issues concerning mining machinery - the main question being whether they're being effectively used.

A certain degree of scepticism is expressed about the widespread attitude that machines offer an instant solution to every mining-related problem, and they resent being told that more mechanised mines in America, Germany or Poland are capable of generating more coal.

They are concerned that the human element of mining is being neglected, pointing out that the equipment is only as effective as the man who operates it, and it is unrealistic to expect superhuman output, as contingency time must always be allowed to cover unforeseen events such as breakdowns or roof collapses. As one miner vividly describes, "We've been working the guts out of our machines during the war", and there is real concern about the lack of availability of spare parts and intermittent power supplies ("There are days when there's not enough compressed air coming through to drive a donkey cart").

The meeting concludes with an agreement that modern technology must be accompanied by modern conditions, and that productivity will only be increased through effective teamwork and good man-management. The chairman concludes by saying that he'll approach the Coal Board for more logistical back-up, but stresses that it's also important for the Lodge members to come up with their own solutions.

Michael Brooke

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Video Clips
Complete item (4:21)
Complete newsreel (9:38)
Mining Review 1/1: Five Day Week? (1947)
Mining Review 1/2: Bestwood Training Centre (1947)
Mining Review 1/2: Open Cast Mining (1947)
Mining Review 1/2: Workington Football (1947)
Crown Film Unit
Mining Review: 1st Year (1947-48)