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Mining Review 2/5: A Pit Is Reborn - Gedling (1949)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

The commentary doubles as a synopsis and has therefore been reproduced in full:

Reconstruction at Gedling Colliery in Nottinghamshire is three parts finished. Underground, the work is already highly mechanised, and another Meco-Moore cutter is being tested to go down. Mechanisation underground means reconstruction on the surface. The coal is coming up faster than the old plant can cope with it. No. 1 pithead is out of date.

With very little headroom, the men have to push the tubs out of the cages. The tubs hold only 15 hundredweight, and have to be fed all the way by hand, past the way-bridge to the tippler. The coal is sorted from its dirt and into its different qualities in the usual way. From a continuous belt, boys and men have to lift up and throw the coal.

The top of No. 2 pit has been completely modernised. There's plenty of room at the pit head. Two men can operate the tubs which carry two tons each. They are moved in and out of the cage by a hydraulic ram, and run away on their own to the way-bridge. Here, one man records the weight and operates the tippler. One master switch controls the whole apparatus from shaker belt to final screen.

The coal falls down past the shaker belt to a labour-saving sorting plant. Gedling has taken a tip from Monte Carlo. Instead of picking up the coal, men with rakes push it into different lanes, so that it falls automatically into the correct chutes.

The old plant at No. 1 shaft will be modernised next, and Gedling will be one of the new up-to-date collieries that are the only answer to the call for more coal.