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Mining Review 1/9: Your Move (1948)


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!

Here's a familiar sight - a mining village. Rows of houses that shelter the mine workers and their families. Most of the houses at Holmwood in Derbyshire date back a hundred years, and by present day standards they never had much room for a family.

But because of the housing shortage, many of them contain two or more families. No. 54 Compton Street is one of these. Two miners live here with their families, twelve people in all. They seem to be expecting somebody, and it looks as if that somebody has arrived.

Here he is - the man with the lorry. This is a great day for the Wilkes family. Five of them live and sleep in one room at Compton Street. Like most house-hunters, they've had their name down for a long time, but now the day is here. They're moving in!

They haven't had much furniture of their own. Most of their furnishings will come new from the shop. Their new home is outside the old village, but in easy reach of the colliery and the shops. Instead of one room for all purposes, they have a sitting room, dining room, kitchen and three bedrooms, and the children have space to play outdoors in safety.

The Wilkeses are not the only ones. All over the Derbyshire coalfield, new houses for miners are going up, and families are moving in. Houses of sheet metal, of timber, steel, concrete and aluminium. These aluminium houses are built in Gloucestershire. One new house is turned out every 12 minutes, and is taken in four sections to sites already prepared, where it can be put together in 23 minutes.

But the supply of all houses is limited, and there are three thousand miners in Derbyshire alone waiting for homes. Still, miners have priority.