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Mining Review: 3rd Year (1949-50)

The third year of the coal industry's own newsreel

Main image of Mining Review: 3rd Year (1949-50)

Mining Review's third year was largely assembled by the same people who worked on the second: produced by Donald Alexander and Leslie Shepard for Data Film Productions with commentary by John Slater, the directors were Michael Clarke, John Gaudioz, Francis Gysin, Robert Kruger, Peter Pickering, William Pollard and Tony Thompson, and cameramen were Ron Bicker, Ray Densham, Lionel Griffiths, C. Moorehead, William Pollard, John Reid, James Ritchie, Reg Selley, Charles Smith, John R.F. Stewart and Wolfgang Suschitzky.

Unlike the first two years, the formula of three to five separate items per edition remained consistent throughout: there were no ongoing series or single-issue editions. But the range of subjects was as wide as ever - in addition to numerous films about the technical side of mining, we also got to see miners angling, boxing, cycling, fencing, yachting, playing rugby and cricket, and even performing high-wire circus acts. Two items were thinly-disguised trailers for then-current Ealing Studios releases: footage from Passport to Pimlico (d. Henry Cornelius, 1949) was incorporated into an item on water heating in Battersea (No. 5), while scenes from A Run For Your Money (d. Charles Frend, 1949) made up the bulk of 'Welsh Rarebit' (No. 7).

This is a complete list of items screened during Mining Review's third year:

September 1949 - No. 1

Machine Shop Window
Mining machinery exhibition at Earls Court.

Marshalling Aid
A parade of St John Ambulance men at Nottingham and a visit to the Berryhill Hall rehabilitation centre, which helps injured miners back to health.

Rhondda Gateway
The shunting yard at Hopkinstown, Pontypridd, and the forty coal trains which pass through it daily.

Once Aboard the Lugger
The The traditional East Wemyss regatta with 17 feet lug-rigged craft arced by miners and often built by them.

October 1949 - No. 2

Canals in Manchester.

Country Club
Cricket - the NCB London team plays the Chislet Colliery team in Kent.

Coal Stripper
Continuous mining with the Samson Stripper at Elsecar Main Colliery.

November 1949 - No. 3

Take Your Pick
New wet pneumatic picks.

Success Story
Wentworth Silkstone in Yorkshire increases production from 500 to 1000 tons per day.

Where's The Catch?
North-Eastern Division angling competition at Hubberts Bridge between Sleaford and Boston, Lincolnshire.

Coal In Your Stocking
Disabled miners working in a nylon factory near Pontypool.

December 1949 - No. 4

Help Yourself
A British Legion housing scheme.

Miners On Wheels
A cycling rally at Matlock, Derbyshire with the Thurcroft Cycling Club from Rotherham.

Raising the Output
Skipwinding at Astley Green Colliery - the easier transport of coal from the mine to the surface.

Bricks and Sawdust
Performing dogs at the NCB-owned brickworks at Wombwell Colliery in Yorkshire.

January 1950 - No. 5

Pipeline To Pimlico
Water heating from Battersea Power Station to local housing.

Hot Stuff
Champion fire brigade at Brodsworth Colliery at practice.

Full Support
Tromit gatehead safety device, at the New Cross Hands Colliery, Wales

February 1950 - No. 6

American Miner
A Joy Continuous mining machine is installed at Donisthorpe Colliery.

Down in the Forest
The care of tree plantations in the Forest of Dean, and the cutting down and trimming of the wood for pit props.

Get This Straight
Steel prop reclamation at Grimethorpe Colliery.

Mixing It
The NCB boxing context at Doncaster.

March 1950 - No. 7

Side Line
The miners' railway at Ashington, Northumberland.

Sir Ben Smith cuts first sod of the shaft at Hem Heath, Staffordshire.

The work of Grimsby-based fishing trawler 'Darwen' in the North Sea.

New Horizons
Horizon mining in Nantgarw, South Wales.

Welsh Rarebit
The Wales-based Ealing film A Run For Your Money (d. Charles Frend, 1949) and a rugby match.

April 1950 - No. 8

Housewives' Choice
Scientific testing of gas stoves at the Greenwich Fuel Research Station.

Winding Man
A winding man's job at Hem Heath.

Safety Factor
Making steel winding ropes at British Ropes Ltd, Doncaster

Young Blades
Fencing at a youth club in Dumfermline, Fife.

May 1950 - No. 9

One In One
A drift mine at Benarty, Scotland.

New Home
Miner Robert Fergusson's self-built home at Lochcally, Fife.

Flying Start
A Rover gas turbine car is unveiled in Birmingham.

Big Top
A Rotherham miner becomes a high-wire artiste at Harringay Circus.

June 1950 - No. 10

Official View
AIA (Artists International Association) show of mining paintings in London. Includes art by miners Norman Cornish, Harold Lightfoot, George Bissill and professional artist Geri Morgan.

Clean Coal
Mossley Common washery.

No Smoking
The replanning of Coventry, whose mayor is ex-miner Joe Howat. Includes plans for smoke abatement.

Another Try
A rugby match between the NCB's English and South-West Wales Divisions at St Helen's, Swansea.

July 1950 - No. 11

Live Wires
The electric railway that transports coal from Harton Colliery to the coal preparation plant at Westoe and on to the port of South Shields.

Dunoon School
Scottish miners' annual school in Argyllshire.

Surface Work
NCB farms at Ashington.

Coal Gas
An underground gasification experiment at Newman Spinney, Derbyshire.

August 1950 - No. 12

Gala Days
Miners' galas in Edinburgh and Rotherham.

Miner Inventors
Exhibition of safety inventions by miners at Nottingham attended by Lord Hyndley Philip Noel-Baker Minster of Fuel and Power.

Return to Dunkirk
Ray Brown and John McColl from Chislet Colliery in Kent travel to Dunkirk in the converted lifeboat 'Salvador' captained by Douglas Kirckcaldie.

Michael Brooke, with data from the BFI SIFT database

Related Films and TV programmes

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An underground gasification experiment at a Derbyshire colliary

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A look at the technique of horizon mining in South Wales

Thumbnail image of Mining Review 3/7: Side Line (1950)Mining Review 3/7: Side Line (1950)

The work of the Ashington Colliery railway

Thumbnail image of Mining Review 3/7: Spadework (1950)Mining Review 3/7: Spadework (1950)

The ceremony marking the inaugural dig at Hem Heath colliery

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A look at the work of a Grimsby fishing trawler

Thumbnail image of Mining Review 3/7: Welsh Rarebit (1950)Mining Review 3/7: Welsh Rarebit (1950)

Item on the Ealing Studios film 'A Run For Your Money'

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