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Coal Face (1935)


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!

Shots of pitheads. Overhead transporters dump slag onto slag- heaps . Mechanised washing and grading of coal at a pithead. The location and size of the main coalfields are indicated on a map of Britain. Miners walk along a shaft to the coal face for the night shift. Horses pull wagons. A miner working at the face. A Davey safety lamp in operation. A naked flame lamp in a gasless Scottish pit. Miners working at the face. A sandwich break. An electric coal cutter in operation. Coal is shovelled into trucks which are hauled off; commentary gives statistics of accidents in the mine.

The winding machinery brings the men to the surface in the morning. They check out. The miners make their way home - rows of terraced houses owned by the company. Pithead chimneys. A tree. A miner walks under a line of washing. Slag- heaps. Tree blowing in the wind. Ruined building. Trees and sky. A railway marshalling yard. A train moves off with coal. Shunting coal wagons; a signalman operates points. Horse-drawn coal carts distribute coal locally. Commentary gives statistics of coal used by the major industries: the electricity industry - shots of pylons, worker in a power station; railways: coal is loaded into a tender, the locomotive moves off; express trains . Shipping: dockers load coal into a ship. A mechanical grab hoists a load of coal and empties it. Industrial landscapes. Pitheads. Miner walking along a street. Pithead at evening.