Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
High Row (1974)


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!

A van drives down a country road, through sunlit countryside and farmland. The van parks and one of the miners gets out. The other miners arrive and the working day begins. Generators and compressors are cranked into life. Some of the miners enter the mine and put on their working gear - overalls, hard-hats etc.

One of the surface workers pushes a cart of coal from the mine entrance and tips the contents down a chute into the collection area. The underground workers walk along damp tunnels towards the coalface. They sit down, drinking tea, smoking and chatting quietly. Above ground, another cart is emptied.

Meanwhile, the miners below surface begin their working day, drilling coal from the coalface and shovelling it into carts. Above ground, another generator is started and the coal carts are pulled to the surface. Underground, one of the miners carefully checks the tunnel supports. More coal is brought to the surface.

The miners leave the coalface and take a break for lunch. Flasks and sandwiches are produced from battered holdalls. The surface workers also take a break. As work resumes underground, on the surface a lorry arrives. In the mine, new pit props are prepared and fitted, and the track for the carts checked and repaired. Meanwhile, the lorry is loaded with coal. As more coal is cut below ground, the lorry, now fully loaded, departs.

In the mine, the pattern of the working day continues - more coal is cut and shovelled into carts. The loaded carts are hauled to the surface, emptied and returned below ground. The miners gather their gear and return to the surface. The generators and compressors are shut. The working day is complete.