Coal Mining in Britain | The story of mining from the coal face to the strike
CHANNEL | Radio 4
FIRST BROADCAST | 27 June 1982
DURATION | 43 minutes 42 seconds
Patrick Hannan presents a documentary looking at some of the major incidents in mining during the 20th Century. From strikes, pit closures and disasters to the day-to-day operations and routines, this story includes interviews with miners who have personal recollections of the General Strike of 1926, and of later strikes that came after public ownership of the mines in 1957.
Although Britain's coal mines had been under government control during both world wars, the mines themselves had remained the property of private firms. The formation in 1946 of the National Coal Board by Clement Attlee's post-war government saw the nationalisation of the country's mines to save the coal industry from collapse. The threat of pit closures was a constant concern throughout the following decades, resulting in three strikes - in 1972, 1974 and, most significantly, 1984-5. This final strike, which concluded with victory for the Conservative government, marked the beginning of the end for the coal industry in Britain. By the mid-1990s, fewer than 20 mines were still operational. The last deep-pit mine in Wales, Tower Colliery in Hirwaun, Rhondda Cynon Taff, closed its gates in 2008.
Two recordings of a Welsh male-voice choir.
'Behind the seams' at a Durham coal mine.
How do the experiences of two miners from separate generations differ?
The story of the closing of Brereton Colliery.
Remembering Tonypandy's role in the 1921 National Coal Strike.
Two mining families make the decision to move from Northumberland to Nottingham.
Memories of childhood in a 1930s Glasgow mining family.
The story of the men who spent World War II down the mines.
A turbulent time for a mining village in the North East of England.
Exploring the culture and social history of the Durham coal fields.
Memories of a Bevin Boy from Bridlington.
Where there's muck, there's brass... and pigeons and lurchers and bingo too.
The diminishing role of animals in Britain's coal mines.
A history of the South Wales mining industry.
A weekend in the lives of four Yorkshire miners.
Recollections of conscription in the coal industry during World War II.
Is the ongoing miners' strike turning moderates into militants?
The miners' strike continues with both sides predicting victory.
A 'Panorama' report broadcast in the final weeks of the miners' strike.
A personal perspective on life in a 1930s mining community.
Revisiting the story of miners from a documentary made in 1969.
Scenes from a Durham mining village that featured in a 1938 radio broadcast by Joan Littlewood.
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