Coal Mining in Britain | The story of mining from the coal face to the strike
CHANNEL | BBC 1
FIRST BROADCAST | 14 January 1981
DURATION | 5 minutes 27 seconds
This report from the magazine programme 'Nationwide' reveals that the miners' animal companions, the pony and the canary are to be phased out. Most people in 1981 would have assumed that miners no longer took canaries down the pit or used ponies to haul coal, but there were still 95 ponies working at mines in the north-east, and the canary was still being used to detect poisonous underground gases despite the appearance of a new 'electronic nose' which was shortly to replace it.
Ponies were originally introduced to replace women and children in the arduous and backbreaking task of hauling coal and machinery from surface to coalface. The ponies were usually stabled at the base of the shaft and only saw daylight during the colliery's annual holiday. Despite these harsh conditions there were strict regulations governing the treatment of the animals and a close bond often developed between man and horse where a driver typically worked with the same animal for the duration of its working life.
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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