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Britain's Black Diamonds

Reel History of Britain Episode 4 of 20

Melvyn Bragg, accompanied by a vintage mobile cinema, travels across the country, to show incredible footage preserved by the British Film Institute and other national and regional film archives, to tell the history of modern Britain.

At the Big Pit Mining Museum in south Wales, Melvyn looks back to the 1930s and salutes Britain's 'black diamonds', brave miners who risked their lives digging for the coal that powered an empire. Vicky Stradling tells the shocking truth about one of the worst disasters in coal mining history. Melvyn goes underground to learn about the limited safety equipment used by coalminers in the 1930s. And David Bogg reveals the occupational hazards of working with pit ponies.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 25 Jan 2017 19:30


Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Series ProducerDympna Jackson
Executive ProducerRuth Pitt