Shafts of Sunlight

Image for Shafts of SunlightNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 50 minutes

First transmitted in 1975, Omnibus explores a weekend in the life of a Yorkshire mining community set to the music of the Frickley Colliery brass band and illustrated with paintings and prose from former miners. There's a Friday rehearsal in the bandroom, a singalong in the social and an interesting digression on the wearing and usage of the traditional cloth cap.

  • Did You Know?

    Frickley Colliery closed in 1993, but its brass band played on. Founded in the 1880s, the band toured Germany and Holland during its heyday in the 1950s and also recorded a session for the BBC Radio 2 programme Listen to the Band in 2007. Artist Tom McGuinness, whose work is featured in the programme, became a Bevin Boy in 1944 and remained a miner until he was made redundant in 1982.


    He took up painting after attending an evening class at Darlington Art College and his work was included in two major exhibitions in London. Other paintings featured in this programme are by Norman Cornish, whose work celebrates working-class life in Spennymoor, County Durham. He was awarded the MBE in 2008.

  • Archive

    Archive programmes available on iPlayer reflect the broadcast standards and attitudes of their time, which may not accord to some current BBC editorial guidelines. We aim to select programmes which can be shown in their entirety but in some cases edits are required. In these cases, edits are kept to a minimum and are made only for technical reasons.


Humphrey Burton
Sid Chaplin
Norman Cornish
Les Jones
Tom McGuinness
Johnny Smith
Geoffrey Baines


Featured in...

Coal Mining in Britain Collection

Coal Mining Collection

This programme is available online as part of the Coal Mining in Britain Collection

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss