British Universities Film & Video Council

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Bestwood Training Centre


Series Name
Mining Review 1st Year


Issue No.
Date Released
Oct 1947
Length of issue (in feet)
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Bestwood Training Centre
  2. 2Open Cast Mining
  3. 3Workington Football
  4. 4Welsh Debate


Story No. within this Issue
1 / 4
BFI synopsis: Bestwood Training Centre in Nottinghamshire
COI Commentary - These lades are going to be miners, but how are they going to learn the job? Should they be sent straight down the pit, where they’ll be in everybody’s way or should they go to college, where they won’t learn anything of the practical side?
At Bestwood Colliery, near Nottingham, they get the best of both worlds. Every boy going into the South Notts mines comes here for ten weeks. The scheme’s been going on for five years, and a year ago they built this schoolhouse.
In the laboratory they learn the scientific side of mining by doing their own experiments. This is one on the effect of after-damp.
In the Handicraft Room carpentry is taught; and the boys also get to know mining equipment by making models.
At the same time regular PT classes teach the importance of keeping fit.
And here’s the really new thing about Bestwood. Under the school buildings there’s a model mine. Layout and equipment are faithful replicas of the real thing. The mine is small in area, but instructors, who’ve spent their lives in the pits, say that it’s the perfect training ground.
The main road to the coalface is only a few yards long, but that’s enough to show what it’s like.
The roof’s made of concrete, so there’s no danger of its falling in; all the same, the boys have to learn to prop it up in professional style.
Here are some lads studying longwall technique in the face galleries.
They also see a coal cutter in action, and try their hands at filling coal on to the face conveyor.
There are some jobs you can’t learn in the best model mine. So for two days a week the boys go and work in a real pit alongside their future workmates.
By the time they leave, they know enough about the job to give them a flying start, and save months of unproductive work in the pit.
Education and training; Mining
Written sources
The National Archives INF 6   /387
British Film Institute Databases   Used for synopsis
Viewing Copy - bfi screenonline
Hogenkamp, A. P., unpublished DPhil thesis   pxii.
BFI Screenonline synopsis   ID No.1223394
Production Co.
Crown Film Unit
Denny Densham
Fred Gamage
Graham Wallace
Jocelyn Jackson
John Legard
John Taylor
Maurice Denham
Max Anderson
Ministry of Fuel and Power
W. H. May
William Chaston

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