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Workington Football


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
3 / 4
BFI synopsis: A football match at Workington
COI Commentary - COMMENTARY: Today, every available method is being used to back up the miners in their drive for more coal. In the South Wales coalfield, millions of tons of coal lie just below the surface ... This is the method used to lift it - open cast mining. From this site alone, a quarter million tons of coal have been taken and there is plenty still to be dug.
This is coal getting, using machinery on a giant scale. Giant excavators, grabs and bull-dozers. First the over-burden is removed, to expose the coal beneath. This work continues unceasingly day and night. It makes a mess of the landscape, but when the seam is worked out, the surface rocks and soil will be replaced and the site left very much as it looked before digging began.
This excavator weighs over two hundred tons; moves about the site on its own legs.
Roads to the site must be levelled by bull-dozers. The coal is scooped out - tons at a time - exactly the same coal as that lying underground, dumped into lorries and carted away to be washed and screened and delivered to the railhead.
Open cast mining is an emergency measure, to give the country all the additional coal possible during the present overall shortage.
And now let’s hear what some miners think about ways of getting over this shortage. Listen to the Lodge Committee of the Cwm Cartin Empire Colliery:
DIALOGUE: Well, boys, we’ve only a few more minutes left and the last point is about machines in this colliery. We have several machines in this colliery and we feel that they could do better work. It’s like this; mining machinery can do a lot of hard work, and that’s why I’m in favour of them.
Mr. Chairman. It isn’t the case of being in favour of them, but all this continuous talk in the newspapers about machines solving our problems.
That’s their usual bunk. You’ve got to have men as well, and men that will see that the machines are used reasonably.
Keep you hair on boys, one at a time!
Well, you’ve got to remember that men have got feelings, even if machines haven’t. Cut a reasonable distance at a reasonable speed.
Reasonably again. What we don’t like is this talk of big output from the machines underground, in America, Germany and Poland. Always some other country held up to stir us on.
One at a time!
Of course, things are different here; that’s what outsiders don’t consider.
They don’t know, that’s the trouble. They think every Colliery is the same.
No two collieries are the same; each has its different problem, either in the strength of the roof or the working of the coal or the slope of the seam.
The idea seems we must always leave a margin of time, in case of delays, such as falls of roof.
Or break-downs. We’ve been working the guts out of our machines during the war, and we’re having a lot of stoppages through breakdowns.
Yes, that’s one of the troubles; we want more new machines, and to be able to get replacements quicker, not have to wait weeks for spare parts.
It is true we get a lot of trouble about replacements but machine mining will never be a success unless we get team work. The Collier must get to coal clear and leave the face tidy for the cutters, and the cutter must get out of the way for the conveyor shifters, so that they can leave the place tidy for the oncoming shift.
There must be modern conditions for machine mining, especially here in South Wales.
Aye, not for one shift to be behind and in the way of the next shift, so that it will be clear for the next.
That comes back to my point. Set a reasonable amount of work for each shift, so that it will be clear for the next.
Yes, and leave a little margin in case something goes wrong.
Now let’s see how far we’ve got. We have talked of the difficulty of getting replacements,; of the roof that varies, and I suppose that includes soft bottoms; also the need of team work, and I think...
You’ve all missed the point that’s holding us most.
Missed what [illegible]
The shortage of power. There are days when there’s not enough compressed air coming through to drive a donkey cart; the conveyor belt is hardly moving and then the coal clogs, with the result the whole conveyor is on top.
And the cutter machine is crawling through the face, whereas it could travel twice as fast.
Mr. Chairman, you can see the inside engines staggering with half a dozen trams, whereas they ought to be able to whip them away.
We often have to split the journey in half, and that takes double the time.
You know how we’ve - that’s the management and us - have hammered at this question of lack of power. We need newer and more powerful compressor engines, but it seems that will have to wait.
There was a scheme for electrifying some of our engines - those nearest to the mouth; that would have eased the load of the compressor. What has become of that scheme?
We were told that it would take two years at the earliest before we get this material.
I can’t understand that. When I come from work every day, I see new cables being laid down everywhere; the outcrop coal seem to be getting all they want very quickly.
Alright, we’ll get our secretary to send yet another letter to the Coal Board officials, telling them that we feel that we are not getting the priority that we need. And so with the hope that you will all put your thinking caps on about increasing output at the Empire Colliery, I declare this meeting closed.
Mining; Football
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.1223395
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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