British Universities Film & Video Council

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Series Name
Mining Review 1st Year


Issue No.
Date Released
Nov 1947
Length of issue (in feet)
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1NUM Conference
  2. 2Swadlincote
  3. 3(Untitled record)


Story No. within this Issue
2 / 3
BFI Summary - Soil subsidence caused by mining operations.
COI Commentary - Amidst the beautiful scenery of South Derbyshire lies the town of Swadlincote ... but Swadlincote itself is not so beautiful! For here, the collieries and clay-pits have been worked for generations, indiscriminately - and that is why Swadlincote is doomed.
Houses in the older part of the town look grim and forbidding ... they were built in the worst period of the Industrial Revolution ... now they are gradually falling to pieces ... for the colliery workings run near to the surface, and into these the land is constantly subsiding.
The clay-pits are having the same effect.
Cracks suddenly appear in the walls, and buildings have to be shored-up with timber. The ground too, becomes pitted and scarred.
Even the roads are threatened by the encroaching clay-pits ... and look as though they might collapse and disappear at any moment.
The whole area of Swadlincote is affected ... or is likely to be.
This is the main shopping centre.
In 1937 an attempt was made to improve the living conditions and give the children healthier surroundings ... away from the industrial centre.
New roads were laid ... and new houses were built ... but still the land subsided. The houses have been patched up and supported so they may last as long as possible.
Many have been condemned.
Plugs of plaster are used to show when the cracks widen. The effect from the inside is even more alarming.
These new buildings on the Eureka Estate are so far unaffected. But today we need all the coal we can get ... and if it’s decided to mine the seams that run beneath these houses ... this park and play-ground ... the land will eventually subside ... and in a few years conditions here will be much the same as in the older part of the town.
So what’s to be done?
The solution is two miles away.
On the beautiful country estate of Hartshorne a new town is being built - this time on good firm ground.
With wide clean streets and a planned shopping centre ... it will be within easy reach of the collieries and clay-pits ... yet well away from their smoke and dirt ... and as new houses are built, families will move away from the old town of Swadlincote, leaving it to its own soot and grime and crumbling walls.
Written sources
The National Archives INF 6   /388 Used for synopsis
British Film Institute Databases
Hogenkamp, A. P., unpublished DPhil thesis   pxii.
Production Co.
Crown Film Unit
Denny Densham
Don Challis
E. Harris
F. Jones
Jocelyn Jackson
John Legard
John Taylor
Leon Clore
Maurice Denham
Max Anderson
Ministry of Fuel and Power
W. H. May

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Film Archive

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