British Universities Film & Video Council

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Yorkshire: SAFETY FAST


Series Name
Mining Review 7th Year


Issue No.
Date Released
May 1954
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Yorkshire: SAFETY FAST
  2. 2Yorkshire: BRASS - Sheffield Band
  3. 3Derbyshire: RADIO RESCUE


Story No. within this Issue
1 / 3
Section Title
BFI synopsis: the Seckar man-riding invention at Haig Drift mine, Yorkshire. Show the man-riding in operation which saves miners a 50 minute walk.
NCB Commentary - Under this pleasant Yorkshire countryside lies coal. And here is one of the gateways to reach it, the Seckar man-riding drift of Haigh Colliery. The drift, newly opened for man-riding, saves man the 50 minute walk underground from the main colliery.
John Hall, foreman fitter, gets ready to drop a train of men down the steep one-in-two drift leading towards the Beamshaw seam. Running men down such a steep incline is always tricky. In the Seckar drift a new device watches over the man’s safety. Here’s how it works, using concrete blocks instead of men on the car. If the cable breaks powerful springs force these rollers against guide ropes at the side of the track. The guide ropes bow out as the car grips them and outside on the surface a counterbalance weight shoots up to take the strain. A car loaded with sixteen men can be brought to a safe halt in under two yards.
No coal comes out of this drift. It’s purely used for man-riding, and to miners, time saved in travelling means more time on the coalface.
Here are the two men who designed and installed the system: Area Production Manager Heap and Mechanical Engineer Lomas. Britain’s coalfield’s produce yet another example of men with ideas coming forward to help make the miner’s day safer and more productive.
Researcher Comments
According to bfi records, this story was filmed on the 8th February 1954 with a budget of £127 14s 6d. Commentary recorded 6 April 1954.
Railways; Transport; Mining; Safety devices
Yorkshire; England
Written sources
British Film Institute Databases   Used for Synopsis
Film User   Vol.8 No.95 September 1954, p436.
The National Archives COAL 32   /3 Scripts for Mining Review, 1949-1956
Production Co.
Documentary Technicians Alliance
Gerry Godfrey
John Reid
Kenneth Reeves
National Coal Board

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