British Universities Film & Video Council

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Derbyshire - Gallery


Series Name
Mining Review 18th Year


Issue No.
Date Released
Jul 1965
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Berkshire & County Durham - The Way Ahead
  2. 2London - In the Bag
  3. 3London - Net Result
  4. 4Derbyshire - Gallery


Story No. within this Issue
4 / 4
NoS synopsis: Safety in Mines Research Establishment’s new explosion tunnel.
NCB Commentary - A day’s outing by coach for a party of miners. But this is no joy ride. They’ve come up to the bleak moors above Buxton in Derbyshire on serious business - to visit the Safety in Mines Research Establishment, and to see for themselves the new 1200-foot long explosion gallery that has been built across the moorland.
What’s it all in aid of? Safety. The coal dust in this cube, if mixed with the air and ignisted, would wreck the room and kill everyone in it. Since coal dust is present in every mine, it’s the job of the scientists at Buxton to find out how to make it harmless.
Limestone dust is one answer. The stone dust, treated so that it will stay dry, will help to smother a coal dust explosion and prevent it developing into a holocaust.
For years now miners have used stone dust to spread on roadways and around the face to reduce the explosion hazard.
The new explosion gallery at Buxton will make it possible to learn even more of how coal dust explosions behave once they start moving.
This machine spreads coal dust evenly and automatically down the gallery floor. Precise, measured quantities of it, to suit the scientist’s purpose.
A ten-ton explosion-proof door seals off one end of the tunnel after the dust has been spread.
At the far end - left open - out comes the spreading machine, and the warning flags go up all along the line.
The miners spectators assemble at a safe distance from the gallery. Along its length instruments will record the force of the blast and transmit their readings to the control room on the hill.
Until everyone is clear of the danger area the firing controls are immobilised. A last check through fieldglasses, and the controller is ready to fire.
It’s through man-made blasts like this, controlled at every stage and monitored by precision instruments that the scientists at Buxton hope to learn even more about what happens inside an explosion.
Safety in Mines Research means just that. Explosion research is just one aspect of the Establishment’s work - to continue to make the nation’s mines safer places to work in.
Science and technology; Mining; Safety devices
Written sources
British Film Institute Databases
Films on Coal Catalogue   1969, p.50
The National Archives COAL 32   /13 Scripts for Mining Review, 1960-1963
National Coal Board
Production Co.
National Coal Board Film Unit

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