British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access



Series Name
Mining Review 20th Year


Issue No.
Date Released
Nov 1966
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1London & Staffordshire - IRONwORK
  3. 3Kent - SEA SKI


Story No. within this Issue
2 / 3
BFI synopsis: The standardisation of equipment and parts used in mining, saving the industry space, time and money.
NCB Commentary - Since the beginning of time, man has needed standards.
Standard measurements of time, standard laws and customs to regulate the conduct between peoples, standard words and meanings. This is an elephant, a word recognised by all.
Almost as old as language are the physical standards - weight, length and volume. This measuring rod and vessel are well over 4,000 years old - these weights are nearly 9,000.
Modern standrads are more complex, but just as neccessary. They range from physics and chemistry to pharmacy and photography; from abrasive paper to zinc roofing, and from aeronautics to zoology: covering milk bottles, brake shoes, domestic heaters and oil of Japanese mint. Each standard is the outcome of consultations between manufacturers, technologists and user, controlled by the British Standards Institution.
The mining industry demands particularly strict standards of performance and safety - hundreds of standards, or specifications, have been adopted by the Coal Board.
An industry using millions of pounds worth of machinery requires easily interchangeable parts. Standardisation of dimension is essential where one piece of equipment has to fit onto another. Accuracy in this means savings in spares, in storage, in paperwork, and in time.
Equally important are standards of performance, or of qaulity. Wire mesh for use in mine roadways needs to be able to withstand considerable stress - so, a standard was set up for the strength of the welds. These can be tested to ensure that specifications are met. This is true of anything used in the mine.
Technical terms and symbols, must, like any language be well understood and accurate. Most modern office machines, are automatic and need standard names for items that they deal with.
Once a standard has been introduced it becomes much easier to improve the product, an ever present objective of the modern coal industry.
It is not enough to set standards, they must be maintained. A continuous check makes sure that they are.
The operation of British mines has been modernised out of all recognition - and the future promises more. Computers, automatic control gear, and remotely operated coal faces will make sure that British coal will stay out front, and that mining will continue to be an industry of rising productivity on a scale well above the national average.
Written sources
British Film Institute Databases   Used for synopsis
The National Archives COAL 32   /13 Scripts for Mining Review, 1960-1963
National Coal Board
Production Co.
National Coal Board Film Unit

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 98 times.