This film is part of Free

Coal Crisis

Is coal king or is it in crisis? This Modern Age offers its vision for the future.

1947 20 mins Silent


This edition of monthly cinemagazine This Modern Age promotes the prowess of coal in the year the industry was nationalised with the creation of the National Coal Board. The same year saw a harsh winter leading to coal shortages; when people couldn't heat their homes they questioned the purpose of nationalisation - coal was in crisis. Here the majestic cinematography cements the significance of coal in Britain - "the workshop of the world" - but the film also asks what the future holds and how the industry can modernise to survive.

Five years later, in 1952, the Plan for Coal was introduced, which saw the industry become more economically viable and technologically advanced as the years went on.