The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.
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An insight into the life of coal miner Charles Jones from the Rhondda valley, an area famous for it’s coal production.
Government sponsored film 1944 15 mins
From the collection of:
With the hard years of the great depression gone, mining once again become a vital part of Britain’s economy, not least due to the outbreak of the Second World War. This impressionistic insight into the life of a coal miner living and working in the Rhondda valley, offers a personal perspective on the coal mining industry in Britain, told through the narrative of a BBC radio interview.
Coal on Film
Documentary 1950 36 mins Silent Location: Featherstone
Absorbing overview of coalmining in the early years of nationalisation.
Incinerate - With Coal
Documentary 1973 26 mins Location: Nottingham
The styles, streets and music of 1970s Nottingham are engagingly evoked in this industrial process film.
Current affairs 1984 6 mins Location: Stafford
With a crowd of over 2,000 and a pop star like reception for Arthur Scargill, the NUM conference in Sheffield is a rallying cry from the striking miners.
Romance of a Lump of Coal
Documentary 1935 5 mins
A filmic speed date with the multifaceted rock celebrates its talents and virtues in the days before its shortcomings soured the relationship.
Lle Triga’r Caneri
Documentary 1989 46 mins Location: Loughor
From Tenerife to Treorchy: Jack Bellamy’s tribute to the canary, the little yellow songster that saved so many miners’ lives.
Tidy Is Safe
Documentary 1975 14 mins
A neat coalition between the Keep Britain Tidy Group and the National Coal Board aims to inspire colliery cleanliness.
The Greatest Menace We Have Ever Known
Non-Fiction 1921 1 mins Silent Location: Rhondda
Startling news coverage of striking miners - who allegedly abandon pit ponies to a terrible fate
Drama-documentary 1970 21 mins Location: Rhondda
Valleys boy escapes as architect to London, where he dresses in black, but returns to Clydach Vale - “a heaven and a hell all rolled into one word, spelled C O A L" – dressed in white.
Travelogue 1945 10 mins Location: Rhondda
Coal mining, valleys, sheep farming and castles all feature in this highly stereotyped portrait of Wales during the Second World War.
Worker and War Front No. 6
Government sponsored film 1943 11 mins Location: Rhondda
A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.
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