The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Jim Bullock: Miner Extraordinary
A rare example of social mobility as an ex-miner crosses the class divide, while still retaining some loyalty to his former community.
From the collection of:
This is a fascinating portrait of a man that neatly encapsulates the transition from pre-war to post-war Britain. Former miner Jim Bullock, born in 1903, rose to pit manager to landlord, straddling the class divide by having to deal with the miners’ union and also setting up a new union for management; all the time remaining a socialist. His discussions with fellow Yorkshireman Austin Mitchell in 1969 open up the vanished world of mining communities and trade union power.
This documentary follows up on a four-part series of conversations with Jim Bullock aired on Radio 4 in December 1968, around the time of his retirement as President of the British Association of Colliery Management, a position he had held since 1956. Following the publication of his autobiography in 1972, ‘Them and Us’, another three programmes were made by BBC North; and a further film, ‘The Boy From Bowers Row’, was made after his second book of memoirs with the same title was published in 1975. Fryston closed in 1985, along with 22 other pits, in the immediate aftermath of the great miners’ strike. At the time of this film there were over 82,000 miners working in 50 collieries in Yorkshire, there are now none.