This film is part of Free
Review 27th Year No. 12
Fascinatingly wrong 1970s predictions of how UK energy needs will be met in the future.
Cinemagazine 1974 10 mins
Where will Britain get its energy from? This film makes fascinatingly wrong predictions. It's one of the many 1970s editions of the National Coal Board's monthly Review series cheerleading coal's place within a fuel-diversity economy. Subtitled "Today and Tomorrow", the film takes us on a brisk tour of the industry's mid-70s infrastructural investment, in Staffordshire, Wales, the North East and Yorkshire.
This edition of Review was produced in the wake of both the world energy crisis and the resolution of the 1974 miners' strike. It evokes an industry, short-term troubles behind it, looking ahead with cautious but palpable and persuasive confidence. It quotes visually from another NCB production, "Tomorrow's Coal", about the Selby complex where much money and hope was invested. Narrator Francis Gysin (head of the NCB Film Unit) speaks of "coal to power Britain as far ahead as we can see". But the film proved more near-sighted than almost anyone could then have guessed. Where, Gysin asks, will the children of 1974 get their resources when grown? The one-word answer is, of course, China.
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.
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.
Release the Jailed Miners!
Campaigning film 1984 40 mins Location: Betteshanger Colliery
Wives and mothers call for the release of miners jailed during the Miners' Strike.
Factual TV 1983 3 mins Location: Selby
Yorkshire’s long and proud history of rhubarb cultivation is rejuvenated and protected in this insightful news piece.
Selby Gala '81
Amateur film 1981 17 mins Location: Selby
Outdated gender stereotypes aside, this detailed and well-made film captures the profound competitiveness of locals at the Selby Gala.
The Cass Family, Selby, One
1936 16 mins Silent Location: Selby
Evidence of a time when people commonly kept budgies in cages, did card tricks, went to Sunday school, raced motorcycles on Scarborough beach and were transported by A4 Gresleys.
Selby: The Saving Face for Coal
Documentary 1984 23 mins Location: Selby
The most advanced deep coal mine in the world opens while those who work it stand by their fellow miners, as the future of both the miners and coal mining is decided on the picket line.
Amateur film 1963 5 mins Silent Location: Selby
A chance to see men busy welding and fitting out at one of the many small shipyards that used to dot the country, filmed by one of their fellow ship workers.
March against Starvation
Campaigning film 1936 31 mins Silent Location: Hyde Park
Poverty and hunger compels angry, jobless workers - including Jarrow's crusaders - to make a historic march to London to petition government.
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.