NCB Film – Dowdon Colliery

Film ID:

NEFA 20975
This Film Can be seen on the YFA  website



A film produced by Tyne Tees Television and broadcast on 28 November 1967 of Dawdon Colliery to the south of Seaham in County Durham. The film opens with a view of the colliery during the early morning shift change. Men prepare for their working day underground and the film shows them and their machinery hard at work at the pit face. The film ends with both the coal and miners coming up to the surface; the coal being taken away by train or the men heading home.

The film opens with a view of Dawdon pit on a cold misty day. Cars can be seen parked in the distance.  Railway sidings show NCB wagons waiting to move out. General views of other colliery buildings.

The film cuts to show miners getting ready for a change of shift in the colliery changing rooms. They fill up water bottles from taps over a sink. A miner ‘clocks on’ to start his shift. Another miner collects the battery pack for his lamp. Other miners have a cigarette before going down to the pit face. A man speaks on an intercom system. Miners are checked for safety before they enter the cages and go down the pit shaft.

A bag of cement [?] is broken open with a shovel. Dust is brushed off roof support beams. A close up follows of a First Aid Station sign. The sign acts as a door behind which first aid materials are stored.

A miner checks both his lamps, the battery powered one on his helmet and his standard spirit fuelled miners lamp. This is followed by a view of coal mining machinery in action at the coal face. Coal[?] or other debris is taken away along a conveyor belt. Workers secure part of the roof with metal supports. More shots follow of coal cutting equipment in action. An operator moves a mobile conveyor belt, other miners dig at coal. A travelling shot goes along the mine’s tunneling. Two other miners work on a machine. There’s a view of pit props, followed by a coal cutting machine in full operation.

Hydraulic roof props are moved to a new position. More shots follow of coal cutting machines in operation, and conveyor belts on which coal is loaded. A worker is seen at a control desk for the conveyor belt [?]. Shots follow of lift machinery in operation. Coal spills down a chute onto a conveyor. Another conveyor shakes the contents as it moves along, possibly to sieve out smaller pieces.

An exterior low angle shot shows the covered housing of a conveyor belt. Coal emerges like a waterfall from a square hole in the side of a building, onto a pile of coal outside. A mechanical shovel loads coal onto a lorry. More coal is loaded into railway wagons from a hopper. A train of full wagons makes its way from the colliery. To end the film, a general view of the car park shows a worker making his way towards his car to go home.

  • Decade