September 23, 2008

Miners’ Picnic Gets a Taste of New Technology

FASCINATING archive film footage of the great days of coal mining in Northumberland will go on show at a former colliery, turned tourist attraction next month.

Three films - showcasing the 1959 miners' picnic in Bedlington, the former Woodhorn Colliery in the 1970s and the transportation of coal from the old Ashington Colliery - will be shown at the special screening at the Woodhorn Museum and Archives Centre on the afternoon of Wednesday October 1.

The miners' picnic footage, originally shot in June 1959, has been converted from cine film onto DVD and had a sound track added using 78rpm recordings held by the Northumberland Collections Service.

The second film shows the number two steam winding engine in action at Woodhorn Colliery from about 1971, while the third involves footage of coal being taken from the former Ashington Colliery and loaded onto ships at Blyth Harbour.

Keith Gilroy, archives supervisor at Woodhorn, was responsible for the painstaking work involved in putting together the picnic film.

He said: "It was a lengthy process to transfer the cine film and to add the brass band music, but what we have now is a delightful look back at the picnic in its heyday. It really captures the sense of community and pride."

The screening is free but anyone who wants to attend should either book a place in advance on (01670) 528080 or email [email protected]

The miners' picnic DVD is available to buy from Woodhorn.

(c) 2008 The Journal - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.