Film: 7333

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | B/W


Harold Wilson visits Bedwas Colliery near Caerphilly.
NCB Commentary - South Wales in March, just before the election campaign got under way.
No, this wasn't a canvassing caravan, but a last opportunity before the serious political job began for a visit to one of Britain's key industrial areas. he visitor - the Prime Minister, arriving here at the new Harold Wilson Estate at Caerphilly.
Flanked by the Chairman of the Council and the Secretary of State for Wales, Mr. Wilson performed the opening ceremony at the new trading estate.
Next stop in a day when the Prime Minister covered a lot of Welsh ground was Bedwas Colliery.
Here, in the canteen he met men and management and - as usual - had to face the press.
As a momento of his visit, he took away with him a pair of safety lamps.
Then, from the Welsh Valleys, he headed off on the long trail which was to end back at Downing Street.
air supply in the mines.
NCB Commentary - The air we breathe is all around us. It's presence is vital to life. Without it we should die.
Every living thing draws its sustenance from the air - carbon dioxide for plants, oxygen for men and animals.
In our mines, men and machines need air - air to breathe, air to carry away dust and gases, air to make work and life possible.
Whenever you are near a pithead, you are very likely to hear the steady hum of the motors that dirve the fans - the fans that ventilate the mine.
Every mine has at least two headstocks - the downcast shaft is open, the upcast is as air-tight as possible to let the fan draw air through the mine.
A key job at any mine is that of the Ventilation Officer. He's responsible for a continual check of the air supply, both its quantity, and its quality.
The barometer tells him the pressure of the atmosphere. And he must check that normal ventilation conditions are being maintained by the fan.
The amount of air circulating round the pit is measured at many different points. He uses an anemometer to measure the air-flow and from that can calculate the amount of air circulating.
Where air speed is low he uses a smoke generator. The time the smoke cloud travels a given distance is the basis of his calculations.
Not only quantity, but quality are important. Gases like methane are dangerous, and their presence must be checked so that measures can be taken to disperse them.
The ventilation officer takes frequent samples at suspect locations. These he sends to the area laboratory for analysis.
Here they measure not only the amount of methane, but also the carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen content of each sample.
In the fan house are the lungs of the mine. Thousands of cubic feet of air are pumped through the workings night and day. There are usually two motors and two fans, one ready to take over the instant the other may have to be halted.
Kendo and karate in Northumberland.
NCB Commentary - Northumberland has been hit by the Japanese invasion.
This is Kendo, the way of the sword, most ancient of Japanese sports.
But instead of wielding two-handed samurai swords, today's contestants fight with split bamboo.
Once dressed for battle in ceremonial garb, and protected by breastplate, gloves and helmet you're no longer an electrician a confectioner or a clerk but a warrior equipped to fight for your life.
Your opponent will try to flick off your right wrist. He'll try to cut you clean in half at the chest, or cleave your head in two. Your job is to stop him and do the same to him - if you can!
This way there's more noise than blood, but the keis, or shouts have a purpose. They serve to distract at that vital split second.
King of the oriental fans is Bill Prytherch, an electrician at Lynemouth Colliery. He's a Karate expert. THe club where he acts as instructor is at Blyth, but before getting down to business, there are limbering up exercises.
Cathy Ridge, the only girl member, is the sister of an Ashington miner.
Karate means "Empty hand" and no blows are actually landed in combat. If they did, they might easily be fatal.
Cathy Ridge and Stan Worn demonstrate. She may look innocent enough, but she's not a girl you'd want to take liberties with.
A block of timber planks will give you an idea of what would happen if one of those punches or kicks was aimed in ernest.
Coal Utilization Council living fire girls.
NCB Commentary - Taking the unconventional way into Manchester is a bunch of unconventional girls. To give you a clue, most of them are in show business.
On dry land, they switch to more ordinary transport. Their job is to advise people living in areas becoming smokecontrol areas. The show biz touch helps them in the job.
Working now for the Coal Utilisation Council, they're known, appropriately enough, as the Living Fire Girls.
Of course there's always the possibility that the lady of the house isn't home ...
In all the new smoke control areas, demonstration houses have been prepared where householders can learn how to stay within the law - and stay warm.

Glamorgan, National story, Northumberland Lancashire.
Glamorgan: On tour. South Wales in March. Coach (destination 'Special') arrives. Harold Wilson gets out of car in Caerphilly. Industrial Estate. Crowds. Taking pictures of Wilson. Bedwas colliery.
National Story. Air, sky, streets. Man mowing his garden. Deckchairs in London Park. Cutting coal. Five miners looking at modern pit head. Ventilation officer in helmet checking dials. Checking air-flow in tunnels with an annomometer and smoke. Laboratory checking air quality. Fan House.
Northumberland: Oriental touch: four men play Kendo. Lyemouth (?) colliery. Karate Expert. Limbering-up exercises for karate-types, all dressed in white. Man kicks blocks of wood and breaks them. Girls dressed as "dolly birds" walk suburban streets telling people about smokeless fuel. Plastic macs, white boots. Scarves. "The Living fire girls". Girls get out of cars. Open gates. Approaching doors. Knocking on door. Shots of boots walking on pavement. Doorstep interviews. Girls' faces in close-up. Last girl grabbed by man and dragged inside. Welcoming girls face opens door to camera. Moves inside, demonstration house. Fire in glass-fronted fire.

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