Film ID: YFA 1519 Video of YFA_1519 Bringing in the Coal BRINGING IN THE COAL 1980 Visitor TabsDescription This film documents the 17th annual World Coal Carrying Contest at Gawthorpe. During this race which takes place every Easter Monday, contestants are required to run nearly a mile while carrying large sacks of coal. Title: 'Group 8 presents Bringing In The Coal' 'Camera: J. Abbott, A. Abbott, D/ Morton, A Steeles, G. Fildes' The film begins in a pub in Gawthorpe, a village located between Dewsbury and Wakefield, on an Easter Monday. The opening commentary speaks about the 17th annual coal race. A lorry loaded with sacks of coal backs into a car park where Ken Scofield, the organiser of the Maypole Committee, is talking with Alan Abbott, President of the Leeds Cine Club. In the town square, people are seated around the maypole as a group of cyclists pass by. Some of them are drinking beer. Near the maypole, a table has been set up to hold the trophies for the race winners. The women's race goes first, filmed as they carry sacks of coal weighing just over a stone just over a mile. They are filmed running towards and over the finishing line. The race is won by Rebecca Inman, six time winner. Meanwhile, outside the Royal Oak Pub, the men racers collect their 5 stone sacks of coal from the back of a fuel merchants lorry, Barton and Atkinson of Dewsbury. Two of them pose for the cameras with the Yorkshire Coal Queens. They line up and are off. Each contestant runs, or walks, nearly a mile with a sack of coal on his back. The winner is Colin Claypole who is followed by his exhausted competitors. They all take a breather and the winners collect their trophies from the Coal Queens outside the Shoulder of Mutton pub. The commentator states that although 1980 was not a record breaking year, he is sure that Colin will be back next year to defend his world title. The End Context Unsurprisingly originating over a beer or two in the Beehive Inn in Gawthorpe, the 17th World Coal Carrying Contest takes centre stage in the 1980 Maypole Festival. Here it is accompanied by a broad Yorkshire voiceover, delivered with typical relish – and the mandatory mild sexist quip – and a musical accompaniment reminiscent of Alex Glasgow’s music for Alan Plater’s 1968 play Close the Coalhouse Door. The Leeds cine club Group 8 film this race, which started in 1963, and has since expanded to include a children’s and veterans’ race and two men’s races. The winning times haven’t changed much, although the film claims that the men are carrying just over 5 stone (approx. 31 kg) and the women just over a stone (approx. 7 kg), which is considerably less than today (50kg and 20kg respectively). The winner, Colin Claypole, wasn’t able to defend his championship; in fact he merely interrupted a run by Terry Lyons who won it every other year between 1977 and 1985. Although it’s the World Coal Carrying Championships most winners come from West Yorkshire, with the furthest afield being from Penrith in Cumbria.