Film ID:
YFA 1519



Visitor Tabs


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