Film ID:
YFA 2540



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The National Coal Board (NCB) Film Unit is one of Britain's most substantial and long-lasting industrial film units. The following is an informative film about the origins of the shovel, how they have evolved over the years for use in different jobs, and how specific shovels are used for different tasks related to coal mining.

Title - The Shovel

The film begins telling the history and evolution of shovels. It shows the first known shovels to be found, including in Orkney (North of Scotland), and a narrator explains how vital they have become for the labour of human work.

The miner has a variety of modern shovels from which to choose, and each one is related to a specific job within the coal mine. One of the miners examines a number of shovels before choosing the best one. The footage then moves on to a pit in which a miner is demonstrating the technique needed in shovelling material. It's very important to bend at the knees, and the technique is filmed in slow motion.

Outside, a foreman demonstrates the proper way to shovel from the ground into a hole in the wall. The new miners try, and then this technique is applied down in the pit. As a miner throws coal through a small hole, a narrator explains that the method needed to be able to do this is vital. Using the wrong shovel will make the work more strenuous and less accurate.

Title - Directed by Alun Falconer
Photographed by Lionel Griffiths
NCB Technical Film Unit
Title - The End