Film ID:
NEFA 21506



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A film made by the British Coal Video Unit in March 1994 to celebrate the retirement of the four pit horses still working at Ellington Colliery near Ashington in Northumberland. The film shows the horses at work underground at Ellington before being brought to the surface to the waiting media. The film ends with them being taken to their new stables not far from the mine itself.

Tile: A Tribute to Horsepower in the Mining Industry

The film begins with a montage showing horses being worked underground at Ellington Colliery.

Title: The Early Years

A montage of archive film footage showing horses being worked underground in coal mines as well as being brought to the surface.

Title: Working Days

A vet checks over one of the horses looking at its mouth and one of its hoofs before using a stethoscope. A farrier shoes another horse.

Handlers lead their horses through the mines, one horse carrying bales of hay.

A harness is attached to one horse which is then attached to a steel girder which is them pulls through the mine past other horses and their handlers going in the opposite direction.  

Two hungry horses eat from bales of hay hanging from the ceiling.

A handler washes down his horse’s hooves with a hose while another uses a set of clippers to trim the hair on its tail before giving the horse a brush-down.

Title: Retirement Days

In their stalls two of the horses eat from hay bales hanging near them.

Outside the stalls a bridle and blinkers are attached to one of the horses by two miners. Two horses are  led out of the stables and through the mine to the elevator. Going inside the horses are taken to the surface one at a time.

On the surface one of the horses comes out of the cage to the waiting crowd of onlookers and media. Camera flash and a television camera as miner is interviewed.

Another horse appears on the surface and again poses for both the media as well as other miners there to record the day. The horse is fed a carrot.

A white horse comes out of the cage and again poses for the media with its handler being interviewed.

The horses are led away from the mine to their new stables in a building not far from the colliery. The film ends with all the horses inside their new stalls.

Title: This tribute was recorded by British Coal Video Unit, March 1994

End Credit: The Producers wish to thank all concerned at Ellington Colliery, Northumberland for their assistance in this production.