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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    Evening Chronicle 12/01/09



    The search is on for a film about a pit disaster which killed 168 people.



    As a photography student, Duncan Davis made a documentary about the West Stanley pit disaster on February 16, 1909 - one of the worst in British history.



    Duncan, originally from Stanley, who was studying photography at Derby College of Art in 1972, decided to make a film showing life underground.



    Part of the 20-minute documentary included an interview with 93-year-old Jack McGregor who worked at West Stanley colliery, known locally as The Burns Pit.



    Duncan, now 57, said: "Describing the scene to me 64 years later at South Moor, his voice shook with emotion. He climbed over the bodies of the dead pitmen, hoping he would find survivors.



    "In the dim light of his safety lamp, he thought he had found survivors sitting in a group, but their lifelike ruddy complexions were caused by suffocation."



    Duncan's film was called LAST SHIFT FOR ME FATHER and was released in 1974, but he has been unable to find any surviving copies.

    email: can@picturedisc.co.uk

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Canada
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    I would like to see this film.



    Durham and Northumberland had their share of colliery disasters, but none worse than West Stanley.



    We visited Springhill, Nova Scotia in 2006. Though 4,000 miles from our home in western Canada, Springhill is a name that still has meaning for many Canadians. In October 1958, DOSCO #2 "bumped" and nearly 5000 vertical feet of mineways collapsed.



    74 miners escaped, but 100 were killed at once. Springhill is memorable for the week-long rescue effort that saved 12 men trapped thousands of feet underground.



    Peggy Seeger and Ewen McColl sang the story in their ballad "Springhill Mining Disaster".



    In 2006, an entrance to the Springhill pit, now a memorial. Our guide with one of our dogs:



    http://www3.telus.net/cmstp/canis/yhzspringhill.jpg

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