Archive for January 5, 2011

Mr Simpson You Have Charlie’s Golden Chocolate Ticket

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Following on from the last article – it is the Ushaw Moor miners’ strike of the early 1880s that will give access to the chocolate factory. I was gripped by the endless drama and class war. There was murder, pistol shots from the colliery manager and much more. The manager was a busy man because he also physically threatened the village school mistress!

There was a local priest, Father Fortin, to bring constructive and compassionate help to the coalminers and their families. There was the pathos of the dying child; a young  child almost thrown out into the  winter cold.

I have been enthralled with the dispute for years and an abbreviated account of it is on the history section of this site – Mr Paul Clough’s site. If you have the resources and the motivation you could very likely achieve much more than you perhaps presently envisage.

Have you any contacts with influential people at the BBC or some other media outlet that could get things started?

All I ask is that down the line I get an acknowledgement for the idea and a fee that enables me to buy a Derby County season ticket, and train fares to get there and something towards a pork pie and….

Wilf Bell

Categories: Announcements, Memories

Documentary – Life in Coal Mining Towns

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Dear all,

My name is Andy Mark Simpson, I’m a film Director from Ashington in Northumberland, and I’m looking to make a short documentary about life in coal-mining towns. I’ve worked hard to find email addresses because I am looking to make contact with people who have worked or lived around the coalmines or who are interested in coal-mining history and to listen to your thoughts.

I have made one film already which is a fictional film set during the 1974 miners strike (‘Young Hearts Run Free’ out in cinemas in the Spring) and I am now interested in making a documentary with a view to perhaps putting it on dvd.

I’m looking for opinions on what to shape the documentary around. I’d like people to come forward with memories and stories. I’m interested in the life around the villages and exactly what it meant when the mines closed. Is there a future for the coal industry in Britain? Will clean coal technologies be brought in? Can there be a coal-mining workforce?

I’m also interested in the socialist politics and in the strikes, especially the differences between the 1984 strike and those in the 1970s which are less well documented. What do you think were the rights and wrongs of the strikes?

If you’re interested in my previous film ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ which is set in a mining village in 1974 there is a trailer at and you can leave contact details to demonstrate support for it’s release around the country in April.

It’s a subject I’m very interested in and I’m eager to learn more. I would be grateful if you could share your experiences and memories to help me shape a documentary. If you have friends and others who have worked in the mines or are interested in mining history then please feel free to circulate this email. I’m keen on discussing it with as many people as possible.

Thank you,

Andy Mark Simpson
Bede Films

Categories: mining, Requests Tags: