Sunday, March 13, 2011

Miners Leaving Pendlebury Colliery -1901

Despite knowing that there has been a black presence in the UK since Roman times, it's still a shock and a pleasure to see a black miner emerge from a group of workers at Pendlebury Colliery. His fleeting appearance, smiling alongside his workmates, may look staged and it has been suggested he was given a clean shirt show up his skin colour. But this film is not about him - he's just one of many men who walk past before a large billboard advertising a forthcoming passion play.
The black miner's appearance in the nation's collective family album of cinema is incidental but important. It records his presence in Edwardian Britain giving us and future generations the possibility to muse who he was and how he got there. (Karen Alexander)
This film is part of the Mitchell and Kenyon collection - an amazing visual record of everyday life in Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century. For more information about the films of Mitchell and Kenyon see

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