Historians uncover village’s mining heritage

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SCENES of a village’s rich mining heritage have been revealed as historians delve further into an archive.

Easington A Journey Through Time is the latest in a series of DVDs which looks at the past of County Durham’s colliery towns and villages.

Images include photographs and moving footage taken in Easington Colliery and Easington Village, with Durham’s Miners’ Gala also included in the feature.

John Dawson is among the members of the history group who have put together the film.

He said: “We have rare archive footage of men at work on the coal face and the disaster that occurred on May 29, 1951, when an explosion ripped through the underground workings resulting in the death of 81 miners and two rescue workers.

“We have footage from coal mining strikes in 1921 and see how hard it was to survive in those days with no work and children getting something to eat from the soup kitchens and miners and families scavenging for coal.

“Also on view is children receiving Christmas presents during the strike, as there was no money for families to spend on their children.”

School photographs from the 1920s to the 1950s, Easter parties, food rationing and coupons and Ladies’ Day in the 1950s and carnivals are also captured on the 60-minute DVD.

John added: “We have leisure time too, from cycles to dancing at the Welfare Hall.

“There is footage from the sword dancers and women playing football and the Scouts.

“There is so much on this film that it makes a fantastic journey into the past and you never know, you may see yourself, a member of your family or a friend.”

The Six Townships’ website also features old postcards of Sunderland street scenes as well as other DVDs the group has produced.

The new DVD, which is £5.99, and others can be brought via www.sixtownships.org.uk.