Images of areas’s mining history + SLIDESHOW

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SCENES from the heart of coal mining communities have been published by historians in their latest project.

The second part of Colliery Villages of Durham features photos from Horden, Haswell, South Hetton and Houghton.

DELIVERY DAY: A milkman, his assistant and horse and cart make their round in Haswell in 1923.

DELIVERY DAY: A milkman, his assistant and horse and cart make their round in Haswell in 1923.

The DVD is one of a series being put together by the Six Townships history group, which has pledged to help raise funds to back the campaign to support Durham Gala.

They say its future is at risk, because organisers were left out of pocket from a legal fight in support its members who say they were left with health problems because of their jobs down the pit.

The Big Meeting, along with pit banners taken to the event and photos taken of people dressed up for the occasion, are among those featured in the film.

John Dawson, a member of the group who has put together the DVD using the images said: “The growth of the coal mining industry transformed the landscape of the County of Durham with villages appearing everywhere.

There was a large influx of men and their families from around the country flocking to Durham for work in the mines seeking a new life.

“There is so much to offer on this film including collieries, housing, shops, pubs, the streets, transport, poverty and more.”

Early scenes of coal mining, where picks and shovels were used ahead of the machinery which was later brought in, and pit ponies which were used to transport the goods.

John added: “We have leisure time too with bowling, cricket, football, whippet and pigeon racing and much more as we delve back in time.

“Great days indeed and days that should not be forgotten.

“You never know you may see yourself, a family member or a friend as we revisit these days long gone.

“Villagers certainly knew how to entertain in those days and we have many great scenes including the Haswell Aged Miners’ Choir.

“We have used some of the rarest archive footage there is for you on this film and accompanied with still photographs it makes a fantastic journey for everyone as we visit the Collieries of Durham for the second time.”

A section of the feature concentrates on the winter of 1941, when Durham was hit hard, with 6ft of snow falling in places.

The film lasts 60 minutes and more details are available via www.sixtownships.org.uk