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Project Details


Mines Memories & Music (c) Actors Headsh

Stage 1


  • Research mines in the North of England, including Lancashire, Durham, Nottingham, Yorkshire & Derbyshire

  • Obtain data on specific mines (duration of business, #employees, yearly yield, type of mine, etc)

  • Visit different mining communities, drawing on the links established with Durham Miners Association & Brass Band, The Lancashire Mining Museum, Sutton Manor Colliery etc

  • Interview former miners & their families, brass bands, Colliery Choirs, starting with a few questions and then letting them talk & reminisce about their experiences to gain ‘golden nuggets’ to convert into songs

  • Record the interviews via digital audio and video

  • Photograph the interviewees during the conversations to capture the emotion

  • Research maps from different time periods to analyse the change in the landscape

  • Collate and document the change in jobs in these areas, population changes

  • Visit folk clubs to hear local songs

  • Research the archives of the Vaughan Williams Library for historical mining songs, in particular finding a ‘Lost Song’ of one mans experience showing the pain, discomfort despair and brutality during the working day.

  • Research the archives of Mining museums etc for historical information about prominent figures in the industry (eg: Edward Ormerod’s Butterfly safety link to improve cage safety)

Sheet Music

Stage 2


  • Write songs based on interview material

  • Resurrect historical mining songs – add arrangement

  • Edit the interviews

  • Record songs (collaborating with Brass Bands, Colliery choirs)

  • Edit the photographs

Generate book(let) consisting of:

  • ‘what is coal’

  • History of mining – different types, deep mine, open cast, surface

  • Changes in technology / health & safety

  • Disasters (Including Pretoria Pit & Huskar Pit, Silkstone)

  • Article about Arthur Frodsham (grandad – and inspiration)

  • Page for each interviewee including photo, name, age, employment history (which mine, what afterwards) quote from interview

  • Page for each mine they worked at, (duration of business, #employees, yearly yield, type of mine, etc)

  • Local map from when mine was at capacity, & now

  • Lyrics sheet for each song

Generate album consisting of songs and snippets from the interviews

Image by John Matychuk

Stage 3


Develop a production which will include the songs interspersed with clips from the interviews to a backdrop of photographs and video footage.
Arrange tour of work to include the communities interviewed
Involve local choirs & brass bands

Image by NeONBRAND

Stage 4


tour primary schools as part of local history workshops
Hold song writing workshops in schools & museums

The Project: Projects
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