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Kent: A Century of Coal (The story of the Kent coalfield) featuring collieries including Betteshanger to premiere

By Angela Cole

It’s a fascinating glimpse into a local life now gone forever.

Life on the Kent coalfield, with its colourful characters of days gone by, and the impact felt by communities when the collieries closed, comes to the big screen for the first time this weekend.

The feature-length film A Century of Coal, produced by Peter Williams Television, looks back to the days when mining was an industry and way of life.

Kent's heritage is tied to the mining industry, which saw people come into the county from other areas. A still from the film, A Century of Coal
Kent's heritage is tied to the mining industry, which saw people come into the county from other areas. A still from the film, A Century of Coal

In 1925, miners flocked to Kent from all over the UK and 18 coal mines were to be dug in the Garden of England.

They brought with them their families and deep-rooted traditions, including choirs, rugby and whippet-racing.

The film A Century of Coal gives a glimpse into life on the Kent coalfield
The film A Century of Coal gives a glimpse into life on the Kent coalfield

Kent’s miners were militant, going on strike during the Second World War and in 1984, fighting Margaret Thatcher – but ultimately losing, with the last pit in the county, at Betteshanger, closing in 1989.

The film, A Century of Coal (the story of the Kent Coalfield) will have its premiere at the Astor Theatre, Deal, on Saturday, July 15, and will then be screened at the Empire Cinema, Sandwich, on Sunday, July 16 and at the Silver Screen, Dover, on Thursday, July 20.

Tickets and profits from the evenings will benefit the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation. Tickets can be booked via https://bookwhen.com/coal

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