Full Cycle

About the film

The miners of Britain work day and night to keep the country fuelled in this exploration of the industrial coal-mining process.

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  • Release year - 1941
  • Director - John E. Lewis
  • Production company - Merton Park Studios
  • Screenplay - Terence Egan Bishop
  • Cinematographers - Jimmy Rogers, A.T. Dinsdale
  • Editor - Cath Miller
  • Sound recording - Al Rhind
  • Choral Accompaniment - The Powell Duffryn Male Voice Choir
  • Conductor - T. Ceiriog Jones
  • Running time (minutes) - 12 mins 33 secs

Original description

Coal and world trade

'In exchange for the commodities she needs, Britain exports her surplus coal, the finest in the world. Welsh miners are seen at work in the pits. Coal is hoisted to the surface, weighed, washed and sorted and shot into waiting trucks. Outward bound, coal travels down to the ships.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)

Did you know?

  • The SS Cambridge - seen around the 1:20 mark in Full Cycle - was originally a German ship, but was surrendered to the British in 1922 as part of war reparations following the First World War.
  • The ship hit a German mine off the coast of Australia on 7th November 1940 and was sunk; given the Australia-bound cargo we see and that Full Cycle was released in 1941, it is probable that this footage shows the SS Cambridge being loaded with the cargo for this last voyage.
  • This is not the only film that features the coal industry in the British Council film archive. Other titles include The Answer, The New Mine, and They Live Again.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

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About the film archive

Learn about the history behind our documentary film archive from the 1940s.

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