Whilst recovering from surgery, I was given a lift by the news that not only had the film been officially selected, but was a Semi-finalist as Best British Short in the Selby International Short Film Festival. This is a real surprise as documentaries generally need to be in their own category to get this far so kudos to the organizers. Whilst Hollywood might not be worth a flight if you don’t get a screening, I’ll definitely be going to Selby and its beautiful screening venue.


New Research Identifies 384 Oaks Victims


A cage thrown up into the head gear at the pit mouth of the Oaks Colliery, Barnsley

Article on research by volunteers supported by DVLP and Barnsley Archives, carried out by  volunteers who put in over 3000 hours. Some points about the photographs though – the Oaks memorial in the Ardsley Church yard numbers the victims at 354 but doesn’t name them, which is why a further memorial is believed to be necessary even though the disaster has not been unremembered. The other memorial is not at Stairfoot but on Kendray Hill, quite close to the original Oaks site although almost 50 years later, and commemorates only the rescuers killed on the second day, particularly Parkin Jeffcock.

Yorkshire Post Oaks Disaster

Local people might be interested in three guided walks led by Stephen Miller to reveal aspects of the disaster related to local sites. They begin on May 31st at 6.30 at Dearne Valley Park in Hoyle Mill and follow on June 7th and 14th.

Oaks Walks






Another selection and some news

Tony Laurels

With another official selection from the Cayman Islands (where a screening would have been wonderful!) there’s also good news about the Remember the Oaks Appeal. People and Mining have now gained charity status and have obtained a grant to develop an educational and information package including activities to support the memorial. More news on this soon but it’s very exciting. It also means that a part time staff administrator will be appointed to the project, which should help greatly with the communication between the various bodies involved in the commemoration of the Oaks – Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Yorkshire NUM, People and Mining, and other groups of local volunteers- to emphasise the national and even international significance of the events. To help promote the appeal and attract volunteers, I’ve now made a small number of Blu-Ray copies of the film and these are available to individuals and groups who wish to use them.

These Fragments

The Mayor of Barnsley, Brian Mathers (the “a” is hard, as in “mat”) accepted the first copy from me last might after delivering a talk on the Oaks Disaster to South Yorkshire Industrial Heritage Society at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley. The fundraising has now passed the £50k mark and the limited edition 361 resin maquettes are going quickly – clubs and organizations are finding them a great prize using a 50-square lottery sheet sold at £3 a square (a 1 in 50 chance isn’t bad for such a unique art object!). Even the £5000 bronze maquettes are going quickly. The next stage is to raise enough money to get the full size memorial cast in bronze.

For the latest news, pictures of the statue being created in Graham’s studio, products you can buy (pins, T-shirts, Alan Wood’s CD of his Oaks Disaster Song, even the Oaks Memorial Beer!)  and a quick PayPal link to make a donation (you don’t need a PayPal account) go to




First review of the film

12 Months Film Festival Film Review: These Fragments (dir. Stephen Linstead)

By Alexandru Vlad 11th March 2016

Every time I watch a documentary, I get this sensation where a part of history becomes a part of me, and at the same time, this piece of history furnishes a duty for me to further share it with others. And I am now happy to share with you, film lovers, one of my recent experiences with the title of These Fragments.

These Fragments is one of those documentaries which comes with an interesting story that has its origin in the lands of the United Kingdom, and considers a subject which oscillates around the closing of the coal mines.

We discern the story through its anthropological aspect which defines the capitalist form of the human in a realistic manner, by associating it with disrespect for the past, for the environment and for fellow beings. We observe here capitalism in its full purity, manifest with shallowness in relation to the values that built the contemporary society.

The story of the miners and the vibes of the places we visit through the audiovisual, become a unique experience for us, where like detectives, we look over the clues which send us to the main story. Also, some of the songs we hear during the documentary make us to re-live the zeitgeist of those times, which nowadays seem like papers in a history book.

By contrast, we can distinguish the real wealth of those places from the distressing image of resources wasting, left in disrepair.

Besides the economic and social aspects, the message this documentary sends remains as a mark on the identity of those who watch it, where we continue to live, step by step, our daily lives.


New Official Selections and Better!

Great news to receive Silver Quality Awards from the International Independent Film Awards in Encino, California for Documentary Short, and at last, for Soundtrack – some recognition for the contribution of the great musicians featured in the film. The film is also an Official Selection for the 12 Months Film Festival Soundtrack Category in March.

  unnamedWinner-laurels Sound

The film also got Official Selections from the Wolves Independent International Film Awards in Lithuania, the Direct Monthly Online Film Festival, the Direct Shorts Online Film Festival, and the Roma Cinemadoc Festival.

Screenshot 2016-02-28 19.02.33OSL BLACK  OSL B roma-cinemadoc-official-selection-march-2016


Memorial Updates

First, the good news that Graham Ibbeson has started on the clay stage of the sculpture. Still a long way to go but now you can get an idea of the physical size of the figure.


Second bit of good news – you can now donate to the appeal direct via PayPal! The next few months will be absolutely critical so please give whatever you can to help the team meet this historic deadline.


“Corporate Bodies”Keynote in The Hague


I’m delighted to have been asked to do a keynote featuring the film in the context of filmmaking practice and organization studies at the first Corporate Bodies Film Festival at Filmhuis Den Haag organised by The Hague University of Applied Sciences February 11-13th. I’m on the 13th at 3 pm on Film-making and Critical Affect in Organizational Research. Check out and the video link below

Corporate Bodies Video