Barnsley coal mining doc Regeneration to mark Miners’ Strike anniversary

Dean and Rebecca Sills outside the Highgate Club, Rotherham
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Fancy a free film and a pork pie? Barnsley filmmakers Rebecca and Dean Sills have made a new documentary. More below…

A Barnsley documentary shot over three days is set to commemorate an important anniversary this month, as the 28-minute Regeneration heads to the town’s Highgate Club on 25th April.

Shot and edited over the summer of 2023, the film became an unexpected success on the Amazon DVD charts, shooting up as high as #9 on the UK documentary bestsellers list.

Tracking the story of Barnsley’s local mining communities, filmmaker Rebecca Sills used archive photos and footage alongside original interviews to show how the area has changed since the UK’s coal industry heyday.

She said: “I’ve always been fascinated with my family history, and I thought this would be a fitting tribute to the mining community.”

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Now, after a successful screening at Barnsley Cineworld in March, the doc is winging its way to the Parkway Cinema on Tuesday 16th April before commemorating the anniversary of the 1984 miners’ strike on the 25th.

“People were in tears after the Cineworld screening”, Dean told Film Stories. The anniversary screening came about almost by chance – the club’s owner bought the DVD and got in touch to organise a commemorative event.

“I’m feeling really excited,” Rebecca said. “I didn’t think it would get in cinemas.

Thurnscoe Harmonic Male Voice Choir will be performing ahead of the Highgate Club screening, while guests at the free event will be offered a complimentary pint and a pork pie (we thought that might get your attention).

The South Yorkshire area played an important role in the history of coal mining in the UK. The country’s last deep coal mine shaft at Kellingley Colliery closed shop in December 2015.

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