Oaks Colliery disaster remembered with Black Snow at The Civic

A prize-winning film about England’s biggest pit disaster and its impact on the community is to be accompanied by folk songs for a must-see, riveting and darkly humorous show, Black Snow with Jed Grimes, at The Civic.

In 1866, the worst disaster in British mining history occurred at The Oaks Colliery, Barnsley. The  explosion on Wednesday 12 December 1866 killed 361 miners and rescuers at the Colliery at Hoyle Mill. Why did it happen? What were the effects on the community, then and up to the present?

150 years later, in 2016, director Stephen Linstead set about making a documentary film to examine these questions.  Alongside cinematographer Andy Lawrence and animator Alan Andrews, Stephen produced a multi-award winning 30-minute documentary film, Black Snow depicting the legacy of this disaster.

Now Stephen has teamed up with BBC Folk Award Nominee Jed Grimes to devised a show including the film, songs and stories from mining history, and a Q&A session. Black Snow with Jed Grimes uses film, music and discussion to emphasise the community spirit forged then and struggling determinedly to survive now.

The film was made in Barnsley, and almost everyone in it is from the area. The NUM and local charity People and Mining got a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to have it made to educate people about the Oaks Memorial. Stephen’s own mining heritage extends back into the 18th century in Staffordshire and his granddad was a hewer at Grimethorpe in the 1920s.

The evening will be book-ended by songs and stories of life in the former mining regions of the UK.

Jed Grimes track record as an innovator in the field of roots and folk music dates from his early days in the much-loved 70s folk-rock band Hedgehog Pie.

Since then he has earned Nominations at the BBC Radio Two Folk Awards for his arrangements for the Northumbria Anthology, and his 6-piece folk/jazz/rock outfit The Hush, featuring Bob Fox: he has released three widely acclaimed albums, and continues to tour the festivals and clubs of UK and Europe, where his powerful vocal style and rich, often flamboyant guitar style, allied to a ready Geordie wit, excite and entertain audiences numbering from 50 to 25,000 with equal flair.

“Couple a timberous voice that has a richness and depth which you love almost from the first note to the warmth of his playing (acoustic guitar, lap steel and bouzouki).  Add in a sprinkle of sensitive, thoughtful and restrained arrangements…sheer inventiveness.” Northern Sky Magazine

Jed composed ‘The Oaks Lament’ as the film’s main theme, and arranged Johnny Handle’s song ‘Guard Yer Man Weel’ with electronica producer Rob File.

Black Show with Jed Grimes is on at The Civic on Friday 28 September at 7:30pm.

Tickets £12 | £10 conc | £8 child

For more information and to book visit or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.


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