Did you know a Bevin Boy? The National Coal Mining Museum for England is seeking stories and names of Bevin Boys who were conscripted to Yorkshire mines during World War II

This Easter, the National Coal Mining Museum for England will be teaming up with Theatre Royal Wakefield’s In On The Act group, to perform an emotive dramatisation of the nationalisation of the coal industry, seen through the lives of the Bevin Boys.

The play has been created as part of the Museum’s yearlong programme of activities around Nationalisation and will be performed on the Easter weekend 14 to 17 April at the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

The play was inspired by ex-miner and Bevin Boy, Harry Parkes, who met the theatre group in the development stages of the production. After listening to Harry and hearing his life story, the group felt compelled to share his experience with an audience and raise awareness of the Bevin Boy’s contribution to the war effort, which is often unknown or forgotten.

The play will highlight the young men during WWII, who had hoped to join the armed services but were sent to unfamiliar communities to work in the coal mines and face a painful and unsettling life.

As part of the play’s narrative, the Museum are looking for anyone who has a story to tell about the Bevin Boys to help develop this original piece of theatre – was your father or grandfather a Bevin Boy? Did you meet one during or just after the war? The Museum are particularly interested in gathering as many names of Bevin Boys as possible. The names will be included in the final act of the play, as an effort to pay homage to the many young men and recognise their impact on the war and beyond.

Tina Shuker-Abell, Director of In On The Act comments: “In On The Act are a young group of people who come together to create and perform in theatre. At the beginning of the project they were excited to have the opportunity to work with the NCMME. However, after meeting and being incredibly moved by Harry, the piece being created has taken on a new significance for them and they feel passionately about highlighting the legacy of the Bevin Boys”.

If you have a story or name to share, please get in touch with Sarah White on marketing.assistant@ncm.org.uk; or telephone 01924 844566 before 1 April 2017.

For press information, images and interview requests please contact Jessie Leong at Bonner & Hindley: jessie@bonnerandhindley.co.uk; 0113 243 4713. ENDS

Editor’s notes National Coal Mining Museum for England

 The Museum is free admission
 Some individual events will incur a charge
 Free car and coach parking
 Opening hours: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm daily except for 24-26 December and 1 January
 Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times
 Please arrive early to book onto an underground tour, as at busy periods tours are often fully booked by midday
 Temperature underground is 12C; we strongly recommend warm practical clothing and sensible flat shoes.
Unfortunately children under five years old are not permitted on the underground tour 

 Indoor play area for children under five
 Disabled facilities include level parking, ramp and disabled toilets with underground tours also available with prior arrangement

In On The Act focuses on creating a diverse range of exciting and innovative performances with 18-30year olds. IN ON THE ACT exists to develop skills and support aspiring artists to pursue a professional career in the performing arts. www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk/join-in/in-on-the-act

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