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Win a copy of The Forgotten Workers film about the Bondager system

Other posts by  |  Colin Corlett on Google+ |  June 30, 2012 | 0 Comments
Betty and Annie in the Bondagers DVD

Betty and Annie, characters in The Forgotten Workers DVD, which tells the story of the Bondagers and the Hinds

To celebrate the release of Shadowcat Films’  latest film, Northumbria Byways and Shadowcat Films would like to offer the chance to win one of three copies of the DVD ‘The Forgotten Workers’.

The Forgotten Workers DVD

The Forgotten Workers DVD

This dramatic portrayal tells the story of the Bondagers and the Hinds who lived and worked in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. It gives a unique insight into their lives in 1866 when the whole countryside was in ferment with the dispute over the Bondage System.

The system required a married Hind to provide an extra female worker when he was hired. The film shows resentment reaching fever pitch as the hiring season approaches, and we meet the Bondagers, Hinds, Squire, Farmer and Vicar as they discuss the Dispute, the system, and the need for change.

It has been written by Dinah Iredale, author of the popular book ‘Bondagers’. The story is based on original documents and eye witness accounts. It has been shot entirely on location in Kirknewton, Westnewton and Paxton House.

Tommy in The Forgotten Works

Little Tommy in the DVD The Forgotten Works, based on the book Bondagers

The DVD contains ‘The Forgotten Workers’ and a collection of interviews with people who remember the Bondagers, these eye witness accounts have proven an invaluable source of information during the research for the film.

Shadowcat Films have been working in the area for four years, producing DVDs which celebrate the heritage of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. This is the first of their films to take on a docudrama format, previous films ‘Valley in the North’ and ‘Yetholm- The Finest Place’ are interview led feature documentaries. Further information about Shadowcat Films can be found at

Who were The Bondagers?

Bondager was the name given to the women who worked on the farms in Northumberland and South East Scotland. They could be seen working in the fields on both sides of The Cheviot Hills during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

The areas involved were Northumberland, Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire, East Lothian, Mid Lothian and West Lothian.

An origional pictures of Bondagers

An origional pictures of Bondagers

These workers were part of an old system of employment which involved the hind (a married ploughman) promising, as part of his bond or agreement with the farmer, to provide another worker, usually a woman, who was known as a bondager. (Sometimes shepherds and stewards also provided bondagers.) Further information on the Bondagers can be found at

Closing date: September 26, 2012

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be added to any mailing lists, sold or given to any third parties. 

Please note that the winner will be contacted by email, so if you use an invalid email address to enter this contest we will not be able to contact you should you happen to win.

The winners are Joanna Rimmer, Georgina Ball and Catherine Plant.

Contest rules: Only one entry per person and entrants must be 16-years-old or over and live in the UK. The draw will be conducted by an independent party and the winners will be the first three name selected at random from all entries.

The prize cannot be exchanged for anything, including cash.

Owners, employees, contractors and family members of Shadowcat Films, Northumbria Byways and Northumberland First are prohibited from entering this contest.



Category: Contests

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