Open Day and working weekend, 30th September 2017

Progress

For the last open day weekend in September, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery gathered in numbers. Site Manager Glen was joined by Friends Chair Steve, and regular volunteers Nigel, Alan, John, together with John, Phil, Chris, Mike and another Phil – a very full crew.

Full house. Catching up with Friends and volunteers

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Open Day and working weekend 16th and 17th September

A Fantastic Company

Following on from a busy couple of public openings and community event activities in September with the Heritage Open Days and Elsecar by the Sea, this weekend was very much time to get back to work, with the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and volunteers being joined by the fantastic junior soldiers from Waterloo Company, joining us from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

The assistance and support from the AFC soldiers is thanks to our friends at the Elsecar Heritage Railway who work with the AFC offering regular volunteer hours with trackwork, rail depot and lineside tasks providing some great team working and learning opportunities alongside some honest graft.

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Heritage Open Days, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September 2017

Hemingfield Colliery Heritage Open Days

Come along and visit our wonderful Victorian coal mine site. See its 1840s winding engine house, two headgears and shafts disappearing into the depths from which the Barnsley seam coal was wrought.

Our team of volunteers will be on site to explain more about Hemingfield Colliery, and provide tours to visitors.

Join us on Saturday 9th or Sunday 10th September, between 10am and 4pm

Address:

Hemingfield Colliery
Wath Road/ opposite Pit Row
Hemingfield
Barnsley
South Yorkshire
S73 0NX

Elsecar by the Sea weekend, 2nd-3rd September 2017

El-sea-car

Another year flies around and suddenly it’s the first weekend in September once again. Time for the Elsecar by the Sea festival.

A community gala, a great beer festival and a weekend of public activities, including railway trips, live music, entertainers and fairground rides all celebrating the promenading wonders of Elsecar by the Sea.

The origins of the celebration date to the turn of the Twentieth century when the summer charms of Elsecar’s reservoir were promoted to Sheffield city dwellers as a ‘seaside’ escape from the industrial grime and smog.

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Open Day, Saturday 19th August 2017

Is winter coming?

The Friends opened the gates to another busy open day, in what was by turns a bright, but exceedingly wet, working day. Site Manager Glen welcomed regular volunteers Nigel, Alan, and John and was pleased to see the returning Peak District contingent of experienced mining archaeological enthusiasts John, Phil and Chris.

Splitting into small groups, work continued in two areas – one excavating the lower terrace, the north-facing area terrace above the Elsecar Heritage Railway line. The other was by the site entrance, next to the pit gates.

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Open Day, Saturday 5th August 2017

Golden days

Summertime gatherings stir the soul and lift the spirits. Surrounded by lush countryside, listening to breezy birdsong, and keeping cool in the shadow of this old workplace under a bright blue sky makes for a memorable day.

And so once more unto the pit, dear friends, once more, as the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery assembled to open the gates for another open day, and continue to maintain and explore the site.

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Milton Gala, 23rd July 2017

The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were keen to return to the annual Milton Gala this year after the great experience they enjoyed last time. Organised by the very active Mates of Milton community group, the event is a fun day for local people from Elsecar, Hoyland and further afield to come and enjoy a day out, with shows, rides, stalls and displays to entertain them throughout the day.

Travelling in hope

After a damp Saturday which had prevented the Friends from opening the colliery, all eyes were looking skywards, as the organisers and attendees assembled at the Forge playing fields at Milton, just off Milton Road, by the Furnace pub.

The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were out in strength, with regular volunteer Keith preparing the ground with a great marquee, courtesy of our friends at the Barnsley Main Heritage Group. Directors Glen and Christine continued the convoy, with volunteers Glenda and Chris also on hand to set up stall, and lay out both the fun activity and also a display of materials about the Friends group.

The top of the Forge playing fields was busy with stalls, fairground rides, bouncy castles, stalls, food outlets and a steady parade of dogs with their owners, ready for the show.

During the day queues were forming to the left and the right, for the sweet and the savory, ice creams or jacket potatoes.

The weather was mostly bright, just with some slightly threatening clouds overhead, but with a steady stream of visitors the time flew by.

Roll up, roll up…

The friends had a prime spot with many people passing by, stopping to chat, look at the stall, play our game, or just stroke good old Rosie the dog, staunch supporter, keenly guarding the wares.

Time to get out and engage the passers by with a fun ‘Treasure Search” game in aid of the colliery, with Glenda offering 5 goes for a pound, picking a letter and number combination which was checked off against the board grid. Would players hit a prize, miss one, or get another free go?

Prizes were flying off the stall, and several visitors dig deep to have a few goes to see if they could win one of the prizes which the Friends had collected over the past year. Alongside the game, we had boxes of books of all types and we’re happy to unite several sets of readers with new titles for small donations to the colliery’s cause.

The group were well pleased with the response of the crowd to the game and to the story of the colliery site, with several former miners stopping for a chat and asking about progress on the site and the future plans around Hemingfield and Elsecar with the recent Heritage Action Zone status, and the funding of Elsecar and Wentworth for the Great Places scheme.

Right at the end of the day, after the dog shows and as the announcements were winding down, we felt the first drops of persistent rain, and so started to gather up the remaining items on the stall. Packing the books, prizes, and mining memorabilia away, the group loaded up 3 vehicles with the various bits and pieces, before collapsing the gazebo and heading home.

Forge, Furnace and Fun

The rain faded away as the gala free to a close, with people drifting home by the pond, or walked over to the Furnace Inn for refreshment.

Others walked home down the Forge playing fields themselves, down the “mound” which marks part of the old Milton Ironworks site – and I’ve of the exciting areas which the new Elsecar Heritage Action Zone archaeological investigations will hopefully shed more light on for us to learn about and celebrate.

Thanks to the organisers and all who attended the gala, the Friends raised funds for the Colliery and were happy to meet and share the story and future plans for the pit. Same time next year!?

Open Day, Saturday 8th July 2017

View of the winding engine house in the July sunshine

A bright and beautiful day welcomed the Friends and volunteers to Hemingfield Colliery on Saturday, as the crew returned to do some regular maintenance of the site, as well a continuing the recent excavation on the lower terrace, a pleasing piece of industrial archaeology revealing more of the original stone paving of the colliery.

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Happy 3rd Birthday! Saturday 24th June 2017

Happy Birthday to the Friends!

The pit site on its third anniversary under the care of the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery

On Saturday 24th June, The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery gathered at the pit to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the date that the Friends finally received the keys to the site and could begin the journey which has brought us all to where we are today.

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