The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery
How did it all begin?
Chair, Steve Grudgings
The 1980s was a decade of massive change in the UK coal industry and the miners strike of 1984/5 was followed by a programme of pit closures and demolition.
Closed pits were often not demolished for many years for a number of reasons before the 1984/5 miners strike, however by 1990 almost all had been swept away. Hemingfield was one of the few exceptions.
Hemingfield and a number of other South Yorkshire pumping stations were the responsibility of Silverwood Colliery until it closed in 1995 and following a number of visits to Silverwood as it went through the demolition process, I was able to join British Coals contractors as they made their weekly round of these pumping stations
They didn’t need to go into the buildings but I asked if we could remove the timber baulks blocking the doors and they obliged. The rest as they say is history, I was fascinated by what was in inside, the winding engines and signalling apparatus were all still in situ and were probably in use until 1985 when Elsecar main closed.
Over time as the site gradually submerged in the undergrowth and the degradations of vandalism took their toll it was clear that as time progressed, the likelihood of its demolition increased.
We all see places like this and say to ourselves and others “someone should do something to save it” and you realise that this is fine in theory but that actions rather than words are needed…and this is how FOHC started.
Glen Sheppard, Director and Site Manager
Director of Volunteering and Community Engagement
Ian Hateley, Director