Hot, bright sunshine shone down across the valley from Elsecar on Saturday as the Friends and regular volunteers arrived at the pit for the final Open Day in April. 2018 has truly flown by!
With Site Manager Glen out on assignment, regular volunteer Keith opened up the gates. He was joined by a good band of volunteers, Paul, John, Mike and Barrie. A fair array of brimmed headwear was on show, most sporting baseball caps, before the arrival of Chris, who was seeking deep cover under a cricket hat.
On Saturday 7th April the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery hosted a special open day visit from members of the Sheffield-based Time Travellers group of archaeology enthusiasts. The group had arranged a day trip to the Elsecar Heritage Action Zone area, being hosted by Dr Tegwen Roberts (Elsecar Heritage Action Zone officer), and filled a busy day visiting the Newcomen beam engine, exploring the buildings of the Heritage Centre, stopping by the Elsecar Heritage Railway and reviewing the archaeological research underway in the area and supported by Historic England.
ELR Loco William passes the pit
In the afternoon, Dr Roberts led the group of around 25 members down from Elsecar to visit Hemingfield Colliery, guiding the visitors along the Dearne and Dove canal towpath, past the Hemingfield Colliery basin and on to Tingle Bridge with its surviving lock-side public house, the Elephant and Castle.
The end of March 2018 was a wonderfully busy day on site with Friends Chair Steve, and Directors Glen and Christine welcoming regular volunteers Alan, Nigel, Paul, Keith and Chris during the morning.
The focus of the day was to finishing up excavation work at the rear of the winding engine house, continuing recording work on progress to date, and also permitting the working party to move on to other tasks on site as the Friends (and the country at large!) embrace warmer weather and the coming season of public events.
Events, and more events
February was a very full month for the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery. Events on site and off it filled out the usually short and wintry month, and gave us plenty of news and images to share as we look back on a busy few weeks.
The Next Shift
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were keen to return to site this Saturday – to open the gates, collect tools, and return to the dig at the rear of the winding engine house.
Friends Chair Steve welcomed regular volunteers John, Keith and Paul, followed by Chris. The crew returned to the scene of the earlier discovery of the coal tub, and picked up where they left off, removing the spoil in what is quickly becoming a fascinating area of hidden features.
The first Open Day of 2018 dawned with great anticipation. The Friends opened the gates to regular volunteers Keith, Alan, Nigel, John, Paul and Chris. Having downed tools in December 2017, everyone was keen to continued excavating the coal tub, or corve and the intriguing remains at the rear of the site.
For this discovery we can let the images speak for themselves, as we follow the day’s dig…
The end of the year cometh, but so do the volunteers! On a cold, but beautifully light December morning at Hemingfield, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were delighted to welcome the regular volunteers to the pit to mark the last Open day of 2017; to celebrate the Christmas vacation ahead, and reflect on a busy and rewarding year for the Friends and the whole area.
But first, on with the discoveries!
With November fast disappearing it certainly began to feel a lot like Christmas was knocking on the door as the Friends arrived on site to open the gates for another open day and working party. Site Manager Glen welcomed regular volunteers John, Alan, Nigel, Keith, Chris and new recruit Paul to site. Jack Frost more than nibbled on our toes as ice glistened on wall-tops, and ground frost led to some fancy footwork during the morning; all thankfully relieved by bright sunshine in a surprisingly clear and beautifully crisp blue sky.
On Saturday 11th November, our planned open day was unavoidably cancelled, so the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and volunteers were not on site.
Nevertheless, we were cognisant of the date: Armistice Day, the end of the First World War, the so-called Great War. No town, village or community was left untouched. A generation removed, transported into foreign fields of battle, and lost, literally and figuratively.
Four villages united
On Saturday 3rd April 1926, Albert Wadsworth lifted a bugle to his lips to sound the Last Post. A crowd of people had gathered at Jump Cemetery from Hemingfield, Lundhill, Jump and Tingle Bridge to mark the unveiling and dedication of a War Memorial for the villages. Inspector William Huddlestone, M.C. of Sheffield unveiled the new memorial, a granite column, surrounded by laurel bushes.
Busy by Nature
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery gathered at the pit on Saturday 28th October to continue work in tidying the site. Opening the gates was Director and Site Manager Glen, together with Friends Chair Steve.
They were joined by regular volunteers John, Mike and Chris on what was a steady day’s exertion in pursuit of stump removal.