Pointing the way [out of the pandemic] Saturday 24th July 2021

Another week of non-abominable weather gave the Friends and volunteers a further chance to push on with site recording and restoration. In a week when the UK Government’s national restrictions were lifted in England, the cloud of a growing third wave of infections hung over the country. Vaccination levels were reassuring and continued to save lives, but the with Delta variant much more transmissable, and disease spreading, things remained a little hazy All change? We travelled in hope.

Continue reading

Mist over the meadow

Saturday 10th July 2021 was almost a dot day. Not because of the mounting excitement ahead of the Euro 2020 final and the hopes (ultimately dashed) for England men’s football team, but rather because the weather forecast looked wet and miserable. Nevertheless the Friends and regular volunteers braved the elements.

Emerging from the mist, the approach to Hemingfield Colliery, Sat 10th July 2021

In the event, ‘Plan B’ of indoor building recording work, followed by a swift exit proved unnecessary, and it was a very active and incredibly hot-and-humid day to be working outdoors, mostly bringing the growth of green stuff back into order.

Continue reading

Pathways to the past, Saturday 26th June 2021

Framed by trees, the pit appears from Wath Road in Elsecar

After a short hiatus, the Friends and volunteers gathered for another socially-distanced outdoor working session on site.

Opening up. Not quite ready for open days more generally, but hopefully not too far away now!

Although decisions around lifting national lockdown restrictions in England were held back for four weeks until 19th July 2021, and there were worrying signs of Covid-19 infections rising with the new ‘Delta variant’, still the protection of an effective vaccination programme and gave the crew confidence in working outdoors, in a small group, albeit behind closed gates for a further push on restoration activities.

Continue reading

The highest heights, 12th June 2021

Keeping up the pace the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and regular volunteers returned on Saturday 12th June. Just a week since the last session. Clearly they had the bit between their teeth; the wall-pointing bug was evident: a crazed addiction if ever there was one.

Not quite the Eagle’s Nest, more like a Barn Owl box

This week was crowned by gravity-defying high scaffold work, and equally heightened temperatures. Hemingfield may not have enjoyed the global media attention of the G7 summit happening in Corbis Bay, Cornwall, but lacked none of the fabulous weather. Who needs the pabulum and bluster of world leaders when you have the wit and wisdom determined volunteers? Such geopolitical debates aside, what *is* the right way of spreading cream and jam on a scone?

Continue reading

Light and Dark, Saturday 5th June 2021

More like it: bright and blue skies, and more than a little warmth at last

Scorchio is the unofficial word for it. After some ups and down earlier this year, the sun decided to come out and pay a courtesy visit to the volunteer crew at Hemingfield Colliery. After a dull and damp start to the year, it came as some consolation to have a little warmth on site, albeit the sun starts to tell as the light moves around and across the site during the day, so liquids and shade were both much in demand.

Continue reading

Snatches of sunshine

A grey day in May

Continuing the effort to return to normal, or as near to normal as anyone can get during a global pandemic, the Friends and regular volunteers foregathered once again on Saturday 22nd May and – ever the optimists – endeavoured to do a little more maintenance on the site at Hemingfield after a thoroughly mixed week of rain and everything except regular sunshine.

Continue reading

May Days

Glowering and wet: Hemingfield Colliery 8th May 2021

Wet weekends are nothing new, but they do tend to rankle when they delay planned activities, and especially so when the sun somehow managed to shine late into the dying light of the working week. The Friends can wait another week to get back on site for some more socially-distanced outdoor maintenance work.

Meanwhile, back home sheltering from the downpour, the Friends and volunteers made good use of some extra hours of research and writing, and some went for a wander around Hemingfield and Elsecar…

Continue reading