20-21st December 2014. The clearance continues – new volunteers

The final working party of 2014 saw further progress with site clearance work as the Friends and volunteers got to grips clearing leaves and more of the vegetation that has built up around the site.

Clearing the bottom end - 'the ramp' looking over at Pit Row

Photo credit: Steve Grudgings

A number of new visitors passed through the site over the weekend to visit and learn about the standing buildings from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, and to get a sense of the history of the colliery from its origins in the 1840s through to the present day.

Visitors often share their own memories and experience – and we hope they will consider becoming volunteers themselves – whether getting stuck in to the digging, chopping, carrying, and brick reclamation, or by sharing their own professional skills and experience in helping the Friends take their plans for the site’s future a step closer to reality.

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Unveiling and activation of the restored Newcomen-type engine at Elsecar

On Friday evening, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were privileged to be present at the unveiling of the restored Newcomen beam engine at Elsecar. The engine – a Scheduled Ancient Monument, No. SY1146, since June 1972 – is the only atmospheric engine in the world still in situ; still working in its original building and over the original mine shaft. Built in 1795 as the Dearne and Dove canal drew nearer, and the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam’s Elsecar collieries and industrial enterprises were being expanded, the engine has pumped billions of gallons of mine water during its working life – a run which officially ended in 1923 when electric pumps were installed by the the South Yorkshire Pumping Association – the same body that maintained the pumping stations at Hemingfield and over at Westfield in Rawmarsh.

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[Live Project] It’s not the end, but just the beginning!

The Hemingfield Colliery Project

Hello everyone!

On Friday our team presented our work to our peers at the University of Sheffield.  Our project was one of 14 being worked on by groups of masters students from the Sheffield School of Architecture and we had a great time seeing what all the other teams have been up to.  If you are interested you can find out more here: http://www.liveprojects.org/

I would highly recommend any organisation to get involved in the University’s live projects scheme as it is a great way for us students to learn, and a great way to help push a real world project forward.

Going back to Friday; it was a really good day and the whole team was really pleased with how the presentation went.  I speak for the team in saying thank you to Dave, Olivia, Rhys and Ross for their hard work in producing such an clear, well thought out and exciting presentation!  I am sure they reciprocate…

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Live Project Public Presentation


Today the Sheffield School of Architecture invited members of the public to come and see the final presentations of the 14 student Live Project teams.

Hosted in a lecture theatre  at the University of Sheffield’s Medical School, the room was filled with students, clients and the wider public, all present to see what the teams had produced over the past 6 weeks of the Live Project initiative.

– For the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery it proved to be a day to remember!
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[Live Project] Day 38, The final day in studio!

The Hemingfield Colliery Project

Today was our final day in studio!  It’s been a very very busy day, and of course there are always a few last minute glitches to overcome, but we have overcome them and are well prepared for the big presentation tomorrow!

We may have also consumed our own body weight in crisps and biscuits, but that is not always such a bad thing!  Unfortunately tidying up our studio space will not be quite so much fun.


We are all really looking forward to tomorrow, the final presentation will be a great way to celebrate all the hard work which has been put in by everyone involved.  In tomorrows blog post we will include a bit more detail about what we have been up to, we hope you will all really like our ideas!

Sam Diston


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Read all about it! Share our history and keep up-to-date with our newsletter

Things have been very busy since taking possession of the colliery site. The Friends have been delighted by the response from visitors, volunteers, partners, and the wider community. We’ve also heard from a range of people near and far interested in our work and discoveries so far.

Hemingfield Colliery winding pit headgear

Hemingfield Colliery winding pit headgear

In order to document our progress, share the history of the site, and keep everyone up-to-date with the latest developments, we are aiming to create a regular newsletter to be circulated electronically.

So, now we need your help! We are looking for any interesting stories or photographs of Hemingfield Colliery and its surroundings to be included in the newsletter. We welcome any stories or memories for consideration. The aims are to spread the word about the range of our activities, learn more about the past of the site, and keep everyone posted about the programme of events and future opportunities to get involved.

To contribute to this new newsletter, or simply register your interest in receiving the updates, please contact us using the form below, or directly by email to hemingfield.colliery@gmail.com


[Live Project] Day 37, Photography and filming

The Hemingfield Colliery Project

Today was a really fun day!  All of our final documents are nearing completion, so a few members of the team have spent today helping out with the filming.  We headed into the artificial sky (essentially a room with mirrors on all four walls), this creates really even light over the models to make things clearer.


We have used the model to create a colour coded masterplan, which we will be made into a time-lapse style graphic to help explain the complex phasing required on this site.


Tomorrow we will be pulling everything together, doing lots of proof reading and getting everything printed!

Sam Diston


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[Live Project] Day 36, Tutor meeting & document development

The Hemingfield Colliery Project

Today was a long but productive day.  Everyone is working very hard to get all our work done for the end of the week (with even a few late nights!)


Today we met with our tutor, JP Walker and ran through the draft of our final presentation.  This was the first opportunity for a lot of the team to see the presentation in it’s entirety.  As a team we all really happy with it, but of course there is always room for improvement!


The document team have also been pushing very hard, with section 2 complete, and sections 1 & 3 coming along very well.  The challenge for the team is in collating all of our research and ideas into a concise and coherent format.

The video has also been progressing well, but you will have to wait a little longer before you see that!

It’s really not long now, we just want…

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[Live Project] Day 35, The final push!

The Hemingfield Colliery Project

Today was a very busy day.  The team met together in the morning to run through everyone’s work from the weekend.  It is key over the next few days that we communicate continuously in order to keep our final work clear and consistent.


The presentation team have spent today producing the slides for our public presentation on Friday.  The video team have been working on the phasing diagrams which will be within the short film.  The document team have been integrating all of our work over the last few weeks into the final strategy report document, which we are aiming to finish within the next couple of days.  Below you can see a draft page from the final report.


Anyone is welcome to come and join us at our public presentation, to the clients as well as the Sheffield School of Architecture.

Detail of public presentation:

Friday 7th November at 14:30

Lecture Theatre 2,  Medical School,

Royal Hallamshire…

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[Live Project] Day 32, Illuminating the headgear!

The Hemingfield Colliery Project

Yesterday evening was certainly a bit different!

A large part of this project has been about increasing the awareness of this site within the local community, encouraging people to engage in the rich history as well as future potential of this site.

Last night we took a step in that direction by illuminating the iconic headgear on the site, tying in with Halloween events going on up and down the valley.

We hope you got a chance to see this spectacle in person, but if not then these photos certainly do it justice.


View of the headgear from on site.


View of the headgear from Wath Road/B6097


View of the headgear from the Trans Pennine Trail, it really stood out on the hillside!

We hope that this will not be a one off event, and would love for this to become a usual sight against the nights sky over Hemingfield.  This will only be possible with the sustainable redevelopment of this site…

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