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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org