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.
A Warm welcome
The Friends gathered for a surprisingly bright and pleasant day at Hemingfield Colliery, with autumn leaves gathering at the gate. Site Manager Glen was joined by regular volunteers Nigel, Alan, John, Keith and Chris as the first open day and working party in October got underway.
For the last open day weekend in September, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery gathered in numbers. Site Manager Glen was joined by Friends Chair Steve, and regular volunteers Nigel, Alan, John, together with John, Phil, Chris, Mike and another Phil – a very full crew.
Full house. Catching up with Friends and volunteers
A Fantastic Company
Following on from a busy couple of public openings and community event activities in September with the Heritage Open Days and Elsecar by the Sea, this weekend was very much time to get back to work, with the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and volunteers being joined by the fantastic junior soldiers from Waterloo Company, joining us from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.
The assistance and support from the AFC soldiers is thanks to our friends at the Elsecar Heritage Railway who work with the AFC offering regular volunteer hours with trackwork, rail depot and lineside tasks providing some great team working and learning opportunities alongside some honest graft.
In HODs we trust
This year’s Heritage Open Days events included two full oublic open days for the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery.
Hemingfield Colliery Heritage Open Days
Come along and visit our wonderful Victorian coal mine site. See its 1840s winding engine house, two headgears and shafts disappearing into the depths from which the Barnsley seam coal was wrought.
Our team of volunteers will be on site to explain more about Hemingfield Colliery, and provide tours to visitors.
Join us on Saturday 9th or Sunday 10th September, between 10am and 4pm
Wath Road/ opposite Pit Row
Another year flies around and suddenly it’s the first weekend in September once again. Time for the Elsecar by the Sea festival.
A community gala, a great beer festival and a weekend of public activities, including railway trips, live music, entertainers and fairground rides all celebrating the promenading wonders of Elsecar by the Sea.
The origins of the celebration date to the turn of the Twentieth century when the summer charms of Elsecar’s reservoir were promoted to Sheffield city dwellers as a ‘seaside’ escape from the industrial grime and smog.