Sustainable developments

Sunlight highlighting the hillside up at Hemingfield village

Bright and early. Dawn chorus. Fortified for the day, the Friends and regular volunteers made an extra-early start on Saturday 23rd January 2022, at 8.30 a.m.

Why so keen?

Can-do attitude

Bags of fun. Collecting cans and recycling them as scrap supports the Friends fundraising activities to fund site insurance for open days and future restoration activities.

Because we needed to take the tens of bags of aluminium cans to be weighed in. With help from our supporters over many months we collected many bags of cans and this Saturday was the weighing in day (as well as the emptying for the next lot day).

Loading up..the second run with cans to be weighed in

With two van runs to Shafton and back before the midday closing, the bag-stacking and van-packing was a well-oiled machine.

On with the show

Once loaded and on their way, the volunteers remaining picked up their tools and continued the steady removal of the unsightly spoil heap at the front of the site, using the excess to help grade and even out the entrance area to improve access and drainage, ensuring future grass on the more even surface would be easier to maintain.

Diggin’ it. Shifting the spoil and grading the ground.

Elsewhere, in light of a dramatically burst wheelbarrow tyre from last week, a new wheel had been obtained, and the removal and replacement occupied some time. Opinion favoured the solid tyre solution, but pneumatic got there in the end.

Some heavy duty wheelbarrow repair underway beneath the main headgear.

Further detailed building measurements and recording also continued in the confines of the winding engine house.

A view of Hemingfield Colliery from the bottom of Pit Row, Jan 2022

With such an early start, an appropriately early finish could be called, but not before discussions of the coming year’s activities were briefly discussed. 2022 will be busy.

With the recent announcement of lifting Covid-19 restrictions, the Friends are cautiously pencilling in a more public programme of Open Days on site for 2022, subject to modification. Please see the updated page.

Local history needs You!

In 2022 heritage volunteers, local historians, and Barnsley Museums are asking for local people to share their memories of Elsecar mining, especially oral histories and memorabilia from anyone who worked at Elsecar Main, or whose families worked there or at any of Elsecar’s pits.

Speaking on Radio Sheffield recently, Dr John Tanner from Barnsley Museums invited people to get in touch with the Elsecar Heritage Centre if you have information, stories or materials to share. Anyone who has worked in or around the coal mining industry before the Elsecar Main pit closed in October 1983.

The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery are joining this call, as part of their own oral history and local community research in their Hemingfield’s Hidden History National Lottery Heritage Fund project, they aim to share stories of mining from Hemingfield and Elsecar, and inviting local people to add and share their knowledge.

The Penty family

First up, we are delighted to share the story of the Penty family of Hemingfield, through the help of relative Mary Reid.

Mary Reid introduces the faces of some Elsecar colliery miners from Hemingfield. Can you fill in the gaps?

Here Mary shares a wonderful photograph of local miners, identifying her own deep Penty family connection to the place and industry, and inviting local people to fill in the gaps. Do you recognise anyone?

Please do get in touch!

For more details, see our first Meet the People page.


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