Picking up from our previous update at the end of March, you might be forgiven for thinking that the seasons had jumped, with winter returning, as snow fell on site on the morning of 31st March; the pit briefly donning a white cloak, before warmer air, and the green shoots of Spring began to emerge more fully.
Reporting on a busy weekend 12th and 13th March 2022, the Friends were blessed with a lovely bright day, finally feeling warm in the sun; everyone was eager to get to work under the beautiful blue sky.
Welcoming us to site, and a portent of Spring, was a symphony of birdsong, performing loudly all around the site. Looking up, we caught sight of a small group of birds alighting on the main headgear, heralding the changing seasons.
If you had told us Hemingfield had somehow been transported to the Caribbean this weekend, no-one would have questioned it. The sandy beaches might have been in short supply, but there was certainly plenty of sun, and even some tourists!
After a short hiatus, the Friends and volunteers gathered for another socially-distanced outdoor working session on site.
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.
In what we hope will be an ongoing series of guest blogs on the site, we’re delighted to share this Creative Heritage piece, sharing the story of one of many creative ways of engaging with heritage and history, inspired by or aligned with the stories of Hemingfield Colliery.
This one brings together old and new technology as Peter Duthie shares his insights into planning, designing and fabricating 3D models of industrial electric locomotives. Peter writes:
The rainclouds hung heavily overhead during the morning. Ever-optimistic, the Friends arrived on site, opened up the gates, and skipped over the puddles to get on with a list of tasks before the worst of the cold and miserable weather set in.
A nice prospect: the pit opening up, but tinged with frustration at criminal damage
It was an absolutely cracking day at Hemingfield for the Open Day. Compared to the previous fortnight when rain stopped play. The sun was beating down, baking the ground, drawing all the greenery higher. Set against the bright blue sky it was beautiful; still the crew were eager to get back on site and stuck in once more. Friends Chair Steve, and Site Manager Glen opened up, joined by regular volunteers John, Paul, Chris and Keith during the day which was equal parts glorious sunshine and hard yacker.