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.
Saturday 21st September 2019
A thick mist hung over Elsecar on Saturday morning the first day of a full weekend of Heritage Open Days for Hemingfield Colliery.
(somewhat obstructed) View from Elsecar over to Wentworth
But the sun soon shone through and burned away the lingering mist, as the Friends arrived to open the gates and raise the banner, quite literally, for more of our Heritage Open Days.
Saturday 14th September 2019
With summer drawing to a close, and the Great Return to school, September heralds the prospect of Autumn, and with it of course, the fabulous arrival of Heritage Open Days!
Another cracking day at Hemingfield. Site Director Glen opened the gates to regular volunteers John, Mike and Chris. The sun was out, the heat was on and all was set for another fun day on site. And off it – but more of that anon…
A hundred years ago today, 31st December 1918, two agreements were signed which effectively saved important parts of our mining heritage in South Yorkshire, and specifically what is now the site of Hemingfield Colliery.
1852 – Disaster strikes at Low Elsecar Colliery
At 1.30 pm on 22nd December 1852 an explosion underground at Hemingfield Colliery (also known as Low Elsecar Colliery) claimed 10 lives and injured a further 12 miners.
Elsecar Remembers (19th Oct -5th Dec 2018)
As we mentioned in a recent blog post, a collection of local community groups, charities and educational bodies have joined together to create Elsecar Remembers, a project to commemorate the memory of 72 local lives lost in the First World War.
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery arrived early on site, swinging the gates wide open and stepping into the pit yard. Expecting rain, but finding mostly dry terrain and pleasant working conditions in the mild autumnal air. Looking over across the valley over to Hemingfield proper, the sky was cloudy but blue, and the farmed fields in the distance contrasted with the dense and beautifully dis-colouring trees nearby. It is a turning point in the year when days shorten, clocks go back and woolly jumpers emerge. American poet Robert Frost put it crisply:
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
(From ‘October’, published in A Boy’s Will, 1913)
Saturday 15th September 2018
The second and final Heritage Open Day of 2018 began with grey and cloudy skies, though without the unbroken rains that preceded the previous weekend. Friends Chair Steve and regular volunteers Keith and Chris were on site to welcome another series of visitors to the site and provide walking tours of the surviving buildings and machinery.
Saturday 8th September
After a Summer of unprecedented sunshine and near-uninterrupted heat, the first Heritage Open Day weekend of 2018 was almost guaranteed to be – let’s say English in its variability. Nevertheless it was not cold, and the rain, while wet, was not too persistent, so the Friends were pleased to be opening up the colliery, and taking a break from the working parties, to spend some time sharing their passion for the site, and guiding visitors around the remarkable surviving features.