Saturday was initially ruled out as a washout, with uninviting prospects of rain throughout the night and during the morning. The wet stuff was certainly in evidence when folks first arrived…Continue reading
March-ing on, May-be?
Coronavirus is contracting space and dilating time, it seems. For their part, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery continue their efforts, remotely: researching, planning and staying safe. We hope you and yours are safe and well. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those affected by this epidemic, all those lost to it, and all of those caring and keeping the rest of the country, if not the whole world, running as normal as possible.
But more anon: this blog has a little bit of catching up to do…
Site manager Glen opened the gates to regular volunteers Chris, Paul and John, together with new volunteer Sean on a searingly bright and simmering morning up at Hemingfield.
Wet and windy starts are usually inauspicious signs for an open day, but this Saturday was far from run-of-the-mill (or run-of the-pit for that matter).
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.
Summertime had certainly arrived in Hemingfield, with the village Gala taking place at the Ellis Church of England Primary School, over the canal, across the valley from the colliery at the top of Tingle Bridge Lane. Friends Director and Site Manager Glen opened the pit gates and put out the signing-in sheets ready for what would be a bright and busy, somewhat muggy, but memorable day.
A Summer Celebration
On a gloriously sunny day, the Friends arrived on site early, eager to set-up and get ready for the first anniversary open day event – a chance for the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery to celebrate one year of progress since taking possession of the site on 27th June 2014. What a year it has been!
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.