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.
Hot, bright sunshine shone down across the valley from Elsecar on Saturday as the Friends and regular volunteers arrived at the pit for the final Open Day in April. 2018 has truly flown by!
With Site Manager Glen out on assignment, regular volunteer Keith opened up the gates. He was joined by a good band of volunteers, Paul, John, Mike and Barrie. A fair array of brimmed headwear was on show, most sporting baseball caps, before the arrival of Chris, who was seeking deep cover under a cricket hat.
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.
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.
Ominous clouds hung over the valley as the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery arrived to open up the gates at the start of another Open Day.
Undaunted by the heavy rain of the day before, Site Manager Glen was joined by regular volunteers Alan, Nigel and John, followed by Chris as work got underway on the working party activities.
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were happy to see that the external scaffolding had gone from around the Victorian winding engine house. This could only mean one thing: the main phase of the roof restoration was over – the reroofing, new rafters, wall plates, fascias, battens, insulation and slating was in place, with flashings, and guttering looking clean and new as Friends Chair Steve and Site Manager Glen opened up the gates.
Fuelling the Friends – A rich seam of enthusiasm
As the Friends and volunteers returned to site at the end of January, they discussed their plans, passions and other pass times. With Friends Director and Site Manager Glen on hand, Friends Chair Steve, Director Ian and Friends’ Director of Volunteering Christine, this weekend was a great time to celebrate the many volunteer voices at Hemingfield; sharing personal passions, insights and enthusiasms. Volunteers John, Iain, Glenda, Keith, Chris and Phil were on hand during the day to lend a hand, and share the research and discoveries they had made.
Events, dear boy, events…
2017 has arrived. We made it. Happy New Year to all of the Friends, volunteers, supporters and local partners who helped to make a real difference to saving and protecting our heritage last year: May 2017 be full of fun, new friendships and further progress. There’s much to do!
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery began the year by setting out the programme of events for the whole year ahead, so there’s plenty of opportunities for people to visit and see what’s happening. We’re always pleased to see and hear from above interesting in the site, the local area, its people, environment and history.
Whether through a family connection, mining memories, or curiosity, there’s much to discover at Hemingfield and throughout the surrounding area, from Elsecar up to Wentworth; from Barnsley to Rotherham we are fortunate to live in a semi-rural district with strong industrial and transport links to the big regional cities. It provides a beautiful balance, and the Friends would be delighted to hear from anyone, as well as sharing our knowledge of the site, it helps us to understand the development and impact of the colliery over time.
So, as 2016 retreats into memory, cards and decorations come down, and cruelly-uprooted evergreen guests are ousted for another year, it’s time for the new year to get underway: life in Hemingfield very much goes on.