High times at Elsecar Low Colliery
December was deceptively mild as the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and regular volunteers arrived for the final open day and working party weekend of 2016.
Site Manager Glen and Friends Chair Steve were joined by John, Nigel, Alan and Chris as the crew continued work on site, clearing rubble, logging felled timber and generally keeping things tidy. Equally everyone was keen to see the latest progress on the removal and restoration of the winding engine house roof.
Fixing the roof while the sun is (still) shining…
After a cloudy and unpromising start to the weekend, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery were treated to a glorious autumnal day, with blue skies and sunshine smiling on the pit yard. Site Manager Glen and Friends Chair Steve opened the gates to catch up on the progress in the restoration of the roof of the winding engine house, and welcome regular volunteers, Nigel, Alan, John, Keith and Chris to another day’s working party activities.
Late September Sunset at Hemingfield (Photo credit: Glen Sheppard)
So long September!
October is here already, believe it or not. Summer nostalgia lingered on, a little, as the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery returned to the site, hoping to crack on with one more working party weekend before the impending gloom of autumn and creeping frosty airs of winter. In the event, the sun shone down on the pit, birdsong filled the air and the conversation flowed, as the Friends and regular volunteers arrived ready for another busy day.
Raising the roof
There was excitement in the air, alongside the welcome warmth of the September sunshine, as the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and their regular volunteers gathered on site to kick start another busy day’s work and open the gates to visitors.
Friends Chair Steve, and Directors Glen, Ian, and Christine were all on site during the day to share the latest news on developments on site and some exciting plans for the coming year.
Earlier in the week the Friends were able to announce the fantastic news that thanks to the tremendous support of the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, The Association for Industrial Archaeology, and Subterranea Britannica, the group had been able to secure funds to completely reconstruct the roof of the 1846 winding engine house.
View of the 1846 winding engine house
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery joined in the fun at the forge playing fields as the Mates of Milton hosted a wonderful afternoon of stalls, activities and attractions at the 6th annual Hoyland Milton Gala.
Water, water everywhere
Summer’s here and the weather is…very British.
When the clouds signally fail to roll by, and the heavens descend, it can certainly put a dampener on plans and postpone progress on site. Being chased indoors by the elements may prevent the pit gates from opening, but it also gives the Friends chance to delve deeper into the history of the site; open days become research and volunteer days. So, on to writing up research, raising awareness of the group’s activities and generally carrying on regardless!
Elsecar Heritage Railway steam loco Birkenhead shuttling up and down the line, with Hemingfield village across the fields in the background.
Bank Holiday Weekend fun
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery returned to the pit on Saturday at the start of a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend. The sun was shining and it was a great day to be outdoors.
Site Director Glen and Friends’ Chair Steve were on site early ready for work, trimming back the lush grass which has shot up over the past couple of weeks. They were joined by Peak volunteers John, Eric and Chris, with regular volunteer Chris arriving later in the morning.
With the festive season fast approaching, it was guaranteed to be a suitably wintry end to November, and so it proved to be as Site Director Glen opened the gates to another open day and volunteer working party at Hemingfield Colliery.
Joined by regular volunteers John, Chris and Phil, the team picked up where the last active working party left off – by continuing the logging of the felled trees, and generally tidying the site.
Thanks to a recent grant from South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, the Friends and volunteers are now well-equipped with the tools to tackle these tasks.
Heavy clouds signaled the start of what would be a very wet weekend in Hemingfield, and an unsettled one for South Yorkshire. Site director Glen and regular volunteers Phil and Chris arrived to continue the site clearance work, but with only the odd break in the cloud for company, they decided to sound the retreat and stay dry. This gave us a chance to go and explore – and what could be better than a historical village ramble in Elsecar!
Headgear in autumn sun
Autumn had arrived at Hemingfield Colliery and the rustling silver birch leaves were glistening golden-ochre as regular Friends and volunteers Alan, John, Phil, Chris, Nigel, Amanda and Site Director Glen met at the start of another working weekend.