Open Day, Saturday 6th October 2018

October mild

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)

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May Days

Wheelie good times

Tour de Yorkshire Barnsley hotspots May 2018

May 2018 was one to remember. Le Tour de Yorkshire passed through South Yorkshire on 4th May. Barnsley was busy and buzzing with one of the stages starting in the town, before heading out throughout the borough. Hoyland, Wentworth and Elsecar were all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the men’s and women’s races during the day – with crowds of all ages, street decorations and special celebrations arranged all around the route.

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Saturday 7th April 2018

Time Travellers

On Saturday 7th April the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery hosted a special open day visit from members of the Sheffield-based Time Travellers group of archaeology enthusiasts. The group had arranged a day trip to the Elsecar Heritage Action Zone area, being hosted by Dr Tegwen Roberts (Elsecar Heritage Action Zone officer), and filled a busy day visiting the Newcomen beam engine, exploring the buildings of the Heritage Centre, stopping by the Elsecar Heritage Railway and reviewing the archaeological research underway in the area and supported by Historic England.

 

ELR Loco William passes the pit

 

In the afternoon, Dr Roberts led the group of around 25 members down from Elsecar to visit Hemingfield Colliery, guiding the visitors along the Dearne and Dove canal towpath, past the Hemingfield Colliery basin and on to Tingle Bridge with its surviving lock-side public house, the Elephant and Castle.

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Elsecar by the Sea weekend, 2nd-3rd September 2017

El-sea-car

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.

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Open Day and Working Party Weekend, 1st April 2017

Despite the forecast, we’re no fools. Sunshine and laughter filled the air as the Friends and crew returned to the colliery on a lively and productive day at the pit.

Site director Glen and Friends Chair Steve opened up the site, welcoming John, Ian, Chris, Phil, Frank, and Keith during the day.

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Open Day and Working Party Weekend, 10th December 2016

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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.

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Open Day and Working Party Weekend, 15th October 2016

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Getting Ready

Grey cloud and autumn mist lingered over the Knoll Beck in the valley to Elsecar as the Friends and volunteers arrived at Hemingfield Colliery for another open day.

Preparation was the name of the game this weekend for the last working party before the Friends hand their 1846 winding engine house over to the care of building contractors who will be re-roofing the whole building, ensuring it will be protected well into the twenty-first century.

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Open Day and Working Party Weekend, 1st October 2016

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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.

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