The highest heights, 12th June 2021

Keeping up the pace the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and regular volunteers returned on Saturday 12th June. Just a week since the last session. Clearly they had the bit between their teeth; the wall-pointing bug was evident: a crazed addiction if ever there was one.

Not quite the Eagle’s Nest, more like a Barn Owl box

This week was crowned by gravity-defying high scaffold work, and equally heightened temperatures. Hemingfield may not have enjoyed the global media attention of the G7 summit happening in Corbis Bay, Cornwall, but lacked none of the fabulous weather. Who needs the pabulum and bluster of world leaders when you have the wit and wisdom determined volunteers? Such geopolitical debates aside, what *is* the right way of spreading cream and jam on a scone?

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May Days

Glowering and wet: Hemingfield Colliery 8th May 2021

Wet weekends are nothing new, but they do tend to rankle when they delay planned activities, and especially so when the sun somehow managed to shine late into the dying light of the working week. The Friends can wait another week to get back on site for some more socially-distanced outdoor maintenance work.

Meanwhile, back home sheltering from the downpour, the Friends and volunteers made good use of some extra hours of research and writing, and some went for a wander around Hemingfield and Elsecar…

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Step-Up and Stick to the Plan. Returning to a new normal?

This is a recuperative post, covering a range of time from March into April 2021, as the UK’s lockdown began to ease, following a 4 step plan: a roadmap enabled by the extensive targeted vaccination programme proceeding since the new year. As the nation recovers normal activities, so hopefully will we!

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Leaping to Jump’s defence

Are you going to Jump?

Jump road sign

Jump, near Barnsley, in South Yorkshire is certainly an eye-catching name on a sign, and somewhat arresting when said out loud.

But locals have heard it all before…

“…you have a slight touch of onomaphobia as regards the name of our village. The name, tout court, certainly does impinge rather directly on the attention, showing that it has the “punch” or “pep” so beloved of our transatlantic cousins. By the way, the name of Jump would make the fortune of a striving burgh out West.”

Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express, 4th April 1925, p.4

Wild West or not, in times gone by it has often been the subject of comment and even scandal:

“Jump was noted as the sport of the Press, and any sensational story was tacked onto it. Society at large thought of it with derision, and speculators gave it a wide berth.”

Barnsley Chronicle, 2nd March 1901, p.7

But where does the name come from?

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Autumn falls; rising hope

view of a flowering yellow weed growing out of a sandstone wall with an engine house building above it. Hope in dark times.
View of the winding engine house from the the pumping shaft level

On Saturday 17th October 2020, The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery squeezed another socially-distanced and Covid-safe session for a small number of volunteers. Working outdoors in the fresh air it was a busy day, even if it might have been the last in 2020.

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Celebrating our Heritage on Yorkshire Day

Bright morning and blue sky under the main headgear at Hemingfield, Saturday 1st August.

Nothing but blue skies may be an optimistic note to strike in the midst of a global pandemic, but despite the darker clouds, the ups and downs, through the closings, reopenings and re-closings of recent days, the ability to safely distance and volunteer with others, carefully, outdoors, for a common cause – to protect and restore our common heritage – is something to celebrate. Saturday 1st August also had the distinction of being Yorkshire Day – so it was good to see the blue flags flying the white rose against a mostly blue sky. 

Indeed, despite the widespread uncertainty and social and economic distress since the crisis began in March, it is heartening to see concrete steps being taken to support culture, the arts and heritage; most recently the announcement of the £88M Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England, following criteria from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This fund is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package from government to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK.

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