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…
The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery got 2019 off to a great start, continuing with a busy programme of volunteer activities on site.
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.
The May Day bank holiday weekend saw a busy day down at Hemingfield Colliery, as the Friends and a good crew of volunteers arrived on site, thankfully blessed with a bright and pleasant day.
On the Fence? To the pallisades!
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 (FOHC) are delighted to announce that we have received commitments of the funds needed to reconstruct the roof of the historically important 1846 Vertical Winding Engine House.
Happy Birthday to us!
Saturday 25th June marked the 2nd Birthday of the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery – that is two full, colourful, fun, eventful and challenging years since the Friends first took over the pit, and started the long and steady process of salvaging, clearing, conserving and researching the history of Hemingfield Colliery, from its earliest days in the 1840s, through the end of coal winding in May 1920, and into its life as a pumping station. Surviving Nationalisation in 1947 and Privatisation in 1994, its two shafts, winding engine house and Cornish engine house overlooking a purpose-built canal basin are a unique survival. And in celebrating all that’s been achieved so far, the Friends, volunteers and supporters are looking forward to the year ahead to make further progress and continue the mission of saving the site, and sharing its stories with the local community.
The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership are preparing to launch a new community engagement project, “Archaeology and Geology of the Dearne” which will offer opportunities to learn more about the setting, development and history of key heritage sites through the Dearne Valley.
Read more about the project on their website
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.