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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On yer bike – back to the Bicycle Pit (safely)

Returning to a new normal: a view of the colliery on Saturday 4th July 2020

Back. Working behind closed gates, and observing social distancing and regular hand sanitising, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery made a careful return to site.

View of the closed pit gates from inside the pit. Keeping volunteers safe as they tentatively start to return to site.
Volunteers working behind closed gates. Trying out the new requirements and taking steps towards more activity back on site.
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From Pit to Pump: 100 years ago today, 15th May 1920

View of Hemingfield Colliery in May 2020: the 2 concrete headgears over the old winding pit and the pumping pit and the 2 engine houses can be seen
View of Hemingfield Colliery, May 2020

100 years ago…

A hundred years ago today, on the 15th May 1920, the last corf load of coal was raised from Earl Fitzwilliam’s Hemingfield Colliery. It marked the end of an era for the pit, as silence fell, albeit temporarily, at the main winding shaft.

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Bright, shiny and new, Saturday 18th January 2020

Wath Road entrance to Hemingfield Colliery

2020! The first Open Day in the new year and what a beautoful day. Bright blue skies above, clear views all around, and a quickening coldness which suggested frost, but was soon chased away by getting to work as the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery and the regular volunteers returned to the pit for another year of activity, in a new decade of life for the colliery.

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Heritage Open Days 2019, Part the Second

Saturday 21st September 2019

A thick mist hung over Elsecar on Saturday morning the first day of a full weekend of Heritage Open Days for Hemingfield Colliery.

(somewhat obstructed) View from Elsecar over to Wentworth

But the sun soon shone through and burned away the lingering mist, as the Friends arrived to open the gates and raise the banner, quite literally, for more of our Heritage Open Days.

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On the right track… Open Day 25th January 2019

The January gloom continued as the Friends and volunteers arrived on site on Saturday 25th January. No snow to contend with, thankfully, but certainly it was a bit nippy when Friends Director and Site Manager Glen opened up the gates to regular volunteers Paul, Keith and Chris.

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