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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Elsecar Heritage Railway – Live Project 2016

Live Projects 2016

On Friday 4th November the University of Sheffield School of Architecture (SSoA) welcomed students, clients, partners and the public to the Vestry Hall (Israac Centre) on Cemetery Road Sheffield for the public presentations of the 2016 Live Projects www.liveprojects.org.

Live Projects are 6 week projects where Masters Architecture students from the SSoA work with local community, voluntary and arts-based groups on real-world client briefs producing high quality innovative design and build, feasibility, strategy, public engagement and other outputs to support and advance the work of their clients. The project groups work to agreed briefs on a tight schedule. The ideas, designs, documents, models and final presentations are always creative and engaging. The Friends of Hemingfield Colliery themselves benefited from a Live Project in 2014 and so are delighted to see the outcomes of the EHR Live work.

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Open Day and Working Party Weekend, 17th September 2016

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.

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View of the 1846 winding engine house

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Odds & ends on a wet weekend, 20th August 2016

All around Hemingfield, 1911

Play days

Saturday was another wet one; a disappointing summer’s day at Hemingfield, and unfortunately the working party and open day were called off. The Friends and volunteers staying indoors to return again on a drier day.

Undeterred, everyone turns their time to good account: the Directors continue their planning work to ensure the future of the site. Meanwhile our active volunteers dive back into their own pursuits inspired by the site. Whether it be investigating the social and economic history; modelling the geological context of Hemingfield; studying the wildlife on site, or seeking inspiration from the variety of flora and fauna to create new artwork, providing new perspectives on the colliery.

In future posts we will start to share the fruits of all of this time and effort. For now, this post will bring together a few odds and ends from some recent delvings into the past, some mining miscellanea.

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Saturday 9th July 2016

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!

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2nd Anniversary Open Day and celebration

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.

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Exciting new project for the Dearne Valley 

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

http://discoverdearne.org.uk/projects/preserving-past-protecting-future-dearne/