Friends of Hemingfield Colliery secure funding for the reconstruction of roof of historic winding engine house

Two years after acquiring the site, the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery (FOHC) are delighted to announce that they have received the funding needed to reconstruct the roof of the historically important 1846 vertical winding engine house.

Allocation of funds from the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP), The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) and Subterranea Britannica (SUBBRIT) means that the vital work can now be completed.

Funding will ensure that the building is made safe and weatherproof, enabling volunteers to work safely inside it and visitors to access it. It also protects the two winding engines contained in the building from the elements and work on their conservation and restoration can commence. FOHC are now planning for wider public access to this building.

This stone built vertical winding engine house, constructed in around 1846 is understood to be the only example from the UK coal industry still in its original location. Its survival is unusual given the previous approach to demolishing end of life colliery buildings and structures.

Since the site was last regularly occupied (c1985) the roof, as with the other site structures, has deteriorated. Alarming gaps have become evident over the past 18 months which have prompted efforts to fund reconstruction of the roof.

With the funding now in place, it is now hoped work can begin shortly and will take approximately 12 weeks.

The FOHC was established in 2014 with the aiming of protecting the site. Since then through volunteers work days they have cleared many parts of the site, researched the history and prepared for the refurbishment works.

Steve Grudgings, Chair of FOHC said: “As a group of dedicated volunteers we’re delighted that we’re now in a position where we can carry out significant building work that will protect the building and help us move forward with the next phase of the work. The support of the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Association for Industrial Archaeology and Subterranea Britannica are all very welcome and are vital in helping secure the future of the site.”

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet spokesperson for Place, said: “The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership has been working with the Friends of Hemingfield Colliery since before they bought the site in order to protect it. Their hard work and dedication not only clearing the site but developing plans for the site is now paying off. We’re really pleased the DVLP is able to support them and help them with their next phases of the protection of this important site.”

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