Pit opens doors to celebrate heritage

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Mining enthusiasts and interested parties flocked to a former colliery as its doors were opened to celebrate its history.

The Pleasley Pit Trust opened the doors of Pleasley colliery to the public at the weekend.

Attractions includes stalls, walks, mining history videos, a virtual reality headset demonstration and live music from the Pleasley Colliery Welfare Band.

Bill Parsons, aged 83, from Glapwell, a volunteer at the pit, said: “It was very busy.

“I worked as a miner for 42 years, this place is our heritage.”

The pit, now part of The Land Trust and English Heritage, was sunk in the 1870s and produced coal until 1983, when it closed.

Visitors at the weekend could see the north winding engine made in 1904 and the south winding engine installed in 1922, while the south shaft pit top was open.

Other attractions included birds of prey on display, machine demonstrations and the Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum.

George Cooper, from the Bilsthorpe museum, said: “It is always good coming here.

“We have been coming for the last 10 years.

“It was a sister pit to ours. This is the heritage of our area.

“There are a lot of children who do not know what coal even is.”

John Tatam, 71, from Derby was at the event trying to find pictures of his family, who used to work at the pit.

He said: “I have been told my great grandad was the first winder at the pit. I have a lot of family history there.

“I use to spend time in Pleasley when I was younger.”