Pit opens doors to celebrate heritage

Don Hooley keeps everything shipshape during the open weekend at Pleasley Pit on Saturday.
Don Hooley keeps everything shipshape during the open weekend at Pleasley Pit on Saturday.

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.

Members of the Pleasley Colliery Welfare Band kept visitors to the Pit open weekend entertained.

Members of the Pleasley Colliery Welfare Band kept visitors to the Pit open weekend entertained.

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.

Dennis Hall, left, tells tales of his experience as a miner to visitors, Bryan Turnbull and Gordon Parkman, with Walter Edson, right, a founder of Friends of Pleasley Pit listening on.

Dennis Hall, left, tells tales of his experience as a miner to visitors, Bryan Turnbull and Gordon Parkman, with Walter Edson, right, a founder of Friends of Pleasley Pit listening on.

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.

Owen and Daniel Birks are welcomed to the Pleasley Pit open day by a mining mouse which formed part of an audio visual display by Alan Andrews and his Art of Mining 3D exhibition.

Owen and Daniel Birks are welcomed to the Pleasley Pit open day by a mining mouse which formed part of an audio visual display by Alan Andrews and his Art of Mining 3D exhibition.

“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.

Three year old Alice Kirkham from Pleasley, is captivated by the Mining Mouse welcoming visitors to the open weekend at Pleasley Pit.

Three year old Alice Kirkham from Pleasley, is captivated by the Mining Mouse welcoming visitors to the open weekend at Pleasley Pit.

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

Emma Curley, Bill Parsons and Bryan Wass check out some of the old photographs which form part of the vast amount of artefacts on show at  Pleasley Pit during their open weekend.

Emma Curley, Bill Parsons and Bryan Wass check out some of the old photographs which form part of the vast amount of artefacts on show at Pleasley Pit during their open weekend.

Kevin Barksby and Katie Kelly try a brew of Pleasley Pit's own Dunsil Ale during their visit to their open weekend on Saturday.

Kevin Barksby and Katie Kelly try a brew of Pleasley Pit's own Dunsil Ale during their visit to their open weekend on Saturday.