Monday, 30 July 2012

Event - Cemetery steps back in time (Sheffield)

Sheffield General Cemetery is offering visitors the chance to turn back the clock with its latest historical tour.

Taking place on Sunday, August 5 the historical tour will be led by an expert volunteer guide and gives the chance to discover the burial ground’s history, right from its Victorian neo-gothic origins. You’ll also get to hear about some of the cemetery’s residents on the guided walk.

The tour is free and free light refreshments will be served. Donations are welcome.

Meet at 2pm at the Gatehouse at the end of Cemetery Avenue.


Friday, 27 July 2012

Event - Time Travel with a cast of thousands at Newark Castle

Thousands of people will have the chance to sample some living history at Newark Castle on july 28 when Romans, Saxons and more will be in action for the third and possibly final Time Travel Trent Vale event.

The family event attracts re-enactors from Roman, Saxon and Viking periods right through to World War II as well as featuring storytellers, a chance to explore normally closed castle rooms, storyteller Thor Ewing, medieval heritage and combat group Team Falchion, medieval music and much more.

Re-enactors include The Lone Legionary, English Civil War Camp and Conroi de Vey, a group of enthusiasts who re-create aspects of life in Nottinghamshire from around 1,000 years ago.

Nottinghamshire County Council Conservation Projects Officer Gill Grayson, organising the Heritage Lottery-funded event on behalf of the Trent Vale Partnership, said: “The re-enactors interact with the crowds and put on displays in the arena as well, so you might hear English Civil War muskets firing at some point!”

The first Time Travel event in 2010 attracted around 3,000 people and about 4,000 attended last year. Gill says this year’s event could be more popular than ever: “We took on board the feedback we had last year that people wanted more children’s activities, so we’ve got a lot more children’s activities this year.”

These include face painting and children’s craft activities. There will be talks, demonstrations and displays by local history groups too. “It’s about getting people to find out about the heritage of the Trent and the villages and towns along it,” said Gill.

Volunteers are also wanted to help with the running or stewarding of the event, including people willing to conduct tours of the castle, and drama students willing “to be left to rot in a damp and dingy dungeon.” Give the team a call on 0115 969 6525 if you are interested in helping.

But what promises to be the best Time Travel event yet at Newark Castle could also be the last: “This is probably the final year unless we can find someone who will take on the organising of it. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to put on but that money has to be found from somewhere,” said Gill.


Event - Celebrity TV archaeologist Julian Richards comes to Creswell Crags

JULIAN Richards, one of Britain’s leading lights in archaeology, is looking forward to his return to Creswell as part of the Limestone Journeys events celebrating the Festival of British Archaeology.

His talk What’s Under Your Feet? will take place on Saturday July 28.

He said: “I lived near the area when I was younger, and I when I came back a few years ago it reminded me what a special place it is. A lot of interesting discoveries have been made at Creswell Crags since then, so it will be good to see what has changed.”

Julian will be talking about his current work with 43 schools around the country on his What’s Under Your School? project.

“Our aim is to encourage children to look at their surroundings, which often have a lot of history but go unnoticed. There are clues everywhere about the past. We have worked with over 1,000 children so far, so hopefully some of them will take an interest in archaeology when they grow up.”

Julian will also bring his expertise to an archaeological dig at the Elm Tree Inn, Elmton, on the same day.

He said: “One of the exciting things about archaeology is you never know what you will find when you dig, so I’m approaching the dig with an open mind.”

Julian’s talk will take place on Saturday, July 28, from 2:30pm – 4pm, at Creswell Crags. The dig will take place on Saturday at the Elm Tree Inn, Elmton, from 12pm – 4pm. There will be a BBQ of the Elm Tree’s award winning food afterwards.

There will also be a history and archaeology exhibition in St. Peter’s Church held by the local history group. The dig and exhibition continue on Sunday 29th July from 12pm - 4pm.

Also during this weekend of events celebrating the Festival of British Archaeology, join Limestone Journeys for two wonderful walks in the local landscape.

Three Vales Walks is a rare opportunity to explore the archaeology of three limestone vales led by Ian Wall, the Director of Creswell Crags. This stunning walk at 11am, on July 27, starts at Creswell Crags and takes in Markland Grips and Burnhill Grips.

Ancient Settings and New Discoveries is also a guided walk around the picturesque village of Elmton starts at 1.30pm from the Elm Tree Inn.

All events are free and food will be on sale at the BBQ, but booking is essential for the walks and Julian Richards’ talk. Please call (01909) 720378.


News - Memorial work wins accolade (

A heritage society has won an award for its work with children and young people at the Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards ceremony in Nottingham.

Bilsthorpe Heritage Society was honoured for its work on its Miners’ Memorial, erected last year to commemorate the miners who died at Bilsthorpe pit between 1927 and 1997.

When planning the project, the society went to schools and asked the children to design how they thought the monument should look.

After receiving 240 suggestions from pupils, the society shortlisted 12 drawings which were narrowed down to three by an independent panel.

Finally a public vote decided the winner, and children attended the memorial opening.

Mr Trevor Goodman, chairman of Bilsthorpe Heritage Society, said: “It’s a big thing for us, and it’s nice to be recognised. We see it as an award for the whole village rather than just the society.

“A lot of the children we asked have had grandparents or other family connected to the pit, and before the memorial was erected there was nothing to remind them of the village’s history.”

The society, which has about 25 members, also won an inspiration award and was highly commended by Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum and Nottingham Trent University.

Dr Kevin Gould, history lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, said: “The awards reflect the excellence in Nottinghamshire’s heritage and the great work that goes into caring for it, and enabling people to enjoy it.”

The monument cost £14,000 and contains the names of 77 miners who died.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Event - Children free on heritage centre trains (Ruddington)

THE Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre in Ruddington is offering free entry to children this weekend.

One child aged five to 15 may travel free for each fare-paying adult who purchases a return ticket on Saturday and Sunday.

Steam trains will run on Saturday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm and diesel trains will run on Sunday at 10.30am, 12.15pm, 2pm and 3.45pm.

All trains will run the full nine-mile length of the line as far as its Loughborough junction.

The Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre is signposted off the A60 Nottingham to Loughborough Road in Ruddington, just south of the traffic lights.

For timetables and special events go to or call 0115 940705.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

News - Restored works’ heritage visit (Sheffield)

A HISTORIC cutlery works in Sheffield which has been the focus of a major restoration project is being visited by the head of English Heritage next week.

The Grade II* listed Joel’s Yard, on Well Meadow Street, is set to be paid a visit by Baroness Andrews next Thursday after English Heritage donated £200,000 towards repairs at the site.

Joel’s Yard, once classed as a ‘building at risk’, has been taken over by a private developer and transformed into flats.

Repairs included reinstating a cobbled courtyard so the workshops are closer to their original state.

Another restoration project is also starting next door at North Yard, also a former cutlery factory which includes a crucible shop, forge and cutler’s smithy.

English Heritage has offered a grant of £300,000 towards the refurbishment which will see the creation of nine new homes.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Event - Guided tour of Worksop Priory Gatehouse

There will be free guided tours of Worksop Priory gatehouse today at 2pm and 4pm as part of the Archaeology Weekend hosted by the Priories Historical Society at the Priory for this years CBA Festival of British Archaeology.

Friday, 20 July 2012

News - Top prize goes to museum of county's mechanical history

A MUSEUM dedicated to showcasing the mechanical history of Nottingham landed the top prize at an awards ceremony.

The county's best historical museums were among the award winners at the Nottinghamshire Heritage Awards, at the Lakeside Arts Centre.

The top prize, for Heritage Site of the Year, went to the Nottingham Industrial Museum at Wollaton Park, with their collection including restored Raleigh bicycles and lace making machinery.

Councillor David Trimble, Nottingham City Council's portfolio holder for leisure, culture and tourism, said: "This is fantastic news and a great accolade for our 75 volunteers who have made it possible for the Industrial Museum site to re-open this year.

"The museum offers an insight into Nottingham's rich industrial heritage and the collections include transport, steam engines, agricultural machinery and technology from the city's past, plus some of the most important lace making machinery which put Nottingham on the textile map.

"We're delighted that over the past year we have been able to work with such a hugely enthusiastic group of volunteers who have committed thousands of hours to develop their skills and make improvements to the museum and revitalise the museum's collections."

Other winners on Wednesday included the Nottinghamshire Archives, which took the prize for Inspiration Award for Best Special Project and Outstanding Achievement Award.

Team manager Mark Dorrington said: "We are obviously very pleased with the awards – we don't just keep records here, we are keen to share the county's history with as many people as possible."

Other winners included the Mansfield Museum, the Bilsthorpe Heritage Society, and The Queen's Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum.

Doctor Kevin Gould, principal lecturer in late medieval and early modern history at Nottingham Trent University, was on the judging panel and paid tribute to the winners.

He said: "Choosing the winners from such a strong field has been an extremely difficult task."


Event - What’s Under Your Feet? (Creswell Crags)

TV Archaeologist Julian Richards asks ‘What’s Under Your Feet?’ at Creswell Crags

Julian Richards, one of Britain’s leading lights in archaeology, is looking forward to his return to Creswell as part of Limestone Journeys celebrating the Festival of British Archaeology. His talk, ‘What’s Under Your Feet?’, will take place on Saturday 28th July.

Julian will be talking about his current work with 43 schools around the country on his ‘What’s Under Your School?’ project.

“Our aim is to encourage children to look at their surroundings, which often have a lot of history but go unnoticed. There are clues everywhere about the past. We have worked with over 1000 children so far, so hopefully some of them will take an interest in archaeology when they grow up.”

Booking is essential for the talk. Please call 01909 720378.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Event - CBA Festival of British Archaeology (Worksop)

Between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd July the Priories Historical Society will be holding an Archaeology Weekend at Worksop Priory as part of the CBA Festival of British Archaeology.

There will be guided tours on Saturday at 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00 and on Sunday at 14.00 and 16.00.  There will also be a book sale, refreshments and a rare chance to go inside the Priory Gatehouse.

The Priory will be open between 10.00 and 17.00 on Friday and Saturday and after Sunday Service between 11.30 and 17.00.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Event - Holidays at home 1940s style at Kelham Island Museum (Sheffield)

The Kelham Island Museum 1940’s Vintage Summer Fayre will explode into action this weekend celebrating the start of the summer holidays.

The Fayre has over 20 vintage, antique and craft stalls, living history activities, a wartime café and much more.

There will also be wartime re-enactments which will feature vintage vehicles and homefront activities, including a bomb disposal.

Niki Connolly, events and marketing manager at Sheffield Industrial Museum’s Trust said: “We are all really looking forward to the Vintage Summer Faye and hope it goes with a bang .... but not that kind of course!

“This year we have even more authentic displays and re-enactments so our visitors can experience life in the 1940s.

“Sheffield played such an integral part in the war movement and the Summer Fayre will showcase just what it was like in the period.

“We hope people will enter into the spirit of the event and dress in their 1940’s finest!”

Visitors can bring their dancing shoes as Major Swing entertains while Kitty’s English and American Music will be on hand with beginners dance lessons.

Dance classes are available to anybody who wants to get started with a social foxtrot, quick step or waltz, swing jive or balboa. Wind-up gramophones will also be playing out tunes with hundreds of 78s to give that authentic wartime feel.

Allied 35 – 49 Forces will be present showcasing Vehicles, Weaponry and Firing, and the UK Homefront will be doing a Bombed Out Washday.

Sheffield Auction Gallery will bring their exhibition trailer on site where visitors can have a chat with local experts and bring items from home for valuing.

Finally, visitors can also see the Grand Slam Bomb and the Mighty River Don Steam Engine in steam at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm and enjoy an afternoon tea in the sunshine at the new Little Mesters Café with a wartime inspired specials menu.

The Fayre runs from 11am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry is £4.50 for adults and children go free.
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Monday, 16 July 2012

News - Roundhouse nears finish after arson (Heeley)

AN ARSON-hit archaeology experiment to create an Iron Age-style structure is nearing completion after a Sheffield community chipped in.

Residents and youngsters helped to paint the walls of Heeley City Farm’s reconstructed Roundhouse - which had its roof burned deliberately in a blaze in 2010 - over the weekend.

It takes the experiment a step closer to being finished, with only the roof now left to work on.

But weeks of downpours have been a setback in the scheme’s progress this year.

Sally Rodgers, community heritage officer at the farm, said it had taken longer than planned to reach this point.

She added: “It was upsetting when the fire happened but then these are the kinds of problems people would have faced in the Iron Age!

“We’ve worked really hard to repair the damage and, considering it is in an open space, there hasn’t been much damage, only the fire.

“Over the weekend the walls were painted using different natural techniques like coloured clays and ground wood.

“It still needs some work on the roof but we are hoping it will be completed this year.”

But the aim of the roundhouse, which started in 2009, is not really about it being used as a complete structure.

The farm and Sheffield University began the scheme to help learn about how things were done by Iron Age man, how people worked and what it was like to live.

On Saturday and Sunday volunteers got messy with paint, even creating Celtic designs with their brushes on the roundhouse walls.

Museum Sheffield plus Sheffield Young Archaeologists offered support and artists also showed their skills in metalworking and basket weaving demonstrations.

Sally added: “We’ve had masses of help from lots of community groups who volunteered their time to help to get the walls repaired and to get the roof structure stable again.”


Book/Events - City Hall gets set to celebrate 80th birthday (Sheffield)

This September, Sheffield City Hall celebrates its 80th Birthday with a special programme of events.

Built by the people of Sheffield with Darley Dale stone, Sheffield City Hall first opened its doors on September 22 1932, by Lord Mayor T H Watkins, and has since become one of the cities most iconic landmarks.

City Hall has an extensive legacy where entertainment, and in particular music, is concerned and it continues to be an exciting entertainment and arts venue. Many world famous artists have appeared at City Hall as well as providing a home for a diverse range of local and community events. To commemorate this momentous occasion, City Hall is set to host a series of events, which celebrate and reflect the hall’s illustrious history.

September starts with dancing in the Ballroom, which has kept countless generations entertained from the 1930s right up to the Tea Dances that still thrive to this day. Keith Roe’s Big Band Ballroom Dance on Saturday September 1 kicks everything off and is followed by a Ritz inspired early evening Tea at the Ritz for all those who want to embrace a little glamour on Saturday September 15.

One of the City Hall’s longest running night clubs in the 90’s, DROP returns for a special one off evening with alternative, indie & rock music taking over the Ballroom on Friday 14th September. Following this, Saturday 15 welcomes the return of Brighton Beach for a weekend that is set to take you back.

Classical Music has been performed at City Hall since the day it opened and the City Hall’s orchestra in residence, the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder perform a special birthday concert on Saturday September 29 where they will recreate original works from the opening concert in 1932. The Hallé will be joined by Lesley Garrett who will sing a selection of songs and arias.

Other special events include the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra who perform exactly 80 years to the day, on Saturday 22nd September. They’ll be staging works by some of the most influential British composers of the 20th Century with proceeds going to the Teenage Cancer Trust and Nordoff Robbins.

Meanwhile on the same weekend, Toby Foster’s Last Laugh Comedy Club celebrates 20 years in the business and will be combining forces with the 80th birthday for a special weekend of comedy on September 21, 22.

It is also fitting that one Sheffield’s best loved musicians, Richard Hawley will play what is sure to be another legendary concert in the City Hall’s music history, on the same weekend of the actual Birthday celebrations.

As well as musicians and comedians taking to the stage, the City Hall welcomes MADE Festival, the country’s biggest and most inspiring festival of entrepreneurship. Having garnered an award winning reputation for hosting some of the most prestigious business events in the country City Hall supports local entrepreneurs and businesses into the venue during the festival.

With more to announce, the City Hall will also be celebrating its extensive history with a Birthday Book commissioned and written by local author Neil Anderson, which will launch in September.

In addition to the birthday events, the foyer will display past memorabilia, customers can explore behind the scenes with back stage tours, take part in the food festival competition for up and coming chefs and much more.


Event - Save our Lakes campaign launch (Cannon Hall Park)

A funding application is being prepared to restore the lakes and undertake wider improvements at Cannon Hall Park and Gardens. Local people have come together to help make this happen. Please join them all for the launch of the Save our Lakes fundraising campaign and find out more about the plans and how you can help them take the bid forward.

Monday 30th July 6.30pm in the Spencer Wing, Cannon Hall Museum

Car parking in the main car park will be free for guests that evening . Limited parking will be available outside the museum for disabled guests, please reserve a space by contacting us on 01226 790270 or email

As you walk up from the car park watch out for the information panels about the project and as part of the event there will be a chance to explore the park and gardens and find out what is planned in each area. For those guests wishing to join them outdoors please wear appropriate footwear.

Light refreshments will be served, kindly provided by the Friends of Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens

Please RSVP to Jane Galvin on 01226 790270 or by Friday 27th July

Website - South Yorkshire Local History

Calling all community and oral historians in South Yorkshire!

A brand-new website is bringing together all community and oral history organisations and activities in South Yorkshire. This is currently being developed by Michelle Winslow (Oral History Society), John Tanner (Barnsley Museum) and Alison Twells (Sheffield Hallam University).

They are aware that lots of people in our region are doing exciting things with local history, hence they are:

• Creating a website to showcase and publicise community history events and projects

• Gathering all groups and activities in South Yorkshire ‘under one roof’ (virtually speaking)

• Providing opportunities to learn from each other about, for example, writing a funding bid, buying oral history equipment, developing books and exhibitions

• Providing an extensive archive of digital resources relating to South Yorkshire’s history

During the last two weeks of July - i.e. now! - they are compiling an initial list of all community history groups in the region. They are seeking your help with this task and would be grateful if you can send the following information by return to Ingrid Hanson at this address:

Name of group:

Key Contact(s) (address, phone and/or email):

Website (if available):

Event - 16th July Sherwood Foresters Yeomanry talk (Oldcotes)

Tonight  Jonathan Hunt will be giving a talk on the Sherwood Foresters Yeomanry at Oldcotes Village Hall, near Worksop.

The talk is based on Jonathans new book entitled Unicorns: The History of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry” which covers their history between 1794 and 1899 when the yeomanry were involved in keeping the peace during the Luddite, Brandreth, Reform Bill and Chartist Riots. Thus the book also looks into the social and political history of Nottinghamshire in the 19th Century as well as its military history.The Yeomanry became a reserve cavalry regiment in 1850 and had an annual camp that took place in Newark, Mansfield, Retford and Worksop.

Jonathan was a member of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry himself and commanded the squadron between 1975 and 1978 before going on to command the Royal Yeomanry until 1982.

The book is illustrated with 8 pages in colour and has 225 pages. The book was funded by the Sherwood Rangers Regimental Charity and is available now priced £35.00 via Pen & Sword at ISBN 9781848845473.

Tickets cost £3 for non-members which includes a free drink of tea/coffee and biscuit. The talk starts at 7.30pm.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Event - Finds Day at Bassetlaw Museum

Saturday 28th July 11am –3pm
Drop-in event for finders of archaeological objects, especially metal detector users.  Please bring in any items you have found, which you believe may be older than 300 years old, for identification and possible recording by the Finds Liaison Officer who will be visiting the Museum for the day.

The FLO will also be bringing along a handling collection of some typical finds so even if you haven't found anything but want to find out more about the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme do come along.

Event - Blyth Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan Public Meeting

There will be a  public meeting with question and answer session  on 26th July 2012 at Barnby Memorial Hall, Blyth, to discuss the Draft Blyth Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan.

For further information please call the Council’s Conservation Team on 01909 533484.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Event - Crumbling heritage (Sheffield)

ONCE they were grand and glorious buildings, stunning symbols of Sheffield’s confidence and civic pride.

But now some of the Steel City’s most instantly recognisable landmarks are looking, well, all but unrecognisable when viewed from inside.

These astonishing pictures are to be exhibited this weekend - and they show how historic sites, including the city centre’s Grade II listed General Post Office, the 19th century Middlewood Hospital chapel and Parson Cross’s art deco Ritz complex, have been left to go to rack and ruin.

“I hope there is an element of shock when people see them,” says co-organiser and one of six photographers Jim Lambert. “If we let these buildings crumble around us we will never get them back. The pictures show something must be done before the damage is irreparable. People have every right to be furious that it’s happening.”

It is not the first exhibition Jim, 57, of Netherthorpe, and pal Hedley Bishop, 43, of Woodseats, have been behind.

The pair featured on this page previously after a website they founded in their spare time - called Pictures Of Sheffield Old And New - became so popular, it attracted more than 3,000 members and led to them displaying some of the contributed images in Castle Market and in The Moor.

But this particular exhibition may prove a little more controversial than those.

Because these images - 40 in all including shots of the 1960s Hallam Tower Hotel in Broomhill and the nineteenth century Abbeydale Road Tram Depot - were all taken without the consent of the building’s owners.

In other words, they were taken while trespassing.

“But we’ve taken advice on this and under no circumstances is what we do a criminal matter,” says Jim, who works in the construction trade. “We don’t break into anywhere ever and we don’t do any damage. We’re respectable people and we feel strongly this is in the public interest - that’s why we’re holding this exhibition. This is our city’s heritage that is being allowed to fall apart.”

For Jim and Hedley, they reckon, it’s one the most important things they have ever done.

“The old pictures of Sheffield were always among the more popular in our previous displays,” says Hedley, a mental health nurse. “And I get why that is. But these are pictures with a social conscience. We want people to sit up and take notice of them.”

The exhibition, called Hidden, takes place at Block Projects Gallery in Eyre Lane this weekend, opening Friday 6 - 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm.

The snapped six

General Post Office, Fitzalan Square, city centre (1910).

Middlewood Hospital chapel, off Middlewood Road, Middlewood (1872).

The Ritz, Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross. (1939).

Hallam Tower Hotel, Fulwood Road, Broomhill (1965).

Abbeydale Road Tram Depot, Abbeydale Road, Nether Edge (1899).

Sheffield Foundry Workers Social Club, Beaumont Road North, Manor Park (1975).


Events - Retford churches reveal secrets

Secret staircases, intricate carvings and tales of treachery are just some of the discoveries that will be unveiled during two weekends this July when more than 180 churches across the county will be opening up to give visitors a special welcome.

Retford’s St Swithun’s is one of the three Anglican churches in the town. The church is situated in the centre of the market town towards North Notts.

St Swithun’s continues to be looked upon as the Civic Church of the town, and as such, hosts all services of national or local importance.

Other churches open around Notts include visitors to St Mary’s Arnold, St Helena’s Austerfield and out in the countryside at St Wilfrid’s Kelham.

Many of the 180 churches will be opening during the weekends of 14th and 15th and 21st and 22nd of July. Open churches project officer Heather Sirrel said: “We are fortunate to have such a rich variety of historical buildings to visit in our towns and villages; places of prayer and worship, centres of community life and service, buildings of historical and architectural significance.”

“I hope we will see lots of people who haven’t explored churches taking a tour this month – there are so many to choose from and all with fascinating things to see and experience, we’re hoping people will be planning many more visits in the coming months and beyond.”

Some of the churches will have special events on linked with the open weekend and many will be offering refreshments too.

To find out about opening times and special events at a church near you, please go to the website

Free guidebook to for the weekend, with details, photos and maps of how to find them, can be obtained by emailing


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

News - Children really dig their new school project (South Yorkshire)

Youngsters discovered buried treasure dating back to Roman times in the grounds of their Sheffield school during an event organised by city-based archaeologists.

The Hunter Archaeological Society is celebrating its centenary by visiting a series of schools around South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, and arranging digs in the grounds.

Pupils at Dobcroft Junior School, Millhouses, were the first to have a go.

They found pottery dating from Roman, Stuart and Victorian eras, plus metalworking slag.

One pupil discovered a clay marble, presumably lost during a game by another child long before the school was built in 1972.

Pupils had the chance to see the finds once they had been washed, before discussing what clues the items gave about the area’s past.

Archaeologist Bill Bevan, who is managing the project, said: “This is a great chance for children to get a hands-on opportunity to be young archaeologists in their own school grounds.

“They dig alongside professional, student and community archaeologists so really find out what it’s all about.

“The test pits will also tell us about the history of the areas where the schools are, so the children are contributing to our knowledge of our past.”

Children are also taking part in digs at Dronfield Juniors, Sacred Heart, Hillsborough, Athersley South, St Andrews, Dronfield Woodhouse, The Hill Primary School, Thurnscoe, and Dalton Listerdale School, Brecks, Rotherham.

After all the test pits are finished, a writer and author will create a comic based on the discoveries. Copies will be sent to the pupils and be available in libraries free of charge.

The Hunter Archaeological Society studies and reports on the archaeology, history and architecture of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire.

It was founded in recognition of the work of Joseph Hunter in researching and recording the history of the region, and runs talks and visits to excavations and sites.


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Event - Never forgotten: Memorial for Cadeby pit disaster’s 91 victims

IT may have happened 100 years ago. But South Yorkshire showed it has not forgotten those who died a century ago, with a service and memorials to those killed in the Cadeby pit disaster of July 9, 1912.

Memorials have been unveiled at Conisbrough Cemetery, where 29 victims of the disaster are buried, and at Denaby.

The unveilings followed on from a service in Denaby remembering those who died, attending by dignitaries from the borough, including Don Valley MP Caroline Flint and descendants of those who lost their lives.

The unveiling happened at 11.30am, the time of the second of two explosions which claimed the lives of the miners.

In the first explosion, 35 men and boys out of 37 miners lost their lives. In the second explosion, 53 rescuers were killed as they attempted to rescue the bodies of their fellow workmen.

After the explosions, three more men were to lose their lives to bring the final total to 91.

For memorial day, a parade travelled from the site of the former colliery to Denaby Cemetery where one of the two memorials was unveiled.

Several descendants of the victims were present and laid wreaths, before the Denaby memorial was unveiled by 94-year-old Irene Newton, the oldest surviving relative of one of the victims. Some had come from Australia, others from Switzerland.

In total more than 1,000 people attended the unveilings and churches at Conisbrough and Denaby rang their bells 91 times in memory of the victims.

Included in the parade were Dodworth Brass Band and Thurnscoe Male Voice Choir. The parade was headed by a banner designed and created by pupils at De Warrene Academy in Conisbrough. Several other schools were also represented in the parade.

The memorials were put in place after the Cadeby Main Colliery Memorial Group was formed last year to raise funds for memorials in Denaby and Conisbrough cemeteries.

Jim Beachill, secretary of the group, said more could have died in the disaster but for a visit by King George V.

He said: “The day before the disaster, the King and Queen of England had visited nearby Conisbrough Castle with many miners attending and celebrating.

“The next day only a quarter of the normal workforce turned up for their shift. If it had not been for the Royal visit many more miners may have lost their lives.” Jim said it was important not to forget the disasters.

He said: “There were two collieries close to one another, Denaby and Cadeby. In all, more than 400 people died at the two between them. I think it’s important we remember were we came from, and Denaby didn’t exist before the mines were created.”


News - Ollerton Hall could be turned into flats

A COUNTRY house which has stood empty for nearly half a century could be converted into flats and bunglaows if an application goes ahead.

Plans are in place to transform Ollerton Hall into nine two-bedroom apartments, with 16 flats created in three existing blocks built as part of a previous planning application to convert the site into a nursing home.

It would also have space for 29 parked cars.

The Grade II-listed hall was built in the 1700s, but last used in the 1960s as a hostel and was put on the at-risk register drawn up by Engligh Heritage in recent years.

Falling into disrepair, it was acquired by the Sue Ryder charity in the late 80s with the intention of creating a residential care home. Work was carried out but the home never opened and the site continued to change hands.

It was taken on by Pullan Homes in 2007 and the work was completed to make the building structurally sound.

Pullan has submitted the application to Newark & Sherwood District Council with a target decision date set at 19th July. However, the plans have been criticised by Ollerton and Boughton Town Council.


Monday, 9 July 2012

News - Castle scoops lottery cash (Conisbrough)

Conisbrough Castle has scooped a £900,000 lottery windfall to put it in the premier league of Yorkshire tourist attractions.

The Heritage Lottery Fund award will become a key part of a £1.1million project, to be run by Doncaster Council in partnership with English Heritage.

A new visitor centre housing educational and exhibition spaces will be created at the site’s historic Custodian Lodge, offering exciting interactive interpretation for visitors, new educational materials such as ‘Discovery Visit’ workshops for local schools, and training on historical investigation techniques for volunteers to get involved.

A programme of outreach work, learning and events will also be created and the site will benefit from improved access, signage and parking.

The 12th century Grade I listed castle – dating back 1,000 years and made famous by featuring in Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe - is one of South Yorkshire’s best surviving examples of medieval military architecture and one of the only surviving examples of its kind in Europe.

Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported this exciting project. Doncaster is the only place in Britain that is home to this type of unusually designed castle Keep, with the only similar kind existing in northern France. In its time, the castle was an advanced piece of design and even hosted royal visits, so I’m pleased the new visitor centre will celebrate its history. This investment will help transform the facilities and ensure visitors and our residents gain maximum enjoyment from its rich heritage.”

Caroline Flint, MP for Don Valley also showed her support for the project: “This is great news for Conisbrough and for heritage tourism in Doncaster. The £900,000 funding has the potential to transform tourism at the Castle and play a role in the regeneration of Conisbrough town, which has not benefitted as much as it should have from this brilliant asset being on its doorstep”.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Event - Stories behind Doncaster dad’s old photo albums is told (Bawtry)

A UNIQUE collection of old photographs of a Doncaster township over the past century has gone on display in the local library.

And next week Adrian Elderkin, the son of the late Jack Elderkin, will be giving a talk about the exhibition of images, which is currently on show in Bawtry Community Library.

Bawtry resident Adrian entitles his talk on Thursday, July 12, The Stories Behind the Pictures and the evening of reminiscences starts in at 8.30pm.

Tickets priced at £2 are now available from the volunteer staff who have taken over the library and the cost of admission includes refreshments.

The exhibition of photographs represents a pictorial history of life in Bawtry over the past 100 years.

Adrian’s dad John William Elderkin - who was always known as Jack - was born in Swan Street on August 13, 1922, and collected all of the photographs.

Jack passed away in January this year and Adrian and the rest of the Elderkin family mounted the exhibition so that they could share Jack’s unique collection with the community of Bawtry.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Event - Mansfield Memories Matinee

Mansfield Memories Matinee

Film performances

Mansfield Library Auditorium
Monday 9TH July
Wednesday 11th July
Friday 13th July
All three matinee performances start at 1pm doors 12.30
Tickets £1.00 (prices of yesteryear) available from the library
Refreshments available before
Running Time: 70 mins no interval

As part of Mansfield’s Arts Week from the 7th – 14th July 2012, Mansfield Library will be hosting a special screening of rarely seen footage cared for at the Media Archive for Central England. The compilation of footage will include King George V’s visit to Mansfield Grammar
School in 1928, the Queen visiting the town in 1949 when she was still Princess Elizabeth, Cantamus Choir in 1984 and a variety of gems from ITV Central News’ predecessor, ATV Today.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

News - Sheffield Wincobank Hill battle victory

CONTROVERSIAL plans for new homes on a historic Sheffield site - which received hundreds of objections - have been refused.

Sheffield Council turned down the proposals for a 24-property development on Wincobank Hill, off Sandstone Road, yesterday despite a recommendation for approval.

The decision was made on the basis of protecting the historic nature of the site, which lies 200 metres south of the Iron Age Wincobank hill fort.

Residents say it is likely to contain prehistoric archaeological treasures which could be destroyed by the building work.

Bridget Ingle, of the Love Wincobank Campaign, said an 1,100-strong online petition signed by people across the world had been handed in at the meeting to boost more than 400 objections.

She said: “We are all very pleased because everything was against us having a victory, however it is one step at a time.

“The councillors rejected it on archaeological grounds but we are not resting on our laurels because the developer will appeal the decision and we’ll have to fight it again.”

The site is used by Wincobank families and concerns about the loss of open space for local people were also behind the decision.

Campaigners think the site is on the line of the Roman Ridge, a 10-mile linear earthwork thought to be have been built as a defensive structure between Sheffield and Kimberworth, Rotherham.

Investates Development proposed the three-bedroom homes, which were also opposed by the Friends of Wincobank Hill, Sandstone Road Residents’ Forum, the Hunter Archaeological Society and the Sheffield Ramblers.

Dr Roger Doonan, head of archaeology at the University of Sheffield, spoke at the planning meeting.

He said: “The chairman said it was the most difficult one he had been to in his planning career.

“I think this was the only right decision to be made really.

“This is a really important area, it was the northernmost extent of the Roman empire at one point.

“No other city in Britain I know has an iron age hill fort standing in the middle of it.”

It is hoped the site could be used as a community resource, like in heritage trails attracting visitors in the future.

Dr Doonan added: “It is a resource we should recognise.”


Friends of Wincobank Hill Press Release

On Monday afternoon the 2nd July the Friends of Wincobank Hill attended the The City Centre, South & East Planning and Highways Committee to campaign against the 24 dwellings proposed by Investates Development Ltd. on Sandstone on land at the end of Sandstone Road, Wincobank. The site of this planning application we believe to be part of the Roman Ridge earthwork which stretches across South Yorkshire from the River Dearne, near Wath upon Dearne to near Millsands in Sheffield. At Sandstone Road this Monument passes within 200 metres of the British Hill Fort on the crown of Wincobank Hill.

Over the two thousand or so years of its life, parts of this Historic Monument have been lost under housing development and other building where it passes through urban areas and due to so-called agricultural improvements in the rural areas. However, enough of it has survived intact in many places to be Scheduled as an Ancient Monument by English Heritage and in others to be clearly identified on the ground by its passage. Sadly, along Sandstone Road, we believe houses were constructed over it in the 1960s, leaving one short section where the Ridge enters the open land around the Hill Fort and joins up with a part where the bank is more obvious and which has legal protection by English Heritage. Attempts by our group to achieve legal protection for the site failed as there is no evidence of the earthwork on the surface due to tipping material after the houses were built forty years ago, and some carried out very recently.

We are convinced this is the site of the Ridge because of the clear historical evidence from reliable historians and old Ordnance Survey maps on which it is clearly marked. In more recent times aerial photographs show the route with the characteristic footpath present over many centuries. Historically the Ridge was a route across the County and much of it today is still accessible on foot, or at least visible where it is not from a highway adjoining it.

The Ridge has been under threat in many places from development, vandalism and ignorance. However, we feel this changing. The Committee’s decision to refuse the planning application and preserve the open space after hearing the evidence from our campaign, the pleas of local residents and over a thousand signatories to petitions, is an indication of this.

The origin of the Ridge is uncertain and its name is no indication. It could date from before or just after the Roman occupation, certainly not during it. However, its future could be clearer if more about it is known and appreciated by people. Support for our campaign came from many people, from immediate residents to supporters in the USA and Australia and from historians and archaeologists. The Ridge is nationally important and like Wincobank Fort, it is almost unique in a large urban area.

Long may it remain so.

Event - Sheffield Song Play (Sheffield)

On Thursday 5th July at 7.30pm, the Montgomery Theatre is hosting a fabulous ONE OFF play about Sheffield's History from 1812-2012. 'Sheffield Song' will feature numerous characters from Sheffield's heritage including Charlie Peace, Montgomery and many more.

The play will be a really entertaining and interesting depiction of the city's history - perfect for kids and adults alike and will be a fantastic experience.

Follow the link for tickets and information on the venue -