Nottinghamshire Mining Museum

Nottinghamshire Mining Museum Pop-up museum and events programme telling the story of Nottinghamshire mining.
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07/12/2023

The Mining Blog

SHINING A LIGHT: MUSEUM IN THE PARK
SACRIFICE – COMMUNITY – LEGACY

SUTTON BATHS

This post celebrates the COMMUNITY SPIRIT of Nottinghamshire’s coalminers when the times were very hard and coalfield communities were struggling to feed and clothe their families – the 1920s.

At a time of such hardship, miners through their Miners Welfare Fund, and a 1p levy on each ton of coal produced by coal miners, in 1923 paid for the creation of Sutton Baths, together with a bandstand, tennis courts, bowling green and playground for the people of Sutton and surrounding areas.

We do not believe, throughout Nottinghamshire’s long history that any other group of workers has contributed so much to the community facilities, welfare and health of their fellow citizens. This generosity was repeated multiple times up and down the county and paid for Technical Colleges, Hospitals, and many other community facilities, across Nottinghamshire.

Please follow this link and contribute to our campaign to create a permanent sculpture and memorial to Nottinghamshire’s coalfield communities – https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/shining-a-light/

We thank Our Nottinghamshire: A Community Website for this article – http://www.ournottinghamshire.org.uk

SUTTON BATHS

By Marg Thorne

The Old Sutton Baths which stands on Brook Street in Sutton in Ashfield was designed by Sutton architect Leopold Dodsley, son of William Marsh Eckersley Dodsley and grandson of Squire John Dodsley of Skegby Hall

The land consisting of 1,422 square yards was originally owned by the Duke of Portland, and let for allotments when it was signed over in May 1923

Funding for the baths came from the Sutton Miner’s Welfare Fund, which was built up by the 1d on a tonne of coal. They gave £16.027 towards the construction of the old baths in 1924. Other monies from this fund were used for the bandstand, hard and grass tennis courts and tennis pavilion, and a Bowling Green and pavilion on Sutton Lawn. It also paid for a large playing ground with swings and tennis courts on Hardwick Lane, and sand-pit on Garden Lane.

The building work at the baths was carried out by R. Moore of Mansfield. It was 75ft by 35ft, and 7ft deep grading down to 2ft 6 at the shallow end. It held 97,000 gallons of water. The steelwork and concrete were carried out by the Empire Stone Co. In 1926 the building was opened by Mrs J. Strachan, of Stanton Hill, wife of the Sutton Colliery Manager who was also chairman of the local welfare committee.

When the baths were handed over to Sutton Urban District Council, in April 1927 there was a provisional agreement which stated that miners resident in Sutton would get preferential treatment. The Baths cost around £20,000 to build, so without the miner’s generous donations, the building would never have been built.

Initially, the baths was open for just the summer months. When the winter came, the pool was covered with maple flooring and the building played host to some of the country’s most famous names. The Foundations, Kendo Nagasaki, Bruce Woodcock……….

The new pool was due to open in 1966. But in Feb 1965, a fire struck the old pool, delaying the re-opening

Cllr Tom Stimpson received a civic trust commendation for Sutton baths due to its design in June 1969

01/12/2023

SHINING A LIGHT: MUSEUM IN THE PARK – THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE COALFIELD – SACRIFICE – COMMUNITY - LEGACY

Firstly, thank you to the many people who responded with such kind comments to our post about the very tragic death of Phillip Grout, taken so early in his life.

We have passed these comments on to Beccy, Phillip’s daughter.

Secondly, we have been moved to tears as we read the details of many other untimely and tragic deaths in our Nottinghamshire coalfields; these details were shared with us in response to our post about Phillip.

The pain of the loss experienced by these mining families feels as powerful today, as it did when they lost their loved ones.

The trauma suffered by so many mining families is largely unrecognised and unacknowledged in our wider community which is why we have launched our campaign to create a sculpture and memorial on the Miners’ Park, at Berry Hill, Mansfield.

Please support our campaign by following this link to our donation page, where you will find full terms and conditions Shining A Light | Nottinghamshire Mining Museum - a history of Nottinghamshire Mining (nottsminingmuseum.org.uk)

Today, we are posting about the untimely death of Joseph (Joe) Phipps in the Bilsthorpe shaft sinking disaster. These are the words of his grandson Andy Phipps:

“My grandfather was killed in the shaft sinking disaster at Bilsthorpe Colliery in 1927, ( a little earlier than I was born).

My Grandad moved from Wells to South Yorks where he met my Gran. When they met Gran was a widow who already had four kids.
My dad was the youngest of her eventual 7 kids. He was 8 when Grandad was killed.

My dad was born in 1918, in that year Grandad's brother was killed in France. My dad bore his name, Henry James.”

The Nottingham Evening Post described the shaft sinking accident thus:

“FLOOD DISASTER AT A NEW PIT NEAR MANSFIELD”
“14 MINERS DROWNED”
“TERRIBLE DISASTER AT NOTTS COLLIERY”
“RESCUERS BATTLE AGAINST RISING WATER”

“Seventeen pit-sinkers working on the staging in the shaft, were precipitated to the bottom, owing to the water-pipe breaking away, and carrying the staging with it, and it is feared that 14 have been drowned.”

This is a photograph of Joseph and Eliza Phipps, Andy Phipps grandfather and grandmother. We thank Andy for his permission to post this photograph in support of our appeal to raise funds for our Shining a Light appeal. Please donate.

Shining A Light | Nottinghamshire Mining Museum - a history of Nottinghamshire Mining (nottsminingmuseum.org.uk)

23/11/2023

SHINING A LIGHT ON SACRIFICE AND REMEMBRANCE.

We are posting to remember the sacrifice of so many of Nottinghamshire's families. Over 3,000 miners died in Nottinghamshire's coal mines. That Is a great deal of pain and suffering suffered by thousands of mining families.

We have been given permission to remember the sacrifice of the family of Phillip Grout, who died at Thoresby Colliery on the 1st February, 1986. Philip was 23 and his baby daughter 'Beccy' was 14 months. Beccy, Phillip's wife, brother and two sisters had to live with and endure the shock and trauma of his death for the rest of their lives.

Rebecca, 'Beccy' has given us permission to post about Phillip's death in support of our campaign to create a sculpture on the Miners' Park, at Berry Hill, Mansfield, to remember the sacrifice of Nottinghamshire's mining communities.

Please donate by following this link https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/shining-a-light/

This is an article from Mansfield's Chad at this time and we reproduce it with thanks and acknowledge the copyright. The correct spelling of Phillip's first name is Phillip and not as spelled in the article.

Please support our Shining a Light: Museum in the Park campaign to create a mining sculpture on the Miners' Park, Berry Hill, Mansfield to help us to remember the sacrifice of so many Nottinghamshire's mining families.

16/11/2023

SHINING A LIGHT: MUSEUM IN THE PARK

AT A TIME WHEN CHILDREN ‘WERE NOT WORTH A LIGHT’

Please donate to our fundraising campaign to raise funds to create a sculpture in the Miners’ Park at Berry Hill, Mansfield, to inspire the next generation to learn more about their coalmining ancestors.
https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/shining-a-light/

This is an extract from the Reports and Evidence from Sub-Commissioners published by Children’s Employment Commission on the Mines, 1842.

Transcript

No. 7— John Saville, 7 years old, collier’s boy at the Soap Pit [Sheffield] Also examined January 19th :–

“I have worked in the pit for two weeks; I stand and open and shut the door; I’m generally in the dark, and sit me down against the door; I like it very well, it doesn’t tire me; I stop 12 hours in the pit; I never see daylight now, except on Sundays; they don’t ill use or beat me; I fell asleep one day, and a corve [coal truck] ran over my leg and made it smart; they’d squeeze me against the door if I fall to sleep again. When I go home I wash myself and get my drinking [local word for tea] and sit me down on the house floor; I’ve tea and bread and butter for my drinking; I’ve sometimes dry bread, sometimes bread and cheese, and sometimes red herring and potatoes to my dinner in the pit [coal mine]; I’ve my breakfast before I go into the pit; I eat four times a day in the pit. I don’t know my letters; I’ve never been to school at all; I go to Park Sunday-school, and they teach me writing, but they don’t teach me my letters. I go to chapel every Sunday; I don’t know who made the world; I never heard about God.”

14/11/2023

CALLING ALL NOTTINGHAMSHIRE'S COALMINERS AND FAMILIES. Please follow this link and donate to our campaign to raise the funds to create a sculpture that provides a lasting legacy to Nottinghamshire's coalminers. https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/shining-a-light/

The sculpture, will remember the sacrifice of the more than 3,000 miners who died in Nottinghamshire's coalmines, and the 4,000 who suffered from life changing injuries or diseases such as Pneumoconiosis. We will remember our coalfield communities and pass on our memories as a legacy to the next generation.

This photograph is from the News Journal and shows the children from Asquith School reading out their memories of a visit by the Nottinghamshire Mining Museum to the school.

Our campaign will take our sculptor, Rachel Carter, into schools. Using creative activities she will inspire the children to research their mining community's history. The children's ideas will then be reflected in our final sculpture, uniting the past with the future!

Thank you to Kevin Jackson for this link.
08/11/2023

Thank you to Kevin Jackson for this link.

31/10/2023

Nottinghamshire Mining Museum

Our Shining A Light: Museum in the Park fundraiser to create a mining sculpture on the Miners' Park, Berry Hill, Mansfield, is now open for donations.

This Park, paid for by the coalminers of Nottinghamshire is a wonderful community resource BUT the full history of the coalminers of Nottinghamshire, including the history of the over 3,000 who lost their lives in Nottinghamshire's coalmines, waits to be told.

We will, if our fundraising is successful create a digitally interactive sculpture, via QR codes and Apps, that inspires, provides a memorial and educates and informs the Park's visitors about the SACRIFICE, COMMUNITY AND LEGACY of Nottinghamshire's coalminers. PLEASE DONATE via our website, where you will find full terms and conditions.
https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/shining-a-light/

22/10/2023
18/10/2023

DID YOU KNOW that in 1926, Nottinghamshire’s miners, through their Welfare Levy fund gave £10,000 to help build Mansfield Technical College, which opened in 1930.

£10,000 in 1926 IS WORTH £504,995.26 today, according to the Bank of England’s inflation checker. YES A DONATION WORTH OVER HALF A MILLION POUNDS AND THIS WAS ONLY ONE OF MANY SUCH DONATIONS.

We’ve launched our Shining a Light: Museum in the Park fundraising campaign to create a sculpture on the Miners’ Park, Berry Hill, Mansfield Notts, as a lasting legacy to the more than 3,000 miners who lost their lives in Nottinghamshire’s coalmines and the more than 4,000 sustaining serious injuries.

BUT we also want our sculpture to celebrate the many acts of generosity and community spirit of Nottinghamshire’s coalminers. These facts are lost to history BUT Our Shining a Light Sculpture will tell many stories like this through digital ‘apps’.

BUT ONLY IF WE ARE SUCCESSFUL IN RAISING THE FUNDS.
We first of all have to raise £30,000 to consult with local communities about what form our sculpture should take.

Support our campaign, please donate by following this link to the donation page on our website. https://www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk/shining-a-light/

This picture is of children at Asquith School Mansfield who joined us to launch our campaign. They are the future. This sculpture is for them and all our grandchildren so that they can feel proud of their grandparents and great grandparents and the vitally important but forgotten role they played in building our communities!

07/10/2023

Shining a Light: Museum in the Park

Sacrifice, Community and Legacy

An ambitious campaign to create a lasting legacy to Nottinghamshire’s mining community, in the form of a mining sculpture and educational attraction on Berry Hill Park, Mansfield, will launch on Tuesday, 17th October. The event in the Civic Corner, at Mansfield District Council, will be attended by Mansfield Mayor, Andy Abrahams and district councillors from across Nottinghamshire.

The first phase of the project will aim to raise £30,000 and will see sculptor, Rachel Carter visit schools and communities across Nottinghamshire, alongside volunteers from the Nottinghamshire Mining Museum, to gather community ideas and design a statue for the park.

Over 3,000 miners died in Nottinghamshire’s mines. The sculpture will Shine a Light on that enormous sacrifice. Miners, through their welfare trust, funded parks, sports centres, hospitals, and technical colleges in many towns and villages in Nottinghamshire. Shining a Light will ensure the community spirit and generosity of the miners is not forgotten. The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of miners will learn about their mining ancestors and feel pride in their achievements.

Campaign spokesperson Ann Donlan, said:
“Pit accidents and industrial diseases have left deep and unacknowledged scars across generations of local mining families and our sculpture will provide a focus for memory linked events and be a source of education, pride and inspiration for the generations to come.

“Everyone recognises we have only a few years to act before Nottinghamshire’s mining history passes out of living memory.”

Nottinghamshire Mining Museum will set out to work with other potential partners, across Nottinghamshire, including local Councils, local Museums, Inspire, schools and colleges, cultural and sporting bodies, trade unions, and Friends of Berry Hill Park to ensure that this is a community focused initiative.

The event on Tuesday, 17th October, commencing at 1.00 pm, will include Mansfield’s Mayor, Andy Abrahams, Eric Eaton and Ann Donlan on behalf of Nottinghamshire Mining Museum, relatives representing bereaved mining families, sculptor Rachel Carter and local school children learning about coal mining.

This event is by invitation only. If you are a member of a family who lost their loved one in Nottinghamshire's mines and wish to attend, please contact Ann at [email protected] by 5.00 pm on the 11th October and she will respond if there are places available.

This is an example of artwork we will produce throughout the campaign.

23/09/2023

We're off! Olympic training on the streets of Mansfield as local boy John Whetton prepares for the 1968 Mexico City games.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-mining-review-22nd-year-no-1-1968-onlineThe Mining BlogSHINING A LIGHT ON THE ...
23/09/2023

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-mining-review-22nd-year-no-1-1968-online

The Mining Blog
SHINING A LIGHT ON THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINERS

PART 5 – ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT

JOHN WHETTON

A miner’s son, from the Ladybrook Estate in Mansfield, and an Olympic finalist who trained at Berry Hill Park; the Miners’ Park, which was purchased by and maintained by the financial contributions of Nottinghamshire’s miners.

John Whetton began running at school and at Manchester University, competing in the mile and 1500m races. He took part in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and was a three-times gold medal winner of the 1500m at the European Indoor Games between 1966 and 1968. He made it to the final at the Mexico Olympics where he finished fifth.

It was the financial contributions of Nottinghamshire’s miners that made the Berry Hill sporting facilities possible, and it was their community spirit and vision that opened up those facilities to the wider Nottinghamshire community.

A 1954 ‘Coal News’ announced the first of five annual donations of £5,000 from the miners union, for the facilities at Berry Hill Park. This was to create an Eisteddfod and a –

“Miners Social Centre to be the best in Britain”

A July 1957 'Coal News' described the outcome of further investment as creating a sports stadium which would be –

“the most ambitious in the country”

In this YouTube/BFI video John can be seen training at Berry Hill Park, and in and around Sherwood Forest and the streets of Mansfield for the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

We're off! Olympic training on the streets of Mansfield as local boy John Whetton prepares for the 1968 Mexico City games.

15/09/2023

The Mining Blog : SHINING A LIGHT ON NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINING HISTORY

THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINERS

ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT – PART 4 –

AND THEN THERE WAS THE MUSIC!

This Is what the Daily Herald, said about Brass Bands, back in 1948.

“The brass band movement, which springs from the very soul of ordinary British folk, is a tremendous, spontaneous movement of musicians who devote their leisure to practice and rehearsal, and the giving of pleasure to others.”

Brass Bands and coalmining have gone hand in hand since the very beginning of the brass band movement. ‘Coal News’ said in April 1948 –

“Four years after the Battle of Trafalgar, a Mr Tuiton and some employees of the Burradon and Coxlodge Coal Company of Newcastle-on-Tyne, got together and formed an amateur brass band. That was in 1809, and so far as can be ascertained that was the beginning of the brass band movement in this country, a movement to which about 6,000 bands now belong and which occupies most of the spare time of 150,000 amateur bandsmen.”

From the very beginning these bands have enriched the cultural life of their local communities; bringing music into the lives of ordinary people; playing at local carnivals and civic events, at concerts in church halls and community centres, playing carols in freezing town squares at Christmas, whilst in the summer, they played in local parks on the “bandstand”.

These bands created a talented pool of local musicians who nurtured the next generation. Through these bands, young people were introduced to brass band instruments and a musical repertoire outside their day-to-day experience.

In Nottinghamshire, in 1981, 33 brass bands and 15 junior brass bands, from every mining community in Nottinghamshire, played at the Berry Hill Gala.

Once again, it was the generosity and community spirit of Nottinghamshire’s miners, that enabled these bands to renew their uniforms, replace their instruments and pay the rent on their rehearsal rooms.

Following the coal industry’s nationalisation in 1947, this funding came from CISWO the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation, which replaced the Miners Welfare Fund created by the Mining Industry Act of 1920.

In 1952 Coal News reported that the CISWO provided the Clipstone Colliery Welfare Band with a new set of instruments.

Blidworth Colliery Welfare Band received the funding for a full complement of uniforms and instruments from CISWO in 1955. They reported in Coal News that year, that they frequently played in the parks in Nottingham, Mansfield, Woodhouse, Alfreton and Ilkeston.

In 1957, Coal News reported that CISWO was giving the Thoresby Colliery Band a new set of instruments at a cost of £2,500.

So much music, so much generosity. This compilation photograph is from the Guardian Journal, dated 25 March 1957 and in it we see the bandsmen and women or all ages from the Langwith Miners Welfare Band (top), Bestwood Black Diamonds Band (left) and Snibston Band (bottom). Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.

For further photographs, visit our website, www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk

07/09/2023

SHINING A LIGHT ON NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINING HISTORY – PART 3

THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINERS

ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT – PART 3
SPORTS, PARKS, SWIMMING BATHS, CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUNDS

Many parks, leisure facilities, children’s playgrounds, sports pitches and swimming pools throughout Nottinghamshire have benefitted from the generosity and community spirit of Nottinghamshire’s miners.

C P Griffin in Appendix I to the introduction of his book, ‘The Nottinghamshire Miners Industrial Union, Rufford Branch, 1926-1936 and District Minutes, 1926-1927’, records that –

“Welfare Facilities at Rainworth. Property provided by the Miners Welfare Scheme. Children’s playground, football pitch, putting course with pavilion, children’s shelter and open air swimming bath. Total site 16 acres in extent and grants of £4,037” had been made between 1929 and 1951.

Following the passing of the 1920 Mining Industry Act, in January 1923, the Notts Miners’ Welfare Committee completed the purchase of the Berry Hill Estate, Mansfield, from Mrs Hollins, widow of Mr W Hollins, at a price of £10,000. The Committee also sanctioned the er****on of ‘slipper baths’ at Arnold.

Berry Hill Park was soon a venue for the wider community.

This photo, copyright Clare Dobbs, shows Mansfield Harriers Cross Country team, including Clare’s grandad, George Wiffen, and great grandad, in the 1920s using Berry Hill Park.

Clare says,

“Berry Hill Athletics Club paid a massive part in my life. I started running at 9 yrs of age and competed for Midlands, Notts and England at cross country and track events. I stopped competing at the age of 21, but still ran socially.

I felt very honoured and proud to follow in my Grandads footsteps but also sad that he was never able to see me compete as he was tragically killed down Clipstone Pit in 1947.

Berry Hill, as a park and sporting facility was a key part in forging life long friendships and giving me opportunities to fulfil my potential as an athlete and this defined me as a person!

The park means so much to local people and I will always be forever grateful for what the miners sacrificed for us to enjoy today.”

Without this generous investment in community facilities, throughout Nottinghamshire, many of our towns and villages would have been economically, physically and culturally poorer.

The grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, have cause to be proud of their coalmining ancestors for their generosity and community spirit.

For further details of Nottinghamshire Miners generosity and community spirit, visit or website www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk

01/09/2023

The Mining Blog

SHINING A LIGHT ON NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINING HISTORY

ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT – CONTINUED

THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S MINERS

We are continuing our series highlighting the acts of community generosity of Nottinghamshire’s miners, made possible through the Miners Welfare Fund, created following the Mining Industry Act of 1920.

Working class towns and villages in the early part of the 20th century, were impoverished, and mining communities especially so – yet coalminers and their representatives had the vision to see what was needed and financially supported many initiatives that benefitted and enriched the wider community.

EDUCATION is an important example of this generosity.

An article in the Nottingham Evening Post, dated 1st May 1926, revealed that the Miners Welfare Fund donated £10,000 to the building of Mansfield Technical College and were receiving further requests for assistance with the provision of equipment.

This photograph dated 1946 shows Form 2B at the Technical College. No further details are available and the photograph (copyright www.mansfieldandarea.org.uk) was provided by James Geoffrey Simpson to the website. Do you recognise anyone? Do you have any further details?

A report in the Derby Telegraph, at the time, advises that students would study subjects including physics, geology and engineering in up-to-date laboratories.

Similar financial donations were made to the Worksop and Heanor Technical Colleges.

Generations of Nottinghamshire’s post 16 students have benefitted from these donations.

The amounts donated were very significant at that time, in the early 20th century, and their value in today’s calculations would be in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

For further photographs and details of Notts Miners acts of generosity go to our website www.nottsminingmuseum.org.uk

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East Unit, Mansfield Railway Station, Station Road
Mansfield
NG181LP

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