12th July 2023
Last Sunday, 9 July, Pleasley Pit welcomed over 1,700 visitors to join in the celebrations at a 150th Anniversary Gala and witness the much-anticipated Lancaster Bomber fly past.
The gala organised by the visitor centre manager and volunteers from the Pleasley Pit Trust, was a triumph. With a nostalgic buzz in the air, the local community enjoyed an array of family fun activities and marvellous music. With the heritage museum open and engines running throughout the day, the Pleasley Pit Trust volunteers’ guides were on hand to assist visitors exploring the iconic colliery, as well as tell the social history mining tales from the site.
Face painting, crafts, Punch and Judy and birds of prey were just a few of the activities on offer for families to enjoy, with Pleasley Colliery Brass Band, folk singers and the Steel Harmonicas filling the air with fabulous music as visitors explored the site and stalls. Within Pleasley’s visitors centre event room a model railway exhibition showcased a miniature Mansfield to Worksop railway line and Mansfield to Pinxton – the oldest running commercial railway in England. With food and drink on tap, the highlight of the day for many was a Lancaster Bomber Battle of Britain Memorial Fly past which went down a treat with the crowds.
Opening in the 1870s, Pleasley Pit is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and has been restored and maintained by the Pleasley Pit Trust volunteers, managing partners William Saunders and the Land Trust a green space management charity. Situated on the Nottingham/ Derbyshire border, visitors come to explore the visitor centre and heritage museum to see the iconic headstocks, engine-houses and steam winders, which are an important part of the UK’s mining heritage.
Pleasley Pit visitor centre manager Deborah Bramwell said:
“What a wonderful day to remember, bringing the community together to celebrate Pleasley and hearing so many stories from former miners and their family members, meeting old friends and remembering those no longer with us. Seeing visitors engaging with all the activities on offer and enjoying the music played throughout the day was wonderful to see.
“Our volunteers across all sections of our Trust were in their best form – days like these are what we live for. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for our amazing volunteers, we are really blessed.”
You can find out more about Pleasley Pit here – Visitor Attraction (pleasleypittrust.org.uk)
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