I visited Kelham Island Museum back in October. The museum had remained closed during the pandemic. However, they were finally able to re-open with COVID safe implementations in place. The museum are using the track and trace app and have a one way system in place with social distancing. If you head to their website, they recommend booking tickets in advance. Adult entry is £7. Sadly, the River Don Engine was not performing shows, which is understandable.
I love Kelham Island, there is a lot to see and the Island Cafe/Bar does awesome food and coffee. A lot of Sheffield’s industrial history is now inside the museum. It is a wonderful place to remember what made Sheffield the city it is today.
I was visiting the National Space Centre and noticed this free little museum next door. Out of curiosity, I went inside to have a look. To my amazement, the museum was full of interesting stuff both inside and out. If I am honest, I enjoyed it more than the Space Centre.
The Victorian building was constructed in 1891 by Leicester Corporation and was designed by Stockdale Harrison (Leicester architect) in 1890, alongside the River Soar, as a pumping station used to pump the town’s sewage to the sewage farm at Beaumont Leys. The station continued pumping Leicester’s sewage until 1964, when electric pumps took over. Within a few years the Wanlip Sewage Treatment plant took over and the pumping station was no longer needed.
Amongst many other sectors, the heritage sector, especially small independent museums have suffered greatly due to COVID, so it is nice to be able to try and support as many as possible now they are re-opening.
The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum is quite hidden away at the back of the popular Lakeside area of Doncaster. The buildings once formed part of RAF Doncaster, which the museum took over when they were vacated by Yorkshire Water.
There is loads to see and some great displays. They don’t just have aircraft, they also have lots of other history on the military.
It is definitely worth a visit. Parking is free, there is plenty of space for social distancing and they have put one way systems in place.
Below are a few pictures from my visit. Thanks for reading.
Whilst reading Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty by Catherine Bailey it occurred to me that I had not visited Elsecar Heritage Centre since I was a kid. I could only vaguely remember what it was like and so decided to take a trip over one sunny Friday afternoon.
As it was Friday, I assumed that it would be quiet. When I arrived, however, I was greeted by two almost full car parks. I can only imagine how busy it gets on a weekend. When I entered the heritage centre however, it was not overly busy. I assume most of the cars were people walking the Trans Pennine Trail.
Elsecar is a great example of a multi-use heritage site. It has a combination of shops, restaurants, a railway and visitor centre, all contained within the refurbished industrial buildings.
Elseacr was built by the 4th Earl of Fitzwilliam of the nearby Wentworth Estate. I do highly recommencement the book Black Diamonds if you are interested in finding out more about Wentworth, the Fitzwilliams and coal mining in the area.
The colliery at Elsecar was sunk in 1975. Ironstone was also mined nearby. A Beam Engine was built in order to extract water from the mine to allow deeper exploration. The Engine ran from 1795 to 1923, when it was replaced with electric pumps.
The workshops were built in 1850. After the nationalisation of the coal mines, the coal board took over the workshops in 1947. As the need for coal reduced and the pits were closed, there was also no requirement for the workshops and Beam Engine. The Department of Environment listed most of the buildings in 1986, as they were seen to be of special architectural or historic interest. In 1988 the Newcomen Beam Engine House and the workshops were purchased bu Barnsley Council who restored the buildings.