Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield.

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.

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Porth Wen Brick Works, Anglesey, North Wales.

August 2020.

I have been visiting Anglesey for about 25 years. I first visited Porth Wen with my parents when I was about 12 years old. I have not been for about five years or so and sadly, on this visit, I noticed graffiti, litter and general decaying of the site.

The site is extremely popular these days. It is along a popular coastal walk and so it gets a lot of foot traffic from hikers as well as explorers and photographers. At one time, you could visit and would not see a soul. It also looks like someone is living in one of the kilns.

The path down is slowly getting eroded away. When it rains, the path forms a river with the water wearing it down. In a few years, It will be inaccessible by foot.

Brickmaking started on the site before the 20th century. An old OS map dated 1889, shows a tramway and incline. However, the site of the works states ‘disused’. Production began again sometime in the early 20th century, when the present buildings were completed. The works were disused by 1949. Below are a few pictures that I took, along with a video that I made on my recent visit.

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Sadly, there is now quite a bit of graffiti on the site.
Beautiful
Winding house

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Cemaes Bay Brickworks and Tramway.

I have been visiting Anglesey for about 25 years and I have visited most of the popular tourist places. My most recent trip was on a bank holiday weekend and I knew that the island would be busy. To try and avoid the crowds, I looked for places that were a little off the beaten path and I came across the old tramway and brickworks at Camaes.

I could only find one website with substantial information on the history of the works. They were known as the Afon Wygyr, named after the nearby river, and were opened in 1907. The operational lifespan of the works was only 7 years, with production ceasing in 1914.

The works are accessed via a lovely little walk through some public gardens near the river. The path takes you under the A5025 and directly past the works.

For a look around the works, please watch my video below.

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Elsecar Heritage Centre

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.

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Read More

www.elsecar-heritage.com

www.wentworthwoodhouse.co.uk