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Report - Rossington Colliery, Nr Doncsater

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by snappel, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. snappel

    snappel BMW 4 LIFE
    28DL Full Member

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    With news that demolition was almost complete at Rossington, I wasn't too sure what to expect as I swung off the M18 and wound my way towards the colliery. Apparently the chimney had gone just over a week ago, but would the headstocks still be there? It wasn't until I drove down the road towards the pit that I saw them, standing proud above the trees.

    Thanks to help from Turk it wasn't hard to get close to them, but I was cautious, hiding behind a big spoil heap. I'd seen a guy on site from the gate and knew this would be a real one-off. If the headstocks were being demolished imminently, I knew I couldn't face the disappointment of going away having not climbed them so I planned a detour that would take me right round to the other side of the site.

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    An hour later I was hiding in a drainage ditch, right near the smaller of the two headstocks. Having watched for some time to see if anyone was walking about near them, I chose my moment and hurried across, going straight for the steps. Working my way up, I knew now that no matter what happened on the ground, I was reaching the 'summit'.

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    And sure enough, I made the top! I was stoked! Looking around I could see no evidence of life anywhere on the site. After taking a load of photos, I got back down as quickly as possible, knowing now that I had to 'complete the set'.

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    Down on the ground, little remained of the huge colliery site. Various bits and pieces littered the ground, but all the buildings bar one had been demolished. Inside the remaining shed I found one of the shafts, uncapped! Once I'd seen it (and photographed it, of course!) I decided to get well away from it.

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    Realising that the way up the second headstock wasn't inside the building, I went back outside and started my attempt.

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    This one was little trickier, especially halfway up where a section of ladder had been removed. Still, with the wind picking up and rain drops starting to fall I made it to the top. The view was amazing, and gave a really good idea of the scale of the site.

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    Returning to terra firma once more, I found the remains of a small tea room. It's the 'human elements' of sites like this that always catch the eye. The tea mugs still on the side, the flask... it reminds you that people worked here for many years, and on the last day would've just walked home, more worried about where the next month's food was coming from than collecting up personal posessions.

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    Ready to leave, I turned to take one last photograph of the mighty headstocks. Standing there defiant against the overcast sky they were a sad reminder of times when Britain stood head and shoulders above the rest of the world in terms of industrial achievement. Times when Britain was powered by coal, and when the trusty headstocks tirelessly facilitated the transit of coal from the face of the seam to the railway network, and so to the factories, power stations and homes across the nation.

    RIP Rossington Colliery.

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    Postscript: Dweeb visited the colliery later in the day after I'd gone, and bumped into one of the guys on the site. Apparently the headstocks aren't to be demolished, and hopefully will be kept as monuments in the centre of the new business park.
     

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