Monday 31 August 2015

Chevrolet Bel Air.

I spotted this lovely car at the Lincoln Steam and Vintage Show.


Sunday 30 August 2015

The National Coal Mining Museum. The Pithead Baths.

This is the last set in the Mining Museum series.  When the miners had finished their shift below ground they'd be really black and grimy from the their work.  Many years ago they would go home to bath in a tin bath filled with water heated by the fire and, if they were lucky, would get their backs scrubbed clean by their wife.

The introduction of the pithead baths, actually communal showers, would have been a rare luxury with unlimited hot water and the chance to get clean before leaving the colliery site and returning home in clean clothes.

I decided to show these images in B&W as I feel that reflects the dour way of life the miners had and it depicts the basic facilities better than colour might do.  It was quite gloomy in the baths, now deserted and silent, and I had to use 1600 ASA for most images to get a decent exposure.

Each miner had 2 lockers placed back to back, more of which later.  At the end of this row can
be seen the Baths Superintendents' office. The sign on his door is quite clear! 

No exceptions I presume?

The showers, quite basic.  At shift end they would be filled with miners laughing, joking and
pleased to be getting ready to go home.

Each shower had it's own control.

As can be read on the left hand notice, the miners had a change of clothes. A dirty set & a clean
set, so they didn't go home wearing dirty clothes. 

Although all the shower heads are gone the taps still remain.  Here you can see the miners could
choose from Hot, to Tepid and down to cold (out of site on the further side).
I wonder how many times they would spin the tap over to cold on a mates shower before running
off to the lockers?
 I enjoyed the trip around the Mining Museum, it was well preserved  and kept more or less as it would have been when fully operational.  Although there were people on site, ex miners, to answer questions and a wealth of informative notices I didn't get a feel for the real everyday life of the pit and it's workings.......  

Except for the Pithead Baths.

In the baths, although they were empty and the last miner had long since gone home at the end of his shift, I had a strong feeling of an atmosphere, with the miners, laughing, shouting, singing and swearing too!  It was very quiet, in fact silent, but it was the one place I could still imagine the comradeship and camaraderie that was the miners way of life.
All images taken on a Panasonic G6 Camera + 14-140mm Zoom.  

Saturday 29 August 2015

The National Coal Mining Museum. The colliery stables.

The Mining Museum still retains the original ponies stables and they house a few ponies
and a large shire horse for the public to see.

This is a large shire horse, a popular one for the visitors.

Thursday 27 August 2015

The National Coal Mining Museum. "A general look around". (Part two)

A more modern conveyor belt.

The Winding house houses a winch which is/was used to haul the cages up & down the pithead
shaft to lower miners to the working coalface.

The winch, once steam driven but now powered by electricity.  Steel cables around the drum went up to the top of the winding gear above the main shaft.

This shows the cables to and from the winch in The Winding House and up to the top of the pithead

There is a really interesting exhibition showing the history of coal mining and this lady is only
too pleased to show anyone around and talk about it all.  She takes groups of school children
around the exhibits and kindly posed for me between the talks.

For the photographers, this and the previous image taken at 1600 ASA (ISO if you want to be modern). 

The early miners safety lamps were superceded by these modern, rechargeable lamps which were
kept at the pithead, on charge and ready for use.

The pithead had a fully equipped engineering workshop.  Not all the men that "went down" were
coal miners, a lot of them were craftsmen.  Engineers, electricians, mining engineers and all maintenance work involving  any aspect of the mine and it's equipment would have been carried out, on site, by the  colliery's own staff. 

Wednesday 26 August 2015

The National Coal Mining Museum. "A general look around". (Part one)

My recent trip to West Yorkshire was to take my dog Suzi to a consultant vet.  I had to leave her for the day so spent the time looking around Dewsbury and also the National mining Museum at Caphouse Colliery in The town of Overton.  

As you enter the Visitor Centre there is an exhibition of mining memorabilia and information. 

A recreation of a miners cottage. See the cricket bat, most mining villages had their own
cricket teams and played in local leagues against neighbouring pits.
The door hallway open is to the outside "privy", the only toilet.

A collection of various designs of miners lamps.

A coal merchants lorry.

This is a recreation of the pit ponies stable. This horse is stuffed!
Horses, or pit ponies were used below ground to pull coal tubs along railway tracks to take
the coal from the working pit face to the bottom of the mine shaft where it would be hauled
up to the surface.

"The Pit Head" where the men would be lowered down and the coal hauled up.

This is the winding gear that stood over the main pit shaft.

Old preserved coal tubs that were used below ground with the ponies to get the coal out.

The coal would be graded and then transported off site in these standard gauge railway coal
wagons.  Most coal went to power stations.

A saddle tank standard gauge locomotive used on the colliery site to haul coal wagons to
the national rail link for delivery. 

This one still bears the chalked name "Caphouse Colliery).

Sunday 23 August 2015

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. (2 of 2)

Dewsbury Minster.

Damaged pedestrian barrier.

I assume this means "Water Valve No.8"?

Everyone seems to walk while talking on their mobile 'phone.
These are a very unrelated mixed bag of images taken
while waiting for my dog to be attended to at Calder Valley
Vets' animal hospital.
Taken with a Panasonic G5 camera and my new 14-140mm zoom.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. (1 of 2)

I recently had to take my dog to  a veterinary consultant in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.  I had to leave her there until evening time so I whiled away the time taking a few photographs in the area.
I know it's not Lincolnshire but I occasionally do stray over the border!   These were taken in Dewsbury.

I don't think this is the River Calder, more likely to be the Aire & Calder Navigation Canal.

Dewsbury town centre.

The church had quite a few old gravestones laid flat in the churchyard.