News from the Members
Archaeology Project at Quarrington Hill
Crowtrees Heritage Group who meet regularly at the Resource Centre in Quarrington Hill are delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Awards For All programme which will enable them to investigate the former Crowtrees Colliery site which is now part of the Crowtrees Local Nature Reserve, popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The site is influenced strongly by past heavy industry such as coal, sand and limestone extraction. Evidence of these past industries is still in place, although the former colliery spoil heaps and sandstone quarries have been gradually colonised by a variety of plants, shrubs and trees. The presence of a large concrete structure, thought to be the housing of the haulage wheel for Crowtrees Colliery is a significant feature in the landscape.
In April 2008 members of the Crowtrees Heritage Group contacted the Archaeology Section of Durham County Council in order to include archaeology features within the current interpretation of the Crowtrees site. A field visit was organised and a number of features were noted on site which were in a vulnerable state. Appropriate management on this site is therefore necessary to ensure that they survive in good condition. Depending on the results of the assessment phase, further archaeological works may be required to complete the process. Future works may involve building recording, scrub clearance and consolidation of features.
Archaeo-Environment Ltd have been appointed to conduct an assessment and rapid identification survey as part of what is expected to be an exciting start to a local community heritage project. Further details will be available in due course.
Article by: Joy Pounder, Crowtrees Heritage Group
Burn¡¦s Pit Disaster 100 years on.
At West Stanley Colliery, known locally as Burn¡¦s Pit, a disaster took place at 3.45 pm on Tuesday 16 February 1909 in which 168 men and boys lost their lives.
As a member of South Moor Local History Group Ian Finlayson has been gathering information on the subject over past years from different sources and locations in the North East and has been collating this information on paper. The history group was approached by Beamish Museum to see if they had any material on the subject for a commemoration to mark the disaster¡¦s centenary on 16 February 2009.
Beamish Museum is also working with a number of schools
in the area as well as with a group working on a banner
which will go on display at the museum. Ian knows there
is still a lot of information and memorabilia out there
gathering dust which has not been looked at for a lot of
years if not forgotten about and would like the chance
to copy if in one form or another and put this
information on record for future research by others, as
well as putting a number of copies in the local record
offices and libraries of County Durham.
The group is also running a poetry competition in the
local schools and the entry to be judged to be the best
will be on display along with some of the collated
information at a number of locations in the area.
For further information or to offer material please
contact Ian on 01207 284344
Article by: Ian Finlayson, South Moor Local History