Sorry! the talk by Dan Abrahams starts at 7pm and not 7.30pm – don’t be late (if you are it’s my fault!).
Bonsall Village Hall, 7pm Saturday February 16th
Natural England’s Dan Abrahams, Lead Adviser (SSSIs), is coming to the village hall to talk about why Bonsall is so special when it comes to landscape, flora and fauna. Dan will be telling us about the unique flora that has evolved on Bonsall Moor and other sites. “There are a number of SSSIs around Bonsall (Via Gellia Woodlands, Bonsall Leys, Masson Hill, Rose End Meadows). Via Gellia and Bonsall Leys are within the Parish itself,” Dan said.
Sat. 16th February. Bonsall Village Hall 7.30pm
From coral seas, through Ice Ages, tundra and wildwood to the Bonsall Moor of today we travel through a three hundred and fifty million years to trace the origins of the Bonsall landscape and the wildlife that it supports.
A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) means the site is one of the country’s very best wildlife and/or geological sites. SSSIs include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats: in Bonsall this comprises of the species-rich limestone grassland on Bonsall Moor which supports unusual and interesting plants, parts of the Via Gellia woodlands and Masson Hill. Nearby in Cromford is Rose End Meadows and the Cromford Canal.
As part of the Bonsall History Trails Project a busload of Bonsallites got the Slack’s charabang to The Black Country Museum of Living last Saturday. It was a cold but fascinating experience. Some went down the mine, some straight to the charming ‘sawdust on the floor boozer’, and some flitted from coal fire to coal fire. It seemed that every little corner of the many brick built houses had a lovely range or fire to warm yourself by.
And you got the chat – Dudley style. It was great to meet the various characters who inhabit the 26 acre site and listen to their descriptions of how tough life was between the 30’s and 50’s but also see how characterful and interesting the various the shops were. We’ve lost so much over the last 50 years – the shops here justify the phrase ‘shopping experience’. The perfect antidote to the nippy weather was either Mushy Peas and Faggots or Fish and Chips (fried in beef dripping!).
Many of the shops and workshops (including the chippy) could have been on Yeoman Street or High Street anytime between the 40’s and 60’s. For anyone over 50 it was pure nostalgia. Many of the small forges, shoemakers and leather working shops again could have been around in Bonsall within living memory.
We left at 3.15pm but could have seen more. A great day out, highly recommended both for young and old – and a interesting look at what Bonsall shops, pubs and workplaces had to offer in days gone by. Thanks to Slacks Coaches for the excellent driving firstname.lastname@example.org
Designer/Illustrator Jonathan hard at work on the Geology and Leadmining trail. Jonathan said “In years gone by the Lead Miners of Bonsall Moor would dig deep and follow rakes of lead – we’re going to do the same thing with Bonsall’s Heritage”.
Bonsall Moor is looking beautiful and wintry today – lots of snow and lots of prints of hare, rabbit and fox. There is a large white barn owl flying around at dusk too. The photo above leading up to Bonsall Moor, is part of one of the walking routes about Geology and Leadmining being devised as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Bonsall Trails project. Highlights of this walk will be the numerous leadmines on Bonsall Moor and the rare flora that has evolved because of the geology and leadmining. The Bonsall Trails will be 6 walking routes with 6 themed leaflets to go with each route which will explore different aspects of the history of Bonsall. There are lots of activities and events planned as part of this project – have a look at the Programme of Events page on this blog to find out what’s happening.
On a bright sunny January Sunday a small group of Bonsallites headed out of the frost and sun and into the darker recesses of the Peak District Mining Museum http://www.peakmines.co.uk at Matlock Bath to investigate our mining past. We were treated to a guided tour of the museum but the Temple Mine was closed because of the record amounts of rainfall recently.
Our guide gave us a quirky but interesting take on why our area is so rich in minerals and the various ways people have managed to get them out of the ground. With smaller mines like those on Bonsall Moor it was often a family affair – men down the mine getting the ore, women on top smashing the rock and washing the ore and sometimes the kids on top helping to pump water out or to ventilate the shafts.
As we progressed through the curious and interesting displays of mining history – from the Romans to the modern day – the kids disappeared into the rest of the museum to press buttons, turn handles and discuss the finer points of Toadstone (!).
Getting water out of the mine so you can get at the minerals was a big problem.Here’s one way of dealing with it. A hollow tree with a continuous rope passed through it with attached leather discs working out of a sump (a depression in the base of the mine to collect water). See video below.
It was fun and very informative – giving us a reminder of how very difficult it was for our forbears to make a living from beneath the ground.
Look forward to our next outing – The Black Country Museum on 2nd Feb. See you there – book by calling Karen on 07903 092276.