Lead Mining Guided Walk on a dry, beautiful Sunday afternoon 28th April

The group meet outside The Barley Mow

The group meet outside The Barley Mow pub Bonsall

What a good turnout for the guided walk on Sunday! About 20 local residents turned up to try out the first of the guided walks to promote the local history trails around Bonsall. After a quick pint in the Barley Mow http://www.barleymowbonsall.co.uk we were ready to face the hills and dales…….

Walking past the site of the Calamine Mine near Puddle Hill

Walking past the site of the Calamine Mine near Puddle Hill just up hill from the Barley Mow

 One of the many capped lead mine shafts on Bonsall Moor

One of the many capped lead mine shafts on Bonsall Moor – using railway sleepers from the disused railway line nearby, closed as a result of the Beeching Act. D.H. Lawrence wrote about the lead mining landscape in his short story ‘The Virgin and the Gypsy’.

Peering down the shaft - this one is about 80ft deep with a corner at the bottom

Peering down the shaft – this one is about 80ft deep with a corner at the bottom

Mike reads a poem written for the (mostly) illiterate lead miners to help them remember the lead mining laws

Mike reads a poem written for the (mostly) illiterate lead miners to help them remember the lead mining laws, customs and liberties – he only read a short section from this very long poem.

Mike Lynch of the Bonsall History Society reads the lead miners poem by Edward Manlove.
 Titled: The Liberties and Customs of the Lead-Mines within the Wapentake of Wirksworth in the County of Derby.
London: 1653.

To find out more about Edward Manlove, a lawyer residing in Ashbourne and the full text of the poem visit https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Manlove,_Edward_(DNB00)

The dogs were engrossed

The dogs were engrossed

A picnic by the restored Lime Kiln near Hollowchurch Way

A picnic by the restored Lime Kiln near Hollowchurch Way

The official launch of the 6 History walks around Bonsall will be on Sunday afternoon 19th May – all welcome!

A Walk on the Wild Side of Bonsall with Dan Abrahams of Natural England

EarlyPurpleOrchid NatEngMapBonsall’s wild side was laid bare at an illustrated talk featuring our local Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Mountain Pansies, Mezereon, Moonwort, Leadwort, Cowslips, Heartsease, Grass of Parnassus, Birds Foot Trefoil, Knapweed and Scabious – and that’s a small sample of flowers. This blog would reach Australia (and probably does) if we listed the Moths up on Bonsall Moor and in the Via Gellia.

A really interesting evening and very well attended at Bonsall Village Hall. The information passed on during the evening will feed into the ‘Landscape of Bonsall’ Walking Trail.

Dan Abrahams from Natural England at Bonsall Village Hall

Dan Abrahams from Natural England at Bonsall Village Hall

Bonsall Wildlife Talk starts at 7pm 16th February

Talk on Bonsall's wildlife - talk starts at 7pm

Talk on Bonsall’s wildlife – talk starts at 7pm

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

Kay

Saturday 2nd February visit to the Black Country Museum

Help us explore and understand Bonsall’s history by joining us on this outing to the famous Black Country Open-Air Museum, Dudley, Birmingham. You’ll not only learn more about the trades and businesses that once thrived in Bonsall but also discover the history of the Midlands area. http://www.bclm.co.uk/ The coach will be leaving from Bonsall for a whole day out there.

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Living Museum is a remarkable place to explore .Set in a landscape of 26 acres, it is one of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK; offering a glimpse into 200 years of history.

Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region when its manufacturers bought worldwide fame to Black Country Towns.

Take a trip on the tram to explore the canalside village, where you can meet and chat to the costumed characters. Explore the underground mine and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

There is a changing programme of demonstrations and events from metal working and glass cutting to sweetmaking ensures something to suit all tastes. Watch the silver screen flicker to life in the Limelight Cinema with silent films from the 1920s. Marvel over vehicles from the golden age of motoring and experience a real spit and sawdust Inn.

 

 

Researching for Bonsall History Trails in the snow

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Bonsall covered in a mantle of snow, researching the ‘Historic Routes of Bonsall Trail‘, view of Bonsall from Stepping Lane, this path was rebuilt by German POWs.

Extract from ‘Bonsall  – A Village and its History’ published by The Bonsall History Project

“Because it was such a hot summer Evelyn Gration would often leave her newly-born daughter outside in  her pram to enjoy the fresh air. The German POWs, who had been separated from ordinary family life for so long, were enamoured of the little girl, and made a fuss of her, in German, of course. One of the POWs however spoke good English and Evelyn and her husband struck up a friendship with him, inviting him to their house for lunch on a number of occasions he was working in Bonsall. Wili Eberweuer had served in the Luftwaffe, and had been shot down over the English Channel. To begin with he had been sent to the United States to work in the cotton fields, but now, in 1947, he found  himself in Bonsall.”

Bonsall Trails Geology and Landscape Walking leaflet

Working on the first Bonsall Trails walking leaflet

Working on the first Bonsall Trails walking leaflet

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”.

In the Bleak Midwinter on Bonsall Moor

Part of the route of the Geology and Leadmining walking trail

Part of the route of the Geology and Leadmining walking trail

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.

Saturday 2nd February visit to the Black Country Museum

Help us explore and understand Bonsall’s history by joining us on this outing to the famous Black Country Open-Air Museum, Dudley, Birmingham. You’ll not only learn more about the trades and businesses that once thrived in Bonsall but also discover the history of the Midlands area. http://www.bclm.co.uk/ The coach will be leaving from Bonsall for a whole day out there.

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Living Museum is a remarkable place to explore .Set in a landscape of 26 acres, it is one of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK; offering a glimpse into 200 years of history.

Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region when its manufacturers bought worldwide fame to Black Country Towns.

Take a trip on the tram to explore the canalside village, where you can meet and chat to the costumed characters. Explore the underground mine and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

There is a changing programme of demonstrations and events from metal working and glass cutting to sweetmaking ensures something to suit all tastes. Watch the silver screen flicker to life in the Limelight Cinema with silent films from the 1920s. Marvel over vehicles from the golden age of motoring and experience a real spit and sawdust Inn.

 

 

Visit to Peak District Mining Museum at Matlock Bath

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.Image

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 (!).Image

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.

Bonsall History Trail Social Media Workshop at the Barley Mow pub, Bonsall

We’d like to thank Collette and Dave for letting us use their lovely pub the Barley Mow, Bonsall for our very convivial Social Media Workshop with Lucie Kerley, Digital Participation Manager and Blogger. Yesterday’s session helped oil the wheels for planning our Social Media campaign to keep everyone informed about how the Heritage Lottery Funded Bonsall History Trails project progresses.

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“Been to a Social Media workshop a couple of years ago and have been using it ever since. It’s great to keep up to date with the latest tools and applications.” RuthBonsall History Trail's Barley Mow Social Media workshop

“My head is reeling… but I’ll have a go at blogging because I want to help share the information we uncover.” Kay

We will be keeping people informed through: