Mining heritage remembered

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People of all ages enjoyed a village event that celebrated its mining heritage.

There were a range of attractions during the afternoon at Colliers Hill, organised by Groundwork North East in partnership with the Friends of Pegswood Woods and the wider community, and those who came along also saw the improvements to the area that have been carried out by the organisation and local volunteers.

Kath Nisbit and Margaret Richardson say hello to Horseman Mark Turnbull and his  forest working horse Peter

Kath Nisbit and Margaret Richardson say hello to Horseman Mark Turnbull and his forest working horse Peter

The former pit heap in Pegswood, which was open for more than 100 years, employed over 10,000 people. It closed in 1969.

Deputy civic head Kath Nisbet officially opened Pegswood Community Woods. She said she was impressed with the buzz of the day and by the way the village had turned out in full support.

Activities were themed to teach families about their heritage. They included a woodland treasure trail that rewarded participants with a picnic bag of jam sandwiches, sweets and a cream bun.

The Newbiggin Brass Band played two sets during Sunday’s event and they said it was very special for them as normally they play indoors. Local folk singers also sang some traditional songs, there were lots of fun gala games and ‘pit ponies’ pulled logs, showing how the horses were used to work on the pit.

Staff from Woodhorn Museum attended and they gave children the opportunity to make pit tallies from clay and dress up like a miner.

A Pegswood Red Squirrel volunteer, who was dressed in a giant squirrel outfit, was the mascot for the day.

The site has been transformed over the past year after Groundwork established the voluntary group, following in the footsteps of the successful Ashington Community Woods project. For more details about the Pegswood scheme, call Laura Waugh on 01670 514876.