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BobRobert Bradley
Retired Surveyor

Bilsthorpe Museum 1

At last our Museum is open. We eventually opened on the 11th of July 2014, this was delayed due to our acquiring the Mansfield Chad newspaper archive.

There is no charge for entry.

  • Summer Hours are 10am - 4pm on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday
  • Winter hours 11am - 3pm, Sunday and Wednesday
However group visits maybe arranged at other times by appointment.

Pictured above is our chairman, at the time, Trevor Goodman. (Trevor was the 2nd longest surviving heart transplant person of 29 years. Unfortunately he died from complications, Pneumonia, just prior to the unveiling of the Half Wheel, at the end of the Old Pit Lane.)

BilsthorpeOur new website will give you details including address, telephone etc.

If you find yourself in our part of the world please drop in we have some ex-miners on staff who are more than willing to share any information they or we have.

Arthur Wheeldon

I am also a founder member of Blidworth and District Historical and Heritage Society since 2008. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday in the month 7am to 9pm at Blidworth Welfare.

I was keenly associated with the Ollerton of Yesteryear Group and in the past been asked to open the annual display of village photographs at the Dukeries Academy several times and albeit a sad occasion was proud and privileged to be invited to open the final display in July 2014. Lack of membership of younger people and the demise of several key members left the Society very fragile as everything was carried out by volunteers. However a Memorial to the miners at Ollerton Colliery 1923-1994 was planned for 2015 by the Memorial Group and will be situated in the Wildlife Garden adjacent to the Cemetery. I constructed a plan of the 5 by 5 metre area for submission to the Planning dept and Church Commission. Access is from Forest Road. The memorial to all the miners, who worked at Ollerton Colliery, was unveiled in Feb 2019, almost 25 years to the day when Ollerton Closed in Feb 1994.

Statue of a Miner Holding an Oil Lamp Feb 2019

For many years I was a member of the Ashfield Heritage Society, contributing to the Ashfield Historian magazine. The group meet at the Church on Church Hill off Brook Street, Sutton. I have recently re-joined the society, the meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month 7pm - 9pm, you are welcome to join us.

Bestwood Engine House and display is another Visitor Centre. Entrance is free and open at weekends. Volunteers run the site and the original unique steam-driven vertical-piston winding engine has been rebuilt by them and is now operated by electricity and can be seen working. Visitors are escorted to the engine house. A wonderful lifelike model of a winding engine driver standing at the controls is now attired with flat cap, black trousers, white shirt with neckerchief and waistcoat complete with fob watch and chain, (all donated by me) showing an early 20th Century scene, dressed by Dr David Amos and self in Dec 2014. The Dynamo house has a few mining artifacts and photos. Snacks and drinks are available. Bestwood Park with walkways has been created adjacent on the old dirt tipping site.

The National Mining Museum of England at Caphouse, Overton, near Wakefield is a must. This fine example of a 19th Century mine is open every day except Christmas from 10am-5pm and a free underground visit by cage down the 140m shaft, then an escorted tour is not to be missed. There are many hands on features for children. There are lots of surface attractions as well. A canteen offers hot meals, snacks and drinks.

A walk up the reclaimed old waste tip at Silverhill is a worthwhile visit. It is part of the Silverhill Trail and Wildlife Haven, set with trees etc. The site is accessed from Stanley Lane after passing by the Carnarvon Arms PH on the crossroads at Fackley, Teversal. A model of a mine deputy holding an oil lamp as though testing for gas underground stands on a plinth at the highest point in Nottinghamshire. Magnificent views of the surrounding countryside including nearby Hardwick Hall can be seen. A plaque beneath the model has names of many collieries that were worked in Nottinghamshire with opening and closure dates. I was instrumental in researching the exact dates in conjunction with David Clarke MBE who was Mining Records Officer at the Coal Authority at Lichfield Lane, Mansfield. We were both invited to the unveiling ceremony in 2006.

Other mining museums are at:-

The large mainly open air Black Country museum with many attractions is also worth a visit and there too an underground trip can be made by entering a surface drift adit. A fee has to be paid to enter the site.

South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group The group meets at Gresley Old Hall, Church Gresley, every Tuesday morning (10am - 12pm) and on the first Thursday of each month. Church Gresley, Swadlincote DE11 9PA, UK

Snibston in Leicestershire (Head Gear Only)

Lady Victoria in Scotland

Big Pit in South Wales

Apedale Valley

Durham Mining Museum

National Mining Museum Wakefield

South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group


Bilsthorpe Mining Museum

Photos include Albert Littler, Manager, shaking hands with Jack Wood, Area Director, on the opening of the Connection Road to the Man Rider named Wood Lane after him

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