Video: new museum documents village’s history

Bilsthorpe has a great mining heritage and now people from across the area can discover more about it at the villages new museum.

Based at the village hall, Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum opened its doors to the pubic this weekend.

Bilsthorpe Heritage Society Mining Museum

Bilsthorpe Heritage Society Mining Museum

Run solely by volunteers and funded through charitable donations, the museum’s collection has been provided mainly from people in the village.

Although filled with mining exhibits such as lamps, lunch tins and models of machinery, it also contains artefacts depicting everyday life in the village, such as old photographs and smoking memorabilia.

Archivist Andrea Swallow said: “It is interesting because many people have relatives who worked at the colliery. My father and grandfather were both miners.

“We hope it will be used for reference too. We get a lot of people phoning us for family history.”

Frequent examples include requests about where relatives worked or if any accidents happened around the time they worked at the pit.

Volunteer Fred Hall said: “We have such a variety of different things, like detonators with model gun powder and even old war ammunition such as hand grenades.”

The museum has been three years in the making and is run by Bilsthorpe Heritage Society, which is currently in the process of compiling a huge archive of historical data on the area.

To this end, it now houses decades of newspaper history in the form of the Chad’s archive.

Said Andrea: “We are always on the lookout for more volunteers and there are always jobs to do.

“I am the only archivist and there are more than a million items that need storing.”

The volunteers from Bilsthorpe Heritage Society who run the museum are keen to stress that more agricultural exhibits from the area are needed.

Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum is open on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between 10am-4pm.

For more information or if you can help with volunteering or by donating artefacts email bilsthorpe-heritage@btinternet.com.