Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Brinsley Headstocks and Other Such Things

All being well, you should now be looking at pictures we took recently of the restored headstocks from the former colliery at Brinsley, North Notts, now permanently on display at Brinsley Headastocks nature reserve / beauty spot. Apart from any other considerations, Brinsley pit had an important literary connection - the mine was the scene of an accident in which D H Lawrence`s uncle James was killed by a rockfall, an incident which formed the inspiration for two of his stories, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd and The Odour of Chrysanthemums. Sadly, such accidents were all too common.                                             

The Headstocks and surrounding area are well worth a visit, and are situated within easy reach of the D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum and Durban House Heritage Centre. The Birthplace museum is worth a visit and has a well-stocked gift shop if you like that sort of thing. If you prefer the outdoor life you could  follow the 5-or-so mile Miners` Meander (a footpath  from the Headstocks to other areas of local and/or mining interest), or possibly cross the road from the car park and take the foootpath to Aldercar, which I`m told is a very attractive walk if the weather stays OK, but pretty grim otherwise. It`s on my `things to do` list at the moment ! 

Alternatively, with a little planning, I would think it would be possible to pull in a trip to Loscoe Dam*, not so well-known, and not really on the `tourist track`, but very attractive and popular with local people, walkers and visitors to the nearby nature reserve, the name of which escapes me.


I`m sure there`s no shortage of Lawrence-related material on the web, but here are a couple of locally-based sites ; 

D H Lawrence`s Eastwood, a site run by Eastwoodian rhymester Gavin, who endearingly declares "if life begns at 40, I`m still a teenager" -  www.lawrenceseastwood.co.uk

and Notts Industrial Heritage Association -  www.niha10.btinternet.co.uk

Loscoe Dam has it`s own site - www.loscoedamproject.org


Equally, there`s no shortage of books by/about D H Lawrence. One that may not be so well-known is Bridget Pugh`s The Country of My Heart ; A Local Guide to D H Lawrence, which has appeared in various editions over quite a period of time, usually published by local authorities and/or local history societies in (presumably) relatively limited numbers. 

In a spirit of enlightened self-interest, it just happens we have a couple of copies on sale at present ! Just click on the links below for details ; 

Postage is extra, but they are not large books and postage will not be expensive.


* An attempt by myself and friends to walk around Brinsley, then to Aldercar and subsequently to Loscoe Dam early in 2010 can best be described as `over ambitious`. Would recommend visits to these sites, but not necessarily on the same day, unless you are possessed of superhuman levels of fitness ! If attempting the `Miner`s Meander` around Brinsley I`d suggest planning your route beforehand as it is not readily apparent where the path is.



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