Monday, 14 March 2011

Brinsley Headstocks Revisited Again

Brinsley Headstocks is the name given to the set of restored 1875 tandem headstocks on the site of the former Brinsley Colliery.

The site is now a very attractive nature area. It also has it`s own special claim to fame in that D H Lawrence`s uncle Jim died in a rockfall there, an incident referred to by Lawrence in The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd and An Odour of Chrysanthemums.

These are my most recent attempts to capture the wonderfulness of the headstocks. I do not know much about photography. Shutter speeds and all the other stuff are a complete mystery to me. On the other hand, I do have a cheap Argos camera and plenty of enthusiasm !

I`ll admit to being quite proud of these pictures, but there`s only so much here I can take credit for. When I took the first two the sun was dazzling me, so I had no real idea how they`d turn out !

My approach to local history is similar. Others may favour a more methodical approach, but I often just pick up stray facts haphazardly as I go along. 

This can lead to odd gaps in my knowledge. Here are a couple of questions relating to the Brinsley site that I`ve sometimes wondered about.

I understand that D H Lawrence`s Aunt Polly lived in a white cottage very close to the old colliery. I have always understood this to be a quite large white building, currently unoccupied, adjacent to the path leading from the car park to the site itself. This puzzles me a little, as I would have thought the building in question would have been rather grand for a family of miners from the Eastwood/Brinsley area. Maybe someone can cast light on this ?

I`ve also wondered whether Polly was the wife/widow of the ill-fated Jim, or a different Aunt altogether ? No doubt someone will know.

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