Keeping memory of Doncaster pit alive

Tribute:John Adam, left,  of Rossington History Group with his book and David Stafford of RecyCoal
Tribute:John Adam, left, of Rossington History Group with his book and David Stafford of RecyCoal
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ITS last traces are finally set to disappear off the map.

But Doncaster historian John Adam is determined to make sure Rossington Colliery will not vanish from memory.

The local historian and councillor has created a book depicting the colliery’s past, with help from RecyCoal, the company which is removing the last traces of the pit as part of the work to restore and redevelop the site. It is sponsoring his book.

The book, launched to mark the 100th anniversary of the Rossington pit opening, is a compilation of pictures, memories and reports about the colliery and the people that brought it to life.

Mr Adam, a member of Rossington History Group, said: “It took 15 months from research to publishing and is an anthology of old newspaper reports and the memoirs of local characters.

“It covers the growth of the community in line with the colliery and how that has shaped the Rossington we know today.”

John’s own personal experiences, and in particular the tragic loss of his father in a 1952 colliery accident, also played a part in the research regarding the impact of the pit on the village and villagers.

He said: “The Rossington History Group thought it important we mark the centenary of the colliery and what better way than to dedicate a book to its memory? We are extremely grateful to RecyCoal for supporting us and ensuring the book is published for others to enjoy.

“Rather than let the site lay dormant the plans RecyCoal have for Rossington Colliery are a great step in the right direction for regeneration of the neighbourhood and the re-development of the community as a whole.”

David Stafford, sales and marketing manager for RecyCoal, said: “The history of the site is very important, especially when it has a connection with so many people still living in the locality.

“The book by John marking Rossington’s centenary is a tremendous testament to those who lived their life and in some cases gave their life, to the working of the colliery.

“When developing plans for former colliery sites we take into consideration the views of the local residents.

“We are particularly looking forward to creating a landscape the residents of Rossington and surrounding areas can enjoy for years to come.”

RecyCoal will clean up more than 13 million tonnes of colliery spoil and recover 950,000 tonnes of coal over four years for electricity generation.

Restoration of the site will form a valuable part of local public open space providing opportunities for nature conservation and public recreation.

A variety of natural habitats will be created. Woodland areas will cover approximately 29 hectares with the planting of over 70,000 trees. Grasslands will cover 49.5 hectares and wetlands will occupy around nine hectares.

Other benefits of the scheme include a memorial garden, an area for allotments for local people, and land that will revert to agricultural use.

In order to allow access for public recreation, several miles of footpaths and bridleways will be created across the site.

The book, Rossington 1912 to 2012, is available for £4 by calling Rossington History Group secretary Roy Venables on 01302 340 403.

The group meets every Wednesday from 10am to noon at the Parish Memorial Hall in McConnell Crescent, and new members are welcome.