A HISTORY group has increased its membership by 50 per cent during a campaign to gather information on Wombwell's former pit communities.

Mary Taylor, of the Wombwell Heritage Group, began interviewing elderly people in the former communities around Mitchell Main and Wombwell Main, as well as Lundhill, Hemingfield, Concrete Cottages, Alma and Shipcroft earlier this year.

Mary said interest in the project greatly increased following a feature in the Barnsley Chronicle and three of those who came forward to be interviewed have since joined the group.

"It might not sound a lot but it is for us as we only have a core of about half a dozen active members," said Mary.

"Quite a lot of the information and photos from the interviews are of Mitchell Main, which is where our three new members are from, and I think it's really important the history of those communities is preserved."