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Heritage Railway Wins £50,000 Grant

Thursday December 5 2013

FORMER miners will be invited to a new museum and recording studio to share their stories of life down the pit after a charity won a £50,000 grant.

Elsecar Heritage Railway found out they had pipped a project in Grimsby to win the funding - provided by the People's Millions Big Lottery Fund - after a competition was held on ITV.

The grant will result in a memorial park at Cortonwood Station, picnic lawns, gardens and the museum carriage which will include a recording studio.

The charity's chairman Del Tilling said: "We're shocked, overwhelmed and it still hasn't sunk in. We were up against this project from Grimsby and we didn't really know what to expect.

"We've done lots of filming but it seems that people thought we deserved the money and have voted for us.

"It's going to make a big difference and it's fitting that this will be spent on Cortonwood, which is where the miners' strike began in 1984.

"We've got four acres of grassland and will get to work on the new project. They presented us with the cheque on Tuesday and it's going to be a very busy few months ahead.

"The recording studio will be just one aspect, but what a joy it could bring to people. Ex-miners and their families will be able to come down and record their memories of life underground and what it was like.

"This will last forever and will be a treat for schoolchildren who can come and hear real people tell real stories about mining life in Barnsley."

Mr Tilling also said funding was in place to extend the railway line - it currently runs from Elsecar to Hemingfield - but will hopefully be extended to Cortonwood by the summer.

He added: "Our purpose is to tell the story of 300 years of coal mining in South Yorkshire. Cortonwood is the perfect and ideal place, as it's a nationally important and historic site.

"We installed a level crossing in April and we have doubled our turnover this year so have the money to extend the line.

"All of our workers are volunteers and no one is paid so it's a real achievement for us to get this far.

"Hopefully the ex-mining community and other local people will come down and help us. We will certainly be needing the support of people to help complete the track."

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Reply Posted by kathleen gorman on Thursday December 5 2013 at 17:10
So pleased for them. Well done

Reply Posted by KymH on Thursday December 5 2013 at 17:40
Grew up in elsecar and take my children to the park and heritage it's a lovely place to go, can't wait to see what the picnic lawns will be like x

Reply Posted by sid on Thursday December 5 2013 at 21:01
The place has great potential. I could imagine it being used in a TV programme. Its a nice place and its good to keep it. Hope it thrives.

Reply Posted by Mystery on Friday December 6 2013 at 07:13
Well done guys. Hopefully Mardy Monster can eventually stretch her legs this coming summer

Reply Posted by Kymh on Friday December 6 2013 at 17:10
Oh so funny that, nice one u even put ur real name!

Reply Posted by Rubydoo on Friday December 6 2013 at 17:39
Excellent news, well done to all those hard working volunteers. Look forward to visiting when completed.

Reply Posted by Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know on Sunday December 8 2013 at 08:40
That's great news for the area, hope your plans go ahead without too many problems. Best of Luck to all the volunteers down there.

Reply Posted by Marie on Tuesday December 10 2013 at 22:47
fantastic news. All their good work and dedication has paid out. well done.