Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Milling, mining and laikin round the res

I remember clearly my first supply teaching day in Barnsley - my first ever day of teaching in fact. It was Monday morning and I did the usual, "What did you do at the weekend?"
The reply came back, "I went Laikin at res". "Oh so you went pond dipping?". No, was the reply. "Laikin. Door knocking," said another child. So I eventually worked out Laikin (pronounced laykin) is playing.

And the res (Worsrough reservoir) really is a gorgeous place to laik.
We tend to go there on a Sunday morning, for a walk around the res
and then bacon sandwich at Wigfield farm.

At the side of the reservoir is the mill

Last week we took a tour of the mill with a difference

We were transported back to the 1800's

Through game, song and theatre we learned how the mill worked all those years ago.

With Mrs Anne Shaw we made bread

into faces

and shapes.

At the end of the tour, the date Sep 2 1819, was pointed out.
The date Anne Smith had died.

At home, Geoff and the girls made bread.

We found out more about local history with a display of old books from Worsbrough,
that are now kept at the Sheffield university.

The girls loved trying to read the old swirly script

There was also a display showing the history of Worsbrough

In 1875 Barrow colliery opened.
Along with the button mill, furnaces, gunpowder factory and other industries that had sprung up in Worsbrough near the canal and later the railway, it provided employment for most of the local rapidly expanding population.

And here is a photo of the seven men that died in the Barrow colliery disaster. It brought a tear to our eye when we read the story of one of the men. His mother was getting his birthday tea ready of the eve of his 21st birthday. He never tasted it...
Barrow colliery was at the heart of Worsbrough for many years. Every family had a relative that worked down the pit. For many years there has been a campaign to bring home the banner.

And finally Barrow Colliery banner has come home.
Although we have only been in Barnsley for 13 years, and the pits had long gone before we came, growing up in nearby Rotherham, I can clearly remember the miners strike of the 1980's, especially a gala held in Clifton Park.
The miner's strike finished in 1985, with Barrow colliery shutting shortly after.
27 years after the closure of the mine, ex-miners stood shoulder to shoulder, chatting and standing proud.

We were served a traditional miner's lunch, pork pie and mushy peas.

In Yorkshire the mines and steel works are long gone. And we are in the midst of a double dip recession, being told to go out and spend. Go and spend at Meadowhall, where once great steel works operated. Surely we'd have been better off keeping our industries running, even if only at a small profit. Then maybe folks could go out and spend!

Life must have been much simpler when it was all about, milling and laikin round the res...


  1. I enjoyed reading this and seeing your photos. What a great places to visit for a fun learning experience for everyone...including those who read this post.

    For sure the world would be different if we hadn't let big business take over...but I don't know if it would be better or worse.

  2. What a neat history lesson and a wonderful family activity. Great photos, too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. How fun! I want to go laikin around the res!!

  4. Thank you for sharing this, I am always excited about learning new things through blogs and you have done that for me. Thanks again.

  5. That was so funny about laikin--funny how dialect makes us think one thing from the intention.
    And wouldn't it be nice if smaller profits would be so business could be and we could spend more?

  6. This looks like a wonderful field trip. My mom used to make a miner's lunch for us.

  7. Wonderfully informative post and fun! Great photos ~ (A Creative Harbor)

    1. Hi there, I have tried to send a comment but the comment box just keep disappearing. I really think you should check it. Maybe that is why you do not have that many comments.

      I love your post and thank you so much for sharing. I have never had the opportunity to visit a mine and that seemed like so much fun. Great photos and such a fun post.
      Mine is here
      Have you an AWESOME WEEK!

  8. Looks like a wonderful place to go laikin.

  9. What a fun post, I love history and enjoy visiting historical spots. Loved learning about "laikin round the res" what a great expression, and mushy peas and pork pies sound interesting, I may have to find a recipe for that and see what the family thinks. I agree about keeping the industries up and running, here in the states we have similar issues. Thanks for the bloggy trip across the pond! :)

  10. Oh.



    I would love to laikin anywhere in these gorgeous photos.

    What beautiful scenes.

    And what a lovely family you have.

    I really loved this marvelous post full of information, thoughtfulness and fun!

    My favorite M!


  11. Visiting from the HHH, your title caught my eye with the word laikin since it's so close to my son's name and pronounced the same. What a great field trip! So full of information! I would love for you to link up with my Field Trip Friday Link up, here is a link to this week's post. I hope you will join me!

  12. Here in Adelaide a pie in pea soup is called a pie floater, and is kind of a city specialty!Even Billy Connoley has mentioned his experience with one!I didnt know they did something similar elsewhere!

  13. I dropped in through one of the link-ups, and I love your pictures of old mills. I love small historic sites - I used to work at one. How were your tour-guides?



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