We've just got back from a long weekend with my brother-in-law and family where we had the bit of Christmas we failed to have in December owing to the snow. On Sunday we visited the National Coal Mining Museum for England where I liked this view of the old pithead with a tiny sliver of moon in the distance.
It's a fascinating place to visit. We took the underground tour led by an ex-miner who worked at the nearby Grimethorpe colliery for 26 years. He gave a fascinating insight into life 450 feet below and delighted the children on the tour with tales of his gory injuries; various mining accidents through the ages; and how to prevent the many rats and mice down the mine from eating your lunch. We learnt how reliant the miners were on keeping a good airflow through the mine and how a simple sheet to divert the air could be used to disperse any dangerous gases detected via a Davy Lamp.
If you get the chance to visit, please do as the museum needs all the support it can get owing to the recent cuts announced by the government. The next two years sees the museum's subsidy cut by £140,000 per year, followed by a further £90,000 so that after 3 years there will be no central financial help. However, because it is designated a national museum, it can't start charging an entrance fee to recoup this financial loss. It's a clear case of use it or lose it.