In 2011 Bilsthorpe Heritage Society were offered the lease of the old squash courts at the rear of the Village Hall which gave us a place not only to house our collection but space to show it to people who telephoned and asked if they could visit. This made us think that it would be a terrific idea to create a museum which would be open to the public. Over the years we have been altering the building to make it more user friendly, begging and buying cabinets to house part of the collection and gaining Charitable status. The museum opened to the public in July 2014.
Bilsthorpe Colliery was one of the most productive mines in Nottinghamshire. It was sunk from 1925 and the first coal was brought to the surface in 1927. The mine had its hard times and many miners, who lost their lives, are remembered in our Memorial Garden. In 1997 the mine, which was sold to a private Mining Company in 1993, was closed.
Fortunately our founding members had the foresight to ask permission to take items the company was discarding, these formed the foundation of our collection, which is continually growing thanks to kind donations from ex-miners.
The museum, which opened its doors to the public on July 2014, charts the development of a ‘deep’ mine and the changes in equipment and household items which relate not just to Bilsthorpe, but the mining community in general.