Middleton Park trip: Well, it rained….!

Middleton Life members joined with pupils from Middleton Primary for a trip around Middleton Park. Guide Alan Shaw is pictured in a hole thast used to be a former mine pit. Photo: Martin Bartholomew

Intrepid members of the Middleton Life local history project resumed their activities tracking down the history of their community by getting soaking wet on a fact-finding trip to Middleton Park and Woods yesterday!

By gum, did it rain! Everyone was soaked to the skin as they spent an hour and a half slipping on muddy woodland paths to discover more of the woods’ past as a centre of industrial and mining activity.

The group was led by knowledgeable hosts Alan Shaw and Jim Jackson from the Friends of Middleton Park, who kindly braved the downpour and resultant quagmire to give up their time to show people some of the historical hotspots of the area.

It proved incredibly interesting. Basically, if you see a large hole in the ground, it’s probably a former mining shaft! It’s amazing the things you can just walk past and not notice in the woods that probably has a lot of history behind it. And some of the paths you walk on probably date back centuries and were used as mining tracks.

The group was joined by ten very polite and well-behaved pupils from Middleton Primary, who were a credit to their school in difficult conditions!

On Saturday, the group will enjoy a short trip on Middleton Railway. Next week, Middleton Life members will be reviewing what they’ve written for the special Middleton heritage edition of South Leeds Life, previewing a rough cut of their new Middleton history film and being interviewed by Cockburn pupils for a special radio show they’re putting together.