Friends reunited digging up the past at Jubilee Colliery

A GROUP described as a cross between ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ have dedicated themselves to unearthing Oldham’s forgotten industrial past.

The Friends of Jubilee Colliery (FoJC) started off as volunteers on an archaeological dig.

But bitten by the bug, the mixed group of people decided to carry on with their excavations and their newly found friendships.

Earlier this year, FoJC relayed the floor of a blacksmith’s shop that was uncovered underneath tons of rubble.

They are now trying to re-instate some of the stone walling.

FoJC member Peter Lax says: “At first, we only had the skills life had given us. But now nothing is beyond us.

“We keep the site clean and tidy for the local community.

“There is no time scale to any of our jobs. Sometimes we we sit round the fire outside our cabin with a brew and just laugh.

“You can bring your dog if you like or your children if they like an adventure playground in the wild.

“The group focuses on enjoying the open air and a purpose to our lives.”

The group meets every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at Jubilee Colliery, located at the site of the Jubilee pub.

From the left of the pub car park is a cobbled lane to a lower car park where “you can’t miss us”.

Jubilee Colliery was built in 1845 and closed in 1932.

The site is one of the last few remaining examples of Oldham’s industrial mining heritage and is the most accessible in the area.

To find out more about the group contact Peter on 01706 849852 or email:

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