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Without delay, we can announce that Chris Sunderland, a photographer, is the proud winner of the flight over Oldham together with local historian Alan Davies. Despite the sudden hail shower, it was certainly worthwile for him to brave the  cold. The snow outing also proved lucky for young winners Bethany Alberson and Ella Rawson (both 10) who were excited to each win the 1-year adoption of one of the pit ponies at the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Wakefield. Ernie and Eric, the ponies, will be glad to have such enthusiastic carers.Two more winners took away a bright yellow mining-themed T-shirt featuring the name of the colliery and designed by the Jubilee team

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Visitors crowding to look at mining artefacts and collect raffle tickets

Some of us lost sleep over the event last Sunday, showing just how much we wanted this to be a success. We worked hard and made sure that there were also many treats for people who did not win in the raffle. All afternoon, an open fire brought comfort to freezing toes. Children and adults gathered around it to roast marshmallows on sticks or try one of the other sweets and drinks on offer.

Sweet treats by the fire

Sweet treats by the fire

Elsewhere, Dominic the Storyteller wrung inspiring tales around a young boy who is accompanied by his father for his first shift down the pit at Jubilee. Children listened closely and were made aware of just how dangerous the life of a miner could be. Under professional guidance, some children preferred to have a go at digging themselves, seeking for hidden treasure in our very own sandpit. Yet others posed for photographs with dressed-up ex-miner Gary.

Two minors and a miner

We also offered a tour of the site which left people astounded at the progress we made and inspired with the enthusiasm Tim and Jade brought across and which all the volunteers share.

The afternoonn was rounded off by a visit from The Worshipful Mayor of Odlham who drew the first raffle ticket and took a look at some of the things we uncovered.

The Mayor of Oldham Metropolitan Borough drawing the winning raffle ticket

For us volunteers, it was fantastic to see how many people we have now interested in the site and how much progress we have made since last October. With the project coming to the end, this will be crucial in keeping interest in the site alive and making sure that the heritage of Jubilee is preserved.

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