Experience life at the coal face as pit site celebrates mining heritage

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HISTORY buffs can get a taste of life at the coal face at one of the country’s oldest working pits.

Washington F Pit celebrates more than 250 years of the region’s coal-mining heritage and is open for three weekends this summer.

The site, at Albany Way, is offering up a host of free activities and visitors can see the Victorian Steam Winding engine, engine house and head gear that dates back to the 18th century.

The events take place this weekend with the chance to make a mining hat and fossil rubbing and hear stories about mining life.

On September 8 and 9, there is the Heritage Open Days where visitors can try traditional mat making and at the Washington Festival on September 15, visitors can load coal on to the keel boats.

The pit opened in 1777 and closed in 1968, six years before coal mining in Washington ended.