Category Archives: News

Christmas Dinner Cancelled

The Dragline Christmas Dinner for 2020 has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation. We hope to organise some events during 2021, if and when it is safe to do so. If this becomes possible, any proposed events will be listed in the News and Events section of the Website. For further details, please contact our Secretary on or via the Contact Us link on the Website.

Coronavirus Situation

Please note that all of our events for next year, 2021, are PROVISIONAL DATES ONLY. If you have any questions about this, or about the Dragline in general, please email the Secretary on
You may wish to use the link in our Contact Us section.

September 2020 Open Days Cancelled

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, our planned September Open Days will not take place. These would have been part of the Heritage Open Days Scheme. We are hoping to be able to resume Open Days next year, our provisional dates are listed in the post below. Details will be updated in line with the situation next year.

Provisional Dates for Dragline Events in 2021

Our 2020 events remain postponed until further notice. Looking to next year, we hope that our 2021 AGM will take place at 2pm on Saturday, the 27th of March, in the Substation at St Aidans. Our 2021 Open Days are planned for Saturday, the 17th of April, Saturday, the 12th of June, and Saturday and Sunday the 11th and 12th of September. We hope to be open from 1pm to 4pm on all of those days. These dates will be confirmed when the Coronavirus situation allows. For any additional information, please contact our Secretary on

September Open Days

Our last Open Days of 2019 took place at St Aidans, Swillington, on Saturday and Sunday, the 14th and 15th of September. We welcomed around 200 visitors who enjoyed tours of the Dragline and displays in the Substation. We also offered musical entertainment from a Vintage Organ on both days and a demonstration by the Cyclops Pedal Power team on the Saturday only. This followed the People Power theme of this year’s Heritage Open Days.

June Open Day

Our latest Open Day took place on Saturday 15th June.

We had fine weather for the whole day and welcomed around 450 visitors, including the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor. The Lord Mayor thoroughly enjoyed her visit, exploring the inside and outside of the Machine, guided by Members of the Friends of the Dragline. This was followed by a visit to the Substation to see working models of Draglines demonstrating how they worked to win much needed coal supplies. DVDs were also running during the day showing Draglines at work in many different locations.

All these activities were enjoyed by all of our visitors, and Members of the Friends who were Stewarding on the day were kept busy guiding people and answering many questions.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds to visit St Aidan’s

We are pleased to welcome the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor, to our next Dragline Open Day, on Saturday, 15th June.

Leeds has a special connection with Open Cast Mining, being the birthplace of Albert Braithwaite, M.P., who was a keen advocate of Open Cast Mining during and after the Second World War.

His father, also bearing the name Albert, had been the Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1921.