A Stone Railway unearthed
In the 1970s, Northcliffe School teacher Eric Copley led a party of students in the hugely successful dig, shown in the pictures opposite, to unearth the railway after decades buried under the Crags scrub..
Eric – who was originally from Wath-upon-Dearne, but then lived in Swinton – was head of the school’s handicrafts department.
He had been a pattern maker at a Sheffield steelworks prior to his move into teaching, and he curated a lifelong interest in industrial archaeology, which he studied part-time, at Sheffield University.
It may well be that the work was carried out with some help from senior students from the university or other groups, but Eric and the Northcliffe students certainly played their part.
In the 1980s, Eric went on to do considerable research into the work and lifestyle of the people of the hamlet of Levitt Hagg, much of which was kept in the Northcliffe School archives by Neal Fitzgerald – now the Historian to Friends of the Crags. Neal also rescued photographs donated by a former resident Levitt Hagg. The present De Warenne Academy should still have his work.