A big thank you to all our volunteers

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

A round up of achievements in 2016!


We wanted to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers for their hard work and support in 2016.

Find out about what they’ve been up to...


If you're inspired by what our volunteers have been up to, why not consider joining the National Coal Mining Museum for England in 2017? Click on the opportunities below...


Visitor Experience Team

Pam, Lauren, Janine, Helen, Marilyn, Amy, Rick, Katie, Pam and Sue have turned up every week to welcome school visitors during term-time and visitors throughout the year.

They have given us the opportunity to offer even more hand-on activities than ever before…

A Helping Hand!

From artefact handling, to providing a welcome when visitors walk through the door, our visitor experience team are on hand to help visitors get the most out of their visit  to the museum.

At half-term the volunteers  will be running handling sessions based on their research they have been doing into ‘Nationalisation’ for our new exhibition ‘By the People, For the People.’

Wacky Wednesday- our creative sessions behind the scenes!

Every week, without fail, Sue creates and produces all the resources for two craft activities for Wacky Wednesday. She has done the same thing for two special events – the Summer and Christmas specials alongside  working as an active member of the Visitor Experience team.

Weekly Wacky Wednesdays- an ever-growing team!

Our weekly Wacky Wednesday sessions continue to be a favourite for our under 5s and we couldn’t do it without our wacky volunteer team!Wacky Wednesday has brought around a thousand visitors to the Museum this year with a number of  regular and special events that have included storytelling, interactive play and singing!

Wacky Wednesday Storytellers

Our wacky wednesday team have been busy developing a changing programme  events and added a number of storytellers to the team. They're continually on the look out for someone with a flair for story telling to join our team of regular Wednesday morning storytellers.

Find out more information about how you can get involved as a Wacky Wednesday storyteller.

Art Cart Volunteers

Amy and Katie have given invaluable help at the Art Cart encouraging visitors to respond to their visit through art activities. 


The Coal Shed poets- performance poetry volunteers

David Alton and The Coalshed Poets have made a fantastic contribution to a number of events at the Museum and their self-sustaining way of working has given us a fantastic new way of developing the volunteer programme.The blog David has set up is a great record of their work and sends out a key message to the public that the Museum is an inspiring and creative place.

Find out how you can join The Coalshed poets in 2017...

Artist Volunteer

Sarah Jayne has brought her experience as an artist to the Museum.

Find out how you can apply to be an artist volunteer and demonstrate your creative skills at future event with the museum.

Industrial Conservation Volunteer

Despite holding down a full-time job, Julian has done a tremendous amount of work on the Snibston class diesel locomotive and Progress steam engine…both projects which can be viewed under the screens.

Industrial Conservation

John and Ben have been busy rebuilding the front of the Hippo lorry. It had suffered a bit of an accident many years ago and was left in parts, and the restoration project has meant it is now back to a near original quality.


Industrial Conservation- fixing the NCB ambulance and more!

Furthermore, Jon and Ben have then turned their attention to getting the NCB ambulance running again…and are thrilled to have succeeded!

Industrial Conservation Volunteering

Volunteers involved with conservation volunteering have also been mucking in and  working on both large and small mining equipment using hands-on conservation processes. They have also had opportunities to speak to the public about their work as pictured here!

Model projects

John has taken this model project further by completely rewiring, fixing and getting it back to working order. This project has required a steady hand, attention to detail and many hours of work, which can be viewed up close!

Industrial Conservation- boom loaders and more

Our volunteers, Billy and Mick have been busy working on restoration work on the Eimco Boom loader, a stationary haulage machine and a Mindev tracked loader.

Both pieces of equipment are examples used in coal mining which have mechanical moving parts powered by electricity, which has required an understanding of how the machines work and how to ensure they are preserved for generations to come.

Curatorial Support

Mike is using his knowledge of mining to add more information to the catalogue records for the photographic collection held at the museum.

Jordan is helping make the museum's collection of oral history recordings accessible by summarising them in a written format.

Pat has been doing a great job helping to catalogue some of the collections back log and she’s been putting her excellent research skills to good use.


Conservation volunteers- Remaking displays

Peter has been involved in making models for interactive display as part of the learning interpretation using  his model-making skills and  painting skills!

The Eimco Boom Loader- a close up

Thanks to the work of our industrial conservation volunteers, it is now possible to view important artefacts for the mining industry restored to a near- working condition.

Library Research Volunteer

Ivor comes in every week to add to our research, imparting his encyclopaedic knowledge that enhances the resources in the library. He continues to serve the community he knows so much about.

Photographic Collection-  a process of Digitalisation! 

Not only can he talk eloquently about mining but Alan is very patiently typing up a handwritten index book which will make part of the photographic collection more accessible.

Find out how you can get involved as a Digitial Collections Volunteer here.

Digital Collections Volunteer

Tim has been carrying out some fantastic work since he joined us in the summer. Tim has continued to play a big part  in the Collections team and has got stuck in in the museum's retrospective  documentation programme. 

Tim has been playing a vital role in improving access to the Photograph collection by enhancing our MODES records with digital images. Without this contribution huge areas of the photographic collection would have limited access not just for staff, but researchers and enquirers.

Find out how you can get involved as a Digitial Collections Volunteer.



Posted in Volunteering


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