Heroes and Heroines : What's it all about?

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

We catch up with Anne Bradley (Curator of Social & Oral History)

"The Museum is currently going through some very exciting changes. We have a new Director in Mike Benson, and as an institution we are looking at different ways of working."

What's the background to the exhibition?

"The idea for an exhibition on heroes and heroines of the coalfields has been in the pipeline for a few years, but the Museum has a tight temporary exhibition programme.

The subjects of our exhibitions are often tied in with anniversaries or other events which are going on in the country at large. Last year we ran an exhibition on lamps to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the invention of the flame safety lamp, and during the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, we looked at the sport in mining communities and its role in rehabilitation."

What ideas came out of your research?

"The original intention for this exhibition was to look at famous heroes and heroines linked with the coal mining industry and its community; its inventors, protectors, activists and reformers.

As our work progressed though, another larger category became apparent; the ordinary men and women who worked tirelessly in the industry over the years to provide for their families. They fought for the right to work, and brought the values and camaraderie from the pit into the community."

So how is the exhibition going to work?

"With this in mind, the emphasis of the exhibition has changed. For the first time ever, we will be installing the exhibition in two phases. The first phase will look at heroes and heroines nominated by Museum staff. This has provided an opportunity for all of the Museum’s staff to feed into the exhibition, not just the curatorial team as in previous exhibitions.

We would like you to consider the first phase as an invitation, to come and see who we have nominated, and to consider who you would most like to nominate as your heroes and heroines for the second part of the exhibition in July."

Keep an eye out for our next blog post to find out more about the aims and objectives of the exhibition, and how YOU can get involved!

Heroes / Sharing Stories

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