Highlights of 2015

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

It's been an incredibly busy year for the National Coal Mining Museum with a very pleasing increase in the number of visitors coming along to experience the unique underground tour and our varied events programme.

Looking back, here are some of our highlights of 2015.

The Underground Tour

The tour continues to be as popular as ever and our success led to the Museum being awarded with a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor, for the consistently high reviews we get from visitors. 

Shortlisted for a Telegraph Kids in Museum award

From an amazing 850 nominations, the Coal Mining Museum was one of just 6 shortlisted for the 2015 Family Friendly Museum Award. 

Miners Gala

This popular event returned in the Summer with traditional activities & lots of fun for the whole family. It's always a great way to bring the community together.

Memorial Garden opening

Our Miners’ Memorial Garden celebrates and commemorates the courage and camaraderie of our miners, and the close-knit families and communities that supported them. A place for quiet contemplation and reflection, the Garden allows all who visit us to share memories of what coal mining has meant to them over many generations.

Click here to find out how to create your own dedication in the garden.

Launch of the Science Show

This year we have been celebrating 200 years of the miners' safety flame lamp and our new Science Show has helped explain to visitors how this landmark invention was made in order to improve safety underground. Here's a selection of reviews of the Show ... 'fun, informative & entertaining' 'great for all ages' 'I have a lamp at home and now I understand why they were so important'.

Special exhibitions

Just a few of the exhibition highlights this year have been 'Path of the Ponies', 'Rugby League', 'A Light in The Darkness' and 'Miners' which paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of the Miners' Strike. 

The National Coal Mining Museum for England aims to keep coal mining alive by collecting and preserving the industry’s rich heritage, and our varied exhibition programme helps bring the past to life.

New Cafe

Earlier this year the new cafe opened at the Museum, bringing delicious food and super new foodie events by caterers Asparagus Green. We have had so much great feedback on this new asset for the Museum. The Afternoon Teas have been especially enjoyed!

Workshops for schools

We have delivered 100's of educational and hands-on workshops for schools covering science, maths, history and art. We have also had fun with under 5's at Wacky Wednesday each week. Our education team, miner guides and volunteers have worked so hard to make a visit to the Museum memorable for 1000's of school children travelling from near and far.

Conferencing and events

We are proud to have excellent conference and events facilities at the Museum and we have hosted a variety of special events from the hugely successful Lego Brick Show through to Cabaret Nights & Christmas Brass at Caphouse with Carlton Frickley Main Brass Band.


The library has helped a large number of people throughout the year find out valuable pieces of information using our unique collection of memorabilia and documentation.

Thanks to all our team, dedicated volunteers & all the Museum's visitors for making 2015 such a memorable one.

We look forward to bringing you more in 2016!


Posted in Family


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