Meet the Industrial Collections Volunteer Team

Posted on by Melanie Charlton

This week we've been introducing you to our volunteers at the museum and today we'll be finding out a bit more about some of the Industrial Collections Volunteer team. Lets hear what Ben, John and Steve can tell us about their volunteering experience. 

 

All about Ben

What’s your name? Ben Martin 

What do you do at the museum? Industrial Collections Volunteer 

Tell us a bit more about what that involves? Work on conserving mining equipment to display standard.

How long have you volunteered at the Museum for? 6 months 

What made you want to volunteer? I have a fundamental interest in restoring historic artefacts and machinery. I was looking for an opportunity to do something ‘engineering’ based. 

Tell us about your life before volunteering at the Museum? Managing Director of a Bradford based engineering company. I started out as an engineering apprentice and did an engineering degree. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? The challenge and interest of bringing old machinery, disused as it were, back to life.

The company of people who work here – especially those other volunteers with mining background.   

Can you tell us an interesting fact or something surprising that you have discovered or learnt, whilst volunteering at the Museum? The most interesting thing is the sheer robustness of the machinery due to the demanding underground conditions where they had to work – more robust than I’ve ever been used to working with.

All about Steve

What’s your name? Steve Mellor 

What do you do at the museum? Industrial Collections Volunteer 

Tell us a bit more about what that involves? Work on conserving mining equipment to display standard. 

How long have you volunteered at the Museum for? 15 months 

What made you want to volunteer? I was on a work programme with the jobcentre. They suggested doing some volunteering. I thought it was a good idea.  

Tell us about your life before volunteering at the Museum? Miner for 43 years – underground fitter. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? Enjoy coming in & meeting new people and especially feel that what I’m doing is passing on my knowledge to other people. 

Can you tell us an interesting fact or something surprising that you have discovered or learnt, whilst volunteering at the Museum? It amazes me that the older machinery that I work on was before my time as a miner. Stuff I’ve never worked on in my working life.

The best thing is getting the end result – we get something working that hasn’t fired up properly for say 70 or 80 years. Volunteering is also expanding my own technical knowledge.

All about John

What’s your name? John O’Toole

 What do you do at the museum? Industrial Collections Volunteer (Also help with Visitor Experience during busy times)

 Tell us a bit more about what that involves? Work on conserving mining equipment to display standard.

 How long have you volunteered at the Museum for? 5 months 

What made you want to volunteer? Took early retirement and looked for something to do to stop me ‘going off the cliff’. I wanted to do something to do with electrical or mechanical engineering – which I’ve done all my life.  

Tell us about your life before volunteering at the Museum? National Technical Manager for Rank. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? The Variety – working with such a range of kit.

I’m able to help out at busy times with visitor experience, I feel comfortable with it. When we (RANK) used to open up new venues I’d be involved in the technical side and in doing so ended up customer facing some of the time – you were always being approached at venues so I began to adapt to helping people in a similar situation.   

Can you tell us an interesting fact or something surprising that you have discovered or learnt, whilst volunteering at the Museum? Insight to how museum’s operate. 

To find out more about volunteering at the museum click here

Posted in Volunteering

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