Local history comes alive during an unforgettable journey of discovery that starts over 300 million years ago (the formation of coal) through to the Roman Invasion of Britain in AD43, the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the post-industrial changes of recent years.
The education sessions at the Centre consist of two guided tours (Mine & Museum). Both tours include hands-on opportunities for the children.
The museum itself consists of displays explaining the history of Apedale and the surrounding area. These cover the formation of coal, its extraction, fossils, the local Roman fort and town and the life and work of the miners from the Victorian period to modem times.
Other displays include a mines rescue vehicle, a detailed model of a drift mine, several industrial locomotives, mining photographs, documents, tools and a selection of other artefacts. The lower part of a wall from a local Roman building of importance, and authentic reproductions of a miner’s cottage of the 1920s and mine medical room are of special interest.
Apedale is a drift mine, where the coal workings are reached by means of a walk-in incline, rather than a vertical shaft. Mine tours start with everyone being kitted out and lamped up in the Lamp Room – this gives the children a real “hands on” event as pupils wear the same equipment as the Mine Guide. Before entering the mine, the importance of the “contraband rules”, good ventilation, and method of moving coal and other materials with a powerful haulage engine are explained.
The fully-trained Guide will then take you through an actual coal and ironstone seam that was, until quite recently the daily work place for many local hard working miners. The various methods of coal extraction are described and the group will have opportunities to take part in hands-on demonstrations. In addition, they learn about the friendships, hardships and dangers of working underground.
The informative talk and tour by one of our expert guides will greatly enhance pupils’ understanding of topics such as Geography and Local History as well as giving them increased knowledge of the history of Coal Mining and its communities.
For more information or to arrange a booking visit our group booking page.