King Edward Mine Museum in Troon plans to open to visitors on May 23rd, each day from Sunday to Wednesday, subject to any further government changes of plan. The museum will open at 10.00am each day with the last tour starting at 3.30pm. Volunteers have been preparing the museum for visitors over the past weeks and everything will be in place for us to have a successful season, including appropriate Covid protection.
This year we look forward to providing a great visitor experience for local people and holidaymakers alike. With a likely boost in tourist numbers this summer we are hopeful of having a bumper year and a great time for all. We aim to continue the good response from our visitors as shown in this typical review from a couple who came last September: ‘You get so much more out of a museum when you have guides. Our guides clearly loved what they do. They each had a passion for a different part of mining, some for the technical, some for the historical development and some for the social. They were also all clearly fond of each other and were a lovely team….. I couldn’t recommend a visit here enough! I feel I now know so much more about Cornwall’s mining history than I did yesterday and my life is that little bit richer for it’. The visitor finishes with the words; ‘Also, the cafe is AMAZING!’ The Croust Hut, based on our site, has undergone changes to improve the outdoor experience when visitors have a snack, lunch or just a coffee when they are at the museum.
Despite the recurring lockdowns work has been done with many improvements being made to the museum. Machinery has been overhauled with some now operable for the first time. A new space has been made to display materials from Holman’s Engineering who were once, of course, a major company in Camborne with strong mining connections.
The survey office which is almost unchanged since it was built in 1897 now has retro lighting and has a range of surveying instruments and equipment on display. The blacksmith’s forge has been restored to its original condition with a range of appropriate tools and equipment. We are hoping to see an occasional visit by a working blacksmith who will operate the forge.
Some internal and external redecoration has taken place to improve the appearance of the museum. The lecture room has been revamped to include modern facilities and is available for community use for meetings and other activities. Students from Cornwall College have provided invaluable support, particularly with a major tree planting programme across our extensive 22 acre site.
A connection between the old and the new in Cornish mining is to be found in a joint venture with Cornwall Lithium which includes assistance with our resources to help their plans to develop modern lithium production in the County.
We have no paid staff and are completely reliant on volunteer labour so we are fortunate in having a keen band of volunteers whose numbers have swollen in recent months. We are particularly pleased to welcome some younger volunteers who have reduced the average age of our workforce. More volunteers are always welcome so please get in touch if you would like to work with us in preserving an important part of Cornwall’s rich industrial heritage.