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From Minors to Miners!

Pupils at Blackwell Primary School took part in a modelling workshop in which they made miners lamps. The workshop began with the display of a miners lamp, no children had any knowledge of the lamp and what it was for and the names that they were given such as tilly lamp/ Davey Lamp. The children were excited to see a real lamp that was used in the mines.

The class also discussed coal and what they knew about it, really their only knowledge of coal was that it was used as a fuel. Overall there was no real knowledge of the mining heritage in the area with just three children from the class knowing that there was a mine.

After the workshop the children visited the National Coal Mining Museum. When completing the dig deeper workshop at the museum, the children were able to answer the questions regarding the mining lamp, they recalled what they had learnt in the making a miners lamp workshop in good detail.

During the trip the children were most excited about the journey underground to the mine itself. They particluarly enjoyed seeing the conditions and to know that it's actually true and not just what has been presented to them in pictures.

Whilst visiting the museum the pupils took part in a workshop with artist Sally Lemsford. Activities were based around heritage and specificaaly the thoughts and prior knowledge of the young people. Generally the young people are proud of Blackwell, especially if they live there. While they may have limited understanding of the term 'heritage' or 'heyday', they are aware of Blackwell's heritage as buildings and industry, and value people's memories. There is pride in specific family members and ancestors, but there is also some stereotyping of older people as a group. The young people were interested in finding out more and really appreciated seeing sites, equipment and processes first hand, rather than just as photos that could be "made up" or "trickery".

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