Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater…!’ Do you know the origins of this phrase? I learnt the answer to this on our recent trip to the Scottish Mining Museum. The museum on my list for a while, we finally made it there last Sunday. Our second attempt, the first we were too late for a tour. This time, forewarned we arrived in good time to look round the museum prior to the second (and last) tour of the day at 2pm. Possibly something that should be better advertised on their website to facilitate better chosen arrival times, it would also enable tours to be fuller (it was just the two of us). A definite worthwile part of the experience, I’m sure a guide rather than your own feet carrying you makes this a richer experience.
The museum set across two floors, it tells the story of colliers, coal and mining; reminds of the many uses of coal (tar, soap, antiseptics, plastic and many more); paints a picture of gases that can be dangerous; tells of the many stories of accidents and deaths and also of how mining has been modernised and changed throughout the years. Some, of course, through the result of changes to legislation.
With a mix of sounds, text boards, interactive displays and videos, it seemed to just know when the interface needed to be changed to keep you interested. I read a lot, particularly of the story of women in the mines. Reading and watching, reminded of the hard graft, it definitely felt like something children who think they are worked hard should be made to be absorbed in.
A little bit more of the wise and having been told why not to throw the baby out with the bathwater (typically washed last in a very very very dirty bathtub after the older to younger generations of their mining families preceding them), our guide Andrew, a retired miner showed us round Lady Victoria pithead. Past trainlines, coal trucks, tunnels and machines, he informed of the site’s history and so absorbed me in his tales I felt it rude to take any pictures during this time. Very very cold though, I advise you to wrap up warm!
Obtaining admission cheaper through using a groupon, this is a definite worthwhile few hours visit. Especially so to serve as a reminder if you’re feeling hard done by!