Geevor and World Heritage… what does it all mean? do you know?

In my previous incarnation I learnt a lot.  Not only about museum digital learning, but also a great deal about Tin Mining, Industrial heritage, community organisation as well as the pros and cons of being involved in a World Heritage Site.  But it wasn’t all work. I learnt a lot from the people around me.

Geevor was full of absolutely amazing people. Some experts in their field, some hard workers, knowledgeable, funny, others were gracious, kind hearted, gentle, and some were plain strange. Don’t get me wrong there were disagreements, and politics, there’s always politics. But two people in particular, there are others Jo, Nick T, Joby, Claire, Kay and Fiona all brilliant, but the two who I shared an office with day in day out, made Geevor an absolutely wonderful place to be. Firstly Cyril (there is not enough words in the world to describe how wonderful, wise and kind Cyril is so I’m not even going to attempt it), and secondly Rebecca.

Rebecca is the most lovely person. Never a bad word to say about anyone, she puts her best into everything she does, a brilliant museum learning professional and boy she is a very good conscience when I was trying to avoid eating too much cake.

A bit about Geevor: since 2001, Geevor Tin Mine in Cornwall has been managed by Pendeen Community Heritage (PCH), a village based registered charity. The local community has driven and shaped the development Geevor. The local community and ex-miners create exhibitions, act as guides, complete project work to conserve the significant site archive, as well as community involvement in the governance of the charity. It is this living history which has helped to develop Geevor into the internationally respected example of hard rock mining which it has become.

And for a place that not a lot of people had heard of outside of Cornwall until recently, the people down at Geevor have done an amazing job.  However, on 13th July 2006 , the rest of the world took notice and select mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon were inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, of which Geevor is a major part of.  This gave PCH and Geevor the responsibility to make the history of Geevor available to the broadest possible audience.  But no-one had clearly thought how becoming a WHS would affect the short, medium and long term plans of running an awesome site.

Now this is where Rebecca comes in. Rebecca is now working towards her MA in Museum Studies at Leicester (as well as being an excellent learning team manager at Geevor) and is undertaking research into the role of museums within the ‘world heritage’ agenda. In particular, museums potential role in advocating both the value heritage and the importance of preserving it, at the local and national level.

So I graciously ask; would you mind filling in a survey for her research, which is not only a cracking dissertation topic but is also really going to help Geevor in the future.

If you are willing to help, the link to complete the survey is as follows:

(N.B. Rebecca will be collecting responses until 20th June 2010)

Thanky you!

A fitting end

Coming out of Victory 2As a goodbye treat from Geevor I was allowed to descend down the Victory shaft, where the public aren’t allowed to venture. I’ve waited patiently for two years, and boy was it worth it! Thank you very much Bill for being my expert guide.

We travelled down to 3rd level of Victory, which is about 300ft (90metres) and saw the top of sea level in the shaft, the majority of the network of mine tunnels are now flooded when the pumps were turned off after closure in 1990.

With some incredibly low ceilings and with my willies well and truly breached we made our down through mine workings that spanned over 300 years.  This experience was absolutely amazing and it really hits home what the miners did down there, and how good they were at their jobs. It was fantastic to finely truly understand what it would have been like to work down here.  I was amazed by the colours and the textures of the rock and the workmanship of the miners. My geologist type boyfriend came with us, and he was in his element looking at funny looking rock formations and collections of ‘sludge’.

So all and all a very fitting end to my time at Geevor Tin Mine.  Thank you!

Goodbye Geevor…hello London!

claire down the mineToday’s my last day at Geevor! My time here as flown by! It only seems like yesterday I arrived smartly dressed, bright eyed and bushy tailed and excited about the project ahead. The smart clothes went out the window straight away! (there is no place for shirts and heels at a mine on a cliff edge).

I have certainly left my mark at Geevor, mostly dents in doorways where I have banged my head so many times, earning my title as possibly the clumsiest person in the world. I’ve also brought my special brand of endless enthusiasm and my extreme tea and cake eating abilities to Geevor.  Especially with the girls in the learning team, hopefully Claire S will carry on this tradition with style.

I’ve loved working here, it hasn’t been easy and yes I have ranted and raved, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and can not thank the University of Exeter, Geevor and KTP for giving me this opportunity.  I have made some good friends and even more great colleagues, I have so many thank yous I’m not even going to begin, but I thought I’d leave you with some of my best bits….

  • The Blog! I love it! it shows a side to Geevor that you don’t get to see when you visit! A behind the scenes look at the goings on at Geevor. It also gives you an insight into the sense of humour of the staff, Bill’s posts make me laugh so much.
  • Flickr and Twitter– brilliant tools that are encouraging Geevor to interact with the outside world, and for you guys to interact with us! Some of the photos on the Geevor Flickr group are truly inspirational.
  • Banging my head on one of the new cases in the Hard Rock Museum a week before the grand opening and getting concussion. Nick T being more concerned that I’d got blood on the case, before tending to the egg shaped lump on my head and taking me to hospital.
  • Bringing an ethos of ‘tea?’ to the learning team. What on earth did you do without me and tea?
  • My endless enthusiasm, no matter what gets thrown my way.  I am excited by everything and love the potential that Geevor has. I hope this pro active and opportunistic mentality sticks with Geevor as the go from Strength to Strength.
  • And finally, the website! It was hard going and I’ve done my best with the resources and time available! Its not bad for someone with no web experience what so ever! Dress the miner seems to be going down well, and my favourite is the whoosy image thing (lightbox that does cool things to see the image better).  As I said in a previous post on the Geevor blog, there are so many things I would like to develop and improve on, but I now leave it in Geevor’s capable hands and look forward to watching it grow.   I hope you like it.

And where am I going? What am I doing next?

Moving back to London that’s what!? After two years in idyllic Penzance, I’m moving back to the big city,  back to UCL! Im gong to be working on a project call Linksphere looking at virtual learning environments and social media.  I get to geek out basically, looking at how/if academics are using blogs, twitter, wikis and facebook.  Yes I am a nerdosaurs.  I’m very excited about it.  but it doesn’t mean I will forget about Geevor. .. I’ll be keeping my eye on you….