Shortlisted Museums Heritage Award 2017
We were thrilled Llechwedd Deep Mine was shortlisted for the Innovation Category Museum and Heritage Award 2017
The objective of the new tour was
to use leading edge technology and creativity to tell the mine’s powerful story
with an authentic voice, in a manner that would connect with a 21st
century audience. It would be the first time that this kind of technology had
been used underground.
The tour starts with a 500ft descent on the UK’s
steepest cable railway as the clock ‘turns back’ 150 years to the mid-19th
century. Visitors come face to face with the stern founder of the mine,
JW Greaves, and get to listen in as Hywel, Merion and Gethin – a father, son
and uncle team – go about their working day. The lively and likeable characters
on the tour are brought to life via video projections on to invisible screens
(with original film having been recorded on green screen) and clever use of
silhouettes and sound effects. The script is full of interesting details about
the miners’ lives, with insight into their hopes, fears superstitions and humour.
Visitors cover the tour on foot
wearing a boiler suit and hard-hat with miner’s lamp. There are several
opportunities for them to interact: by climbing the chains miners used to
anchor themselves to the cavern walls, by drilling a charge hole using a heavy
metal ‘jumper’, and even by setting and detonating a blast (delivered by way of
special effects). Llechwedd’s knowledgeable guides, some of whom have links to
the mine that go back five generations – accompany visitors throughout the tour
and provide the narrative link between each cavern’s action.
The tour can be delivered in
Welsh or in English.