A new team of Apprentices are preparing to start work at the former Lady Victoria Colliery in Newtongrange! The brand new Apprentice Guides programme is currently being developed by the National Mining Museum in conjunction with pupils from Primary 6 & 7 at Gore Glen Primary School, Gorebridge.
The programme, which aims to aims to increase engagement by the community with their mining heritage, will see the seven Apprentice Guides deliver tours and safety lamp demonstrations to school groups across the county from January 2017.
The Apprentices have been kitted out with blue boiler suits, just like the apprentices who once worked in the pit and have been trained in safety lamp demonstrating by Tom Young, a local ex-miner who now works as a tour guide at the museum.
Victoria Robb, Education Manager at National Mining Museum Scotland said: “We were thrilled when Mrs Marr, Head Teacher at Gore Glen Primary School, got in touch regarding this exciting idea. From then on NMMS and Gore Glen Primary have worked closely together to develop and plan the Apprentice Guide programme. We wanted all the pupils to be involved in the entire process. Therefore, the pupils chose their topic, their uniforms, the format of the tour and, as humour is very important to them all, even wrote several puns for the tour! During their first visit to the Mining Museum all of the pupils engaged with the importance of the Safety Lamp. It has been 201 years since the invention of the Safety Lamp and thousands of men’s lives have been saved because of it. We hope that the Apprentice Guide’s tour will pay tribute to the history and importance of the safety lamp.
“Our Apprentice Guides are now seen as adopted members of staff here at the museum and everyone is incredibly excited for their tour to be launched in January 2017. From February to May 2017 schools from across Midlothian, and indeed Scotland, will have the opportunity to book a tour with the talented Apprentice Guides. Already we have seen their confidence, public speaking and engagement with Scotland’s mining heritage expand and we hope they will pass this enthusiasm and knowledge on to those who hear their great tour.”
Julie Unrau, Class Teacher at Gore Glen Primary School said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be part of the Apprentice Guide programme at National Mining Museum Scotland. This is a fantastic opportunity for the children of Gore Glen Primary School to work with our local community and schools. The staff and children are looking forward to this new opportunity and how it develops and progresses over the years.”
Mya Barrett, one of the Apprentice Guides said: “I’m really excited that we’ve had the opportunity to do this as my grandad was a miner at the Lady Victoria Colliery.”