Our Last Post: Time Out Reminiscence Box

The time has come to say goodbye. This is our last day at the Mining Museum, so we thought we’d share with you one of the projects we have been working on for the past eight weeks, a new reminiscence box on the theme of leisure.

The new 'Time Out' box.

Time Out box

Since 2012, the museum has run an outreach programme called ‘Memories in Your Hands’.  Through the use of handling boxes, people who are unable to visit the museum can access, and engage with, the collection. The boxes are particularly designed for use in reminiscence work with people who have degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Each box contains handling objects on a theme, photographs, books and information sheets. The museum delivers these boxes for free to care homes and other community organisations across Scotland, particularly those with links to mining. The museum currently has boxes on the themes of 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and Home Sweet Home. The box we have been working on, Time Out, will be going out into the community soon, and will available for new bookings in December.

Our responsibilities included sourcing objects and creating photo packs. The box is designed to help people remember their leisure time in the 1940s-1970s and covers activities that were popular in mining communities. Here are some of the items and photographs that are included:


Football was one of the most popular sports in mining communities, both among children and adults. This laced leather football is the kind that would have been used in the 1940s and 1950s. The wooden rattle would have been used to cheer on teams.


There was a great nightlife in mining communities. Mining welfare clubs were the heart of the social scene, with bars, games rooms, music and dance nights. Singers like Tom Jones started in mining communities. Nights out could be very glamorous, so doing make-up and nails were an important part of women’s weekly routines.


Collage - Time Out Gala Day

The Scottish Miners’ Gala held at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, was an annual event enjoyed by miners and their families. It started in 1947 to celebrate winning the five-day week and was held on May Day every year. They featured Coal Queen competitions, sporting events, music and political speeches. © Copyright of the Trustees of National Mining Museum Scotland, photographer Robert L. Nicholson

Other activities included in the box are pigeon racing, greyhound racing, knitting and going to the pub.

If you are interested in borrowing any of the loan boxes, please contact the Education Manager, Victoria Robb, via email at

We have really enjoyed working on the Time Out box, our blog, and all our other projects at the National Mining Museum Scotland, and would like all the staff for making our placement a wonderful learning experience.


Morgan and Rebecca


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