Chief Executive

Mhairi Cross, Chief Executive

I have a wealth of experience in the cultural sector, spanning over 20 years.  Working in local authorities my achievements include setting up the first contemporary art gallery in Falkirk, establishing artist in residence programmes across educational establishments in North Lanarkshire and developing the Arts and Museum Service in Renfrewshire.  I also successfully developed the visitor experience within Paisley Museum and the educational programme for children and young people.

I am an active outdoors enthusiast and enjoy canoeing, kayaking, cycling, I’m an advocate of the ‘maker movement’ and, when time allows, I enjoy making and being creative. 


Joyce Harrison, Office Manager

I joined the museum staff after various administration and book keeping positions ranging from primary school to a conference centre.  I am married to Fred, we have 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren (4 girls and 2 boys) all of whom keep us very busy.  I am very involved in my church where Fred is local ordained minister.  I enjoy working at the museum very much and love being part of the administration team.

Audrey Salton, Finance Assistant

After starting out on a Y.T.S. scheme at 16 with Moredun Research Institute as a Library Assistant I have had quite a varied career. This has mostly involved accounting related roles, starting from Junior Purchase Ledger Clerk at Wylies to Feed Mill Administrator at Grampian Country Food Group. I joined NMMS in 2004 as Office Assistant and have quite a diverse working role, which keeps the job interesting. I am married, with two daughters. I enjoy chatting and spending time with my friends and family.


Ellie Swinbank, Keeper

I studied history at St Andrews and then did a postgraduate degree in museum studies at Newcastle. I have worked with a wide variety of museum collections, at the Wordsworth Trust in the Lake District, Tyne and Wear Museums, Lancashire Museums, Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle, and the National Railway Museum in York before coming to the National Mining Museum Scotland. My main interest lies with social history, especially the social history of industrial communities. I am involved with the Social History Curators Group, Scottish Coal Collections Group, Scottish Transport and Industrial Collections Knowledge Network and the Scottish Museums Federation. I am also working towards my Associate Membership of the Museums Association. I am originally from Glasgow and now live in Edinburgh. Outside of work I enjoy walking, photography and reading.

David Bell, Assistant Curator

I’m originally from Berwick on Tweed and spent most of my career in Oxfordshire in adult and primary school education. I moved to Edinburgh in 2013 and started volunteering with the collections team at the museum. I really enjoyed being here so jumped at the chance of becoming a member of staff in 2015. I’m Assistant Curator working Monday to Thursday. Outside of work I do a bit of “old man” jogging, try to look after two unruly dogs and do a bit of family history research (and yes, my grandad was a Midlothian miner!). 


Victoria Robb, Education Manager

I grew up in Ayrshire (where my great grandfather was a pony driver!) and moved to East Lothian in 2014. I studied History at the University of St Andrews and upon graduating I worked in scientific and pharmaceutical procurement. I volunteered for several years at Dalgarven Mill: Museum of Country Life and Costume and with the National Trust while working on my postgraduate degree. Combining my passion for heritage, in particular industrial heritage, and education I moved on to work as the Learning and Access Intern for the Scottish Maritime Museum. Most recently, I was with Scotland’s Urban Past, part of HES, as their Learning Officer. [/vc_column_text]

Visitor Experience

Kerry-lee Godfrey, Visitor Services Team Leader

Emma Lean, Visitor Services Assistant

I was born in Edinburgh and raised in Midlothian where I attended Newbattle Community High School from 2000-2006. I started working at NMMS as a part-time receptionist towards the end of July 2012.  Prior to this I owned and managed my own independent clothing store for three years where we specialised in alternative clothing. As a musician, I love jazz, blues and rock & roll and am currently studying Music Business at Edinburgh College.

Irene Stirling, Visitor Services Assistant

I was born in Gorebridge and have lived in Newtongrange for over 36 years with my husband John. Most of my previous jobs have been customer service/financial/admin based jobs. My last post was with Midlothian Council working at Dalkeith Community Centre for nearly 16 years as Senior Support Assistant, until it closed down in July 2011. I have 2 grown up children, Emma & David and 3 granddaughters Eve, Olivia and Ruby. As well as spending time with the grandchildren I enjoy DIY, knitting and garden birds.

Amy Salton, Visitor Services Assistant

I attended Newbattle High School from 2008 to 2013.  I started working at NMMS as a part-time receptionist at the beginning of February whilst doing my final year at Edinburgh College, studying Beauty Therapy.  I hope to start my freelance Beauty Therapy Business in the future. I love being creative in my spare time and I’m always looking for new challenges.

Rebecca Weatherhead, Visitor Services Assistant

I was born in South Queensferry and I am a student studying sociology and English literature. In 2015 I started working for NMMS as a part time receptionist. My hobbies include horse riding, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Margaret Catterson, Visitor Services Assistant

Jim Cornwall, Tour Guide

I started work with the National Coal Board in 1965 at the age of 15 in the Newbattle Central Workshops as an Apprentice Engineer. I left the Coal Board in 1974 and joined Gullick Dobson, manufacturers of hydraulic power supports for the coal face, as a Service Engineer. During the 1984 strike I was sent to the India coalfields. I also worked in America and Australia in this role. In 1989, after 24 years in the industry, I was made redundant when the pits closed. I joined Bank of Scotland and worked in the disaster recovery side of the business. I took early retirement in August 2007 and began working as a Guide at the National Mining Museum in October 2007.

John Kane, Tour Guide

I started work in 1952 at Whitehill Colliery on the picking tables at the age of 15 years. I then went to Esk Valley College and Lingerwood Colliery for 3 months underground training, after which I returned to Whitehill Colliery and started underground at the age of 16 years, clipping on the main haulage road. I started my coalface training at the age of 18 years, working at the coalface until Whitehill Colliery closed in 1961. I then transferred to Bilston Glen driving mines for approximately six years. I returned to coalface work until 1979 after which I went to Esk Valley College where I obtained my Deputy and Shotfirers Certificate. I was a deputy until Bilston Glen Colliery closed in 1989. I was 50 years of age and had served 35 years in the coal mines. Outside of work I enjoy walking in the countryside and eating out.

Tom Young, Tour Guide

I was born in Newtongrange in 1945, two doors from the Dean Tavern, and attended Newtongrange Primary School. In 1964 I started work here at the Lady Victoria Colliery as an Apprentice Mine Surveyor working within the Newbattle Group, which included Easthouses Mine and Lingerwood Colliery. I studied Mine Surveying on a day release and night school basis at Esk Valley College. Between 1964 and 1970 I worked in a total of fourteen mines including Bilston Glen, Monktonhall and six other private mines. In 1970 I left the National Coal Board to work in the Civil Engineering field and attended Napier College. Between 1970 and 1990 I worked with Scottish Special Housing Association, part of my duties there was investigating existing housing sites and new developments regarding old mine workings. Often I was required to organize surface bore holes into the ground to determine the extent of voids underground created by shallow coalmines. In 2008 I returned to the Lady Victoria Colliery as a Tour Guide. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, golf, football and bowls.

John Anderson, Tour Guide

I started work in the mining industry in 1955 when I was 15 years of age. My first job was at Arniston Colliery where I worked at the pithead. Two years later, at the age of 17, I began work underground. In 1959 I moved to Dalkeith Colliery where I did all aspects of coalface work. I worked there until the colliery closed in 1978. I then moved to Monktonhall Colliery where I continued to work at the coalface until the colliery closed in 1987. I am a keen motorbike enthusiast and enjoy rock n roll dancing.

Sinclair Sutherland, Tour Guide

David Mcdougall, Tour Guide

In 1964 I left school, age 18, and started an indentured mining surveyor apprenticeship with the NCB.  After completing my below ground training at Muircockhall my first colliery was the Klondyke (Newcraighall Colliery). This was followed by a spell at Monktonhall during its development then at the Woolmet Colliery until it closed in 1967. Smeaton was my next pit where I finished my apprenticeship and then sat my surveyors exams at the Mannor Powis Colliery. On leaving the Coal Board I switched to a civil engineering career, studying civil engineering, geology and soil mechanics at Napier College. At the reorganisation of local government in 1975 I was appointed Senior Land Surveyor for the Lothian Region. In 1982 I went out to work in Saudi Arabia as a party chief working for, at that time, the biggest survey company in the world (incidentally started by two former mine surveyors). On return from Saudi I was employed on a one year contract through the Manpower Services Commission, working with the curator at the Scottish Mining Museum, collecting artefacts, taking photos and subsequently cataloguing them on to computerised records. I then returned to local authority employment as an Asset Engineer with the water authorities. On early retirement in 2002 I became a guide at the mining museum.

Andrew Horne, Tour Guide

I left school in 1963 age 15 and started work in Gorebridge Co-op as an apprentice baker. After serving my time the bakery closed in 1970 and as a young man decided to join the Merchant Navy. Serving 4 years as a baker on passenger liners with Cunard Steamship Company. On leaving in 1974 I stared with the National Coal Board (NCB) my main duties were the transport of materials to the face, in the coal face as a face worker and the last 9 years as a mine deputy. I was made redundant in 1989 when Monktonhall Colliery closed and moved jobs to British Rail as a permanent wayman. Changing jobs again in 2000 because of constant nightshift including weekends I decided to start as a bus driver with Lothian buses (LRT) where I remained for 3 years till 2003. An opportunity arose when a position became available as a station staff member at Haymarket station in Edinburgh. I retired in 2013 becoming a tour guide with NMMS part-time which I thoroughly enjoy.


Gillian Rankin, Marketing & Events Officer

I enjoyed a 13 year career with Bank of Scotland in various marketing, events and sponsorship roles before taking a career break when I had my daughter in 2002. Having lived in Midlothian all my life I’m passionate about its heritage so I was delighted to take on the job at National Mining Museum Scotland in 2005.  It’s such a varied role promoting a 5 star visitor attraction!  No two days are ever the same!  I am married to Ralph and we have one daughter (Leah, 14), a cat (Roxy), and guinea pig (Bella).  In my spare time I like to keep fit by walking, cycling and swimming.

Technical Services

Fred Harrison, Technical Services Manager

I am no stranger to the museum having delivered First Aid training here for a number of years. I have also been providing a key holder service over the last year covering any Call Outs. I worked in all aspects of the building industry for 25 years before running my own company mixing First Aid training and building work and now brings that wealth of experience to the museum.

Richard Thomson, Technical Assistant

I left school at 16 and began an engineering apprenticeship with the National Coal Board in 1971. I started work at Dalkeith Colliery, being transferred to Monktonhall in 1973. I worked as an engineer underground until 1989 when I was made redundant. In 1992 I joined the Scottish Mining Museum as a Guide and transferred to Technical Assistant the same year. I like music, film and restoring classic motorcycles.