Days Out: National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield

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Would-be explorers are invited to don their head lamps and shine a light on Britain’s underground history at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield.

You’ll follow in the footsteps of the brave workers – as you descend 140 metres underground with ex-miners who will guide you around where they used to work and live.

Don a hard hat and lamp and you can unearth the hidden world at the 45-acre site which is one of the UK’s oldest working mines.

For visitors who prefer to stay overground, the National Coal Mining Museum still offers plenty of ways to learn about the people who spent their lives under the surface.

Incredible galleries tell the stories of hundreds of hard-working miners who extracted coal and moved it to the surface from the Victorian age to modern day.

Take a visit to the Coal Mining Museum’s Stable Yard and you can meet Welsh ponies Eric and Ernie and gentle giant Clydesdale Finn, who will reveal the role horses played in Britain’s mining history.

You can also take a train ride to Hope Pit, a fully restored colliery complex filled with hands-on interactive models, touch screen displays and virtual guides to help you uncover the science of mining.

The museum also regularly hosts different exhibitions and throughout 2017, it will mark the 70th anniversary of the nationalisation of the coal industry with a special display called ‘By the People, for the People’.

It looks at why Britain’s mines stopped being owned by individual coal companies or owners but instead became managed by the National Coal Board on behalf of the people. The exhibition also tells the stories of the workforce and what nationalisation on January 1, 1947 meant for them.

The National Coal Mining Museum aims to keep coal mining alive by collecting and preserving the industry’s rich heritage.

FACTFILE

Factfile

Admission: Parking and admission to the Museum and Underground Tours is free

Opening Times: Daily from 10am until 5pm

Address: National Coal Mining Museum for England, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield, WF4 4RH

Phone: 01924 848 806

Website: https://www.ncm.org.uk/

More: www.yorkshire.com

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