We welcome volunteers to work with our team at Poldark Tin Mine, Trenere Wolas Gardyn & the Cornish Heritage Collection.
Volunteers help keep this ancient & historic tin mine, Scheduled Ancient Monument, industrial heritage museum and waterside gardens running. On most Saturdays [but not all] and on some other days we have several volunteers at the mine who undertake all sorts of tasks.
During lockdown travelling locally to come and volunteer is permitted with certain rules being responsibly observed, maintaining social distancing and undertaking proper sanitizing procedures when here.
When we are open to the public friends & volunteers pop in from time to time getting to grips with a variety of projects or just call in to share a cuppa and have a chinwag. Some regulars from far away places spend a few days with us during their holidays in Corwall.
If you want to join our friendly team, please do telephone us during the week on 01326 573 173 and have a chat, and hopefully we will be able to welcome you on a regular basis.
There is a special Facebook Page for volunteers known as The Volunteers of Poldark Mine, do a search and join us.
Gardening, museum restoration, organising displays, moving objects and cabinets are just a few of the tasks that crop up. We have been clearing buildings and restoring the gardens over the last years since the mine was rescued in 2014. There are many aspects of restoration that need to be done, and we are actively pursuing a number of projects to save artefacts large and small.
If you are keen on painting then we have many places where painting is needed, our red telephone kiosk needs painting and a new section of door fitted. Many of our buildings are wooden and need repairs and an annual liberal dose of creosote. Picnic benches all need to be painted each year, and we have plenty of windows that need cleaning, lots of brass and engines need cleaning too, from the beam engine to railway engines.
Working in the shop, ticket office or control, museum documentation, meeting & greeting visitors, car park managing, becoming a volunteer mine guide, making the tea, cleaning and polishing, painting, carpentry, general repairs, getting involved with our collections such as our six pipe organs, vintage telephone and teleprinter equipment, antique engines etc, are all chores which are part of our everyday life here. So whatever your interests are, we feel sure that we can find you a mini project or something to do for a couple of hours.
The museum buildings are of a certain age and many are in need of repairs and decoration, there are many machines that need to be restored and looked after. Engineering projects such as the restoration of our Beam Engine, the Railway Locomotives (we have five in all) all need to be worked on. We intend to lay about 1/3rd of a mile of demonstration track in dual gauge to demonstrate the standard gauge Falmouth Docks Steam locomotive and a diesel loco from Devonport Dockyard, there are two battery locomotives that are two foot gauge and several mine skips. All need restoration.
Works in the mine are also required and these vary from week to week. We hope to make some improvements to the visitor experience and to repair the underground narrow gauge mine tramway for demonstrations which will extend through the grounds.
If you are musical, we have no less than six full size pipe organs, a Hammond Organ and also a Victorian Harmonium in the collection! The oldest pipe organ dates from 1831. Some of these are already assembled in the museum and three others are waiting to be rebuilt, all are historic and most were used in Cornwall. We have a small organ group of volunteers and if you want to just come in and play one of our organs - even for a short time - you would also be made very welcome. Putting organs back together is like a 3d Jigsaw, so no special skills are needed. Its JOLLY GOOD FUN.
Restoration of our ancient waterways is an important aspect too. The aqueduct is over one mile long and needs attention as we wish to get our water wheel operational once again.
Gardening day is usually on a Wednesday but you can come in on a day to suit you. We welcome any assistance to tend to the extensive grounds, lawns and flower beds. The Woodland Garden is a project being worked on very slowly, so if you are a keen plants person, then we would be very pleased to hear from you.
Many of our mining tools and machinery are from the Holman Bros Museum and some is from the Wayside Folk Museum of Zennor - all the collections need to be maintained and restored, we plan to move two massive compressors indoors so that they can be properly conserved and perhaps placed back into working order.
We have an extensive collection of telephones, teleprinters, telegraph equipment and telephone exchange equipment and all needs to be presented and restored to be displayed in a new area which is one of our major current projects - so if you are interested in telecommunications from the late 1800s to the present day, then we will be delighted to hear from you!
The recreation of our village post office is another new project for 2021 and we have already amassed quite a considerable collection of GPO items to make this happen, so if you have an interest in village life the GPO, the Post Office, or our Underground Postal Service, then we would-be be pleased if you could come along and get involved.
The Victoria & Albert Museum in London have generously donated 14 early Victorian cabinets that were used to display objects from the Great Exhibition of 1851. These arrived in July 2021 together with a number of modern cabinets too. We are delighted to have these which will be used in our former tea room in the gardens. Most of our small objects will be displayed there together with the amazing collection of Mine Surveying equipment owned by the late Ron Hooper a much respected lecturer at the Camborne School of Mines for over 40 years. He died a few years ago at the grand age of 94.
Trinity College Cambridge donated a rather elegant oak cabinet from their beautiful library in 2021, its very long and will fit in with our plans for the museum and be used in conjunction with the cabinets which came from the Staffordshire Regimental Museum for our hundreds of geology specimens.
In summary there are many diverse aspects to the Cornish Heritage Collection which will benefit from the care and assistance of volunteers, so if you want to come and help a worthy cause, please do get in touch.