Archive for April, 2009

Get excited about Geevor!

Posted in Geevor, Just for fun, meet the geevor staff on April 28, 2009 by geevor

following on from ‘be excited about tin mining’ comes a list of:


10 reasons to get exicted about Geevor!

Jo w the curator came up with these:

1.       It’s real

2.       It’s about people

3.       It’s about a community

4.       Some of the old miners still work here

5.       Most of the buildings survive

6.       It’s got amazing views

7.       It epitomizes Cornwall’s former industrial glory

8.       It more than likely supplied the tin for all tins of beans for about fifty years (questionable but sounds good to me!)

9.       It ‘s a gateway to the World  Heritage Site

10.     You get to go underground

why do you get excited about Geevor?

‘be excited about tin mining’

Posted in Geevor, Just for fun, meet the geevor staff on April 28, 2009 by geevor

claire rso I have been very excited by museums and the web (see previous posts), and everything that entails,  and after going on a rant to my new found friend Frankie Roberto all about Geevor…. and his ever so eloquently put ‘be excited about tin mining’ speech, several things occurred:

  • Geevor now exists in quite a few peoples minds (even if they don’t know how to pronounce it)
  • we are getting coverage (well mentions anyway) from all sorts of angles: here, here and here (@culture24 we love you)
  • I am even more enthusiastic about what Geevor can do with the web!
  • But that’s not all we’re about.  so I’m going to go back to basics and tell you ten reasons why you should:




tin mining!

  1. Tin is one of the rarest metals in the world – and Cornwall is one of the few places where you can find it. ..
  2. tin miners had interesting names for tools, like; a banjo shovel (a shovel that looks like a banjo), a kibble (a egg shaped really big bucket to hoist the tin ore out of the mine), and a big hit (a big sledge hammer)
  3. Tin was one of the earliest metals known to man, the history
    of its production from its ores going back at least
    5000 years.
  4. Tin is really useful! Tin mixed with copper makes bronze and you can find both metals in Cornwall. Bronze was one of the first metal alloys  – so without it we’d still be in the Stone Age . . .
  5. Tin changed the food industry for ever! The TIN CAN! was invented in 1810 by Peter Durand. Food could now be preserved and transported much more easily
  6. Tin is in… Circuit boards, Sony Playstations, mp3 players, mobile phones, organ pipes, toothpaste…
  7. It’s full of mystery: Are the legends about tin true? Did Jesus visit Cornwall with tin traders from the Mediterranean? Did St. Piran float across the Irish Sea on a millstone and discover tin? Did traders buy tin at St. Michael’s Mount?
  8. In 1831 William Bickford invented a safety fuse – a cord containing a fine core of gunpowder that burned at regular rate of 60cm (2ft) per minute. The fuse was waterproof, robust and reliable, making blasting easier and much safer. It was one of Cornwall’s major contributions to mining and is still used all over the world
  9. The Cornish mining industry played a key role in the diffusion of both metal mining and steam technology around the globe.
  10. Tin miners used equipment and machines that were big and noisy! and quite dangerous

That’s just some of the reasons why i get excited about tin mining! There are lots more! There’s another world right under your feet – you can find out about it at Geevor . . .

e-learning worries

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 23, 2009 by geevor

claire r

One of the  key things I took from the mw2009 conference was the notion that museums on the web should do one thing and do one thing well.

I am now poised with the idea that I may have bitten off more then I can chew. The initial concept for the e-learning (e-xplore- name still needs work) website at Geevor was primarily for teacher use. However when I arrived with my big size 7’s and was left pretty much to my own devices, I extended the potential audience.  I being a firm believer in Inspiring Learning For All (IFLA) -not just the scheme, but the basic fact that museums are not just an extension of a school, they are available for the enjoyment of everyone and should be treated as such.  Many learning departments in museums, still focus on formal learning, and I think that is such a shame!  Anyway, I thought that the history of Geevor has a wider appeal then just teachers alone and that it should be open to all.  Everyone should be able to engage and be inspired by Geevor’s varied history.

So I had the best intentions.


Now the e-learning website is trying to cater for every available audience who wants to learn, or even users who don’t want to learn (and we can try and sneak learning upon them, when they’re not looking).  Additionally, the idea of user generated content is something I get really excited about.  I am not trying to turn the e-learning site into a wiki (wiki’s actually terrify me but that’s a personal aside), but I want users to have the opportunity to contribute thoughts, comments, ideas, memories etc on what at the end of the day is a strong history and cultural identity of a large section of the community.  Geevor is run by a local community charity and therefore community involvement is encouraged at all times.

Because of this all singing and all dancing development, has the e-learning lost its initial purpose? Has it spread itself to thin?  By trying to be all inclusive have I actually excluded what could be argued to be the key audience? Teachers.

The Night Shift

Posted in Events on April 23, 2009 by geevor

victory headgear in moonlightGeevor is offering a unique and atmospheric opportunity to experience what it was like to be a miner on The Night Shift. Cool!

As part of the national Museums at Night campaign, Geevor (the only museum in the South West participating so everyone has no choice you must come!) we’ll be touring the mine buildings on Friday, May 15th between 8.30pm-10pm.

What can you see at Night? the night shift at Geevor which mainly involved hauling ore up Victory Shaft and processing it in the mill, so it was noisy, dirty and hard work.   it will be a completely different atmosphere to the daytime feel of the site, now you can get first hand experience of what the night shift workers must have felt when the site was a working tin mine.

The tour will pass through a selection of buildings including the mill, compressor house and winder house, all of which operated at night, as well as the dry – the miners changing room, which, still full of personal possessions and mining paraphernalia, has been preserved as it would have been before the mine stopped production.

“This is an entirely different experience to visiting the mine during the day,”

“At night every creak and rattle tells its own story.”

Bill Lakin, Chair

The tour is recommended for those over seven years and it is essential to bring your own torch. Tickets cost £5 and should be booked in advance by telephone 01736 788662.

how 3 museum learning professionals deal with a mouse…

Posted in Just for fun on April 22, 2009 by geevor

Had a very interesting day, The task list of the day became too much, its always the way after an impromtu lunch on the picnic tables…on the spur of the moment we decided to have a reorganisation of the office.

and this happened:

how do 3 musuem learning professionals deal with a mouse? with umbrellas, a mop, and a ice cream tub of course! and then came a spider…

we do do very important museum stuff at Geevor. honestly.

small institutions…big dreams

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 17, 2009 by geevor

claire rThe museums and the web conference that I’m at (apologies for hogging blog space) is making me think about some interesting stuff. Yesterday as part of an ‘un conference’ session I met some other people from small museums and art galleries around the world who are trying to engage with social media/web 2.0 stuff.  It was really great to meet people in a similar situation and discuss what tools and techniques they are using, and what works and what doesn’t.  The major problem all small institutions seem to be facing is the fact that yes, we want to reach out to new audiences, and we want everyone to enjoy what our museums have to offer, but its really hard to do that when you dont have the staff, the money or the time to do it.  And even when we do go about interacting, will anybody want to listen to what we have to say?

but its not all doom and gloom! one of the things that we didnt really talk about and should of really, was how to engage visitors and potential visitors… Maybe we should just ask them! (we want to do visitor focus groups and evaluation but we never quite get round to it) instead of creating new mediums of interaction and hoping that people will join; facebook, twitter, flickr, read and respond to blogs… so here’s my question:

What do you

guys think?

how would you like to interact with us? what can we offer you that we don’t already? big things? little things? any things??we dont bite, and we, well me anyway, would love to know what you want us to do for you to make your experience brilliant.

Geevor goes abroad…

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 15, 2009 by geevor

Sharks, dolphins, and sever rooms oh my…

Random ramblings of Claire R

day one of #mw2009, and I was off on a bus tour of three museums (well an art gallery, a childrens museum and a zoo) in Indianpolis. and it was great.  The Indianapolis museum of art has some pretty interesting stuff, including a server room which they seem very proud off.  lots of wires and flashing lights.  but they have this thing called the Davis lab  which is a area in the gallery space where people can access the online stuff that the IMA does.  genius idea.  shall be stealing that for geevor i thinks!

the childrens museum was brilliant! so many little people running around and making noise… possibly would be a tad dangerous to do that on a mine site, but it is something to aspire to where possible! the childrens museum seems to have more emphasis on fun then learning. I don’t mean that in a bad way,  the key aspect was that it was so tactile and constructivist in approach that everyone wanted to play! as long as the visitors are having an experience it surely means they are learning! you even get to be part of some of the exhibits, crawling inside train sets, or going inside a submarine! fab.

as for the zoo, well that was just great! got to go behind the scenes where the dolphins and a massive  whalrus called brutus hang out.  maybe we really should get a geevor goat?