Archive for the Geevor Category

Clint goes underground

Posted in Geevor, meet the geevor staff on November 3, 2010 by geevor

Hi, Jo B here. I am very envious as last week Clint (my colleague in the learning department) had the opportunity to go down Victory Shaft at Geevor and explore Deep Adit (also known as Third Level) . He came back with some fantastic photos and video (despite his camera falling in the water) as well as tales of adventures climbing down ladders and wading through underground streams. It sounded like the kind of adventure I hate to miss. The photos are amazing; go to Geevor’s facebook page to see for yourself.

Bring on 2010…!

Posted in Geevor, reviews on December 30, 2009 by geevor

Well, 2009 has been an eventful year, in many different ways at Geevor, though I suppose all years have their characteristic happenings!

The events programme was kept up throughout the year, a first for Geevor, and the programme for 2010 is soon to be published (ahead of the game for once! Progress at last!). Another year of firsts, as the underground section was opened up for visitors to self-guide, giving them more freedom and less waiting time over the summer, which (despite my initial reservations about quality of experience) seemed to be well-received by visitors and even encouraged many to stay onsite longer and explore the site further – it was brillliant to see so many red helmets in the distance down by the coastpath, clambering over the spoil heaps and investigating the old mine buildings which usually get ignored! The saturdays opening though, weren’t popular with staff, requiring overtime by all members, even office staff helping out throughout the summer, and so hopefully some other solution will be made for next summer.  All trial and error of ideas really. Some work, some don’t, you just got to make sure that you learn from the experience!

The new website is up and running and hopefully will help all those visitors to Geevor site, physically or virtually! A new member of staff, Claire S, joined the Learning Team, whilst our other Claire (R) successfully completed her KTP and is now working in London (she was always going to be a highflier!). Jo B came back for half the year, to go on maternity leave in Sept, but it’s worth it – Hello to Baby George!  Yet November also saw the beginning of the end of Bill’s reign as full-time trustee, his daily input will be missed, but hopefully he’ll still show his face around here from time to time… The Learning Team has been able to commission and print their new learning leaflet, and all the accompanying resources that it promotes! That was a big job over summer, as well as all the events going on, but our resources will always be revised and improved upon continually, including our loan boxes which we have finalised for peoples use. Our Christmas Event at Geevor, on Mon 21st Dec, went really well, even though we weren’t sure how the new position of the grotto (by the cafe, rather than underground) and the different format to previous years would be received. But we needed have worried – we had over 100 people visit the grotto! and the volunteers and work experience students who decorated it did a grand job, and many visitors said how wonderful it looked.

But what of 2010? Well, already some changes will be taking place in the Learning Team from the end of January. The Learning Links Fund for professional development that I’m doing with a teacher at St. Ives School, will continue to evolve as we try to develop resources for secondary schools’ use specifically at Geevor. We’ve also been awarded a Volunteer Development Fund, to encourage volunteers to join our existing volunteer team. All the usual events, as well as some novel ones, will be going on…

What else will happen in 2010? Only God knows at the moment, but by this time next year, we will be looking back on 2010 again, and I’m sure that it will be as eventful as 2009!

Happy New Year to All!

I’m going Christmas crackers!!

Posted in Events, Geevor, Just for fun on December 14, 2009 by geevor

So its that time of year….again, with all the lovely weather we have been having we have discovered new leaks in the roofs (due to sideways rain) and that it is possible for it to be colder on the inside of a building that outside!

But then, ’tis the season to be jolly, and we have some real treats this Christmas. All the action is happening on the 21st December when Santa is including us in his busy scedule and dropping by with lots of great presents. You can catch him in his mining Grotto in the building opposite the cafe to get your free gift and to put a good word in for the big day!

I am also on a Christmas biscuit making mission, this idea is either genius or very very messy. As part of the traditional Christmas tree decorating activities we are offering on Monday, there is also the chance to decorate your own biscuit with a wonderful array of coloured icing and edible sparkly things!!  As I said I may live to regret this as small children have the habit of decorating themselves in icing given the chance!

 Its all FREE so please come and join in child or not,  we need our tree decorating !!

Claire signing off for now….. hope you have a joyful Christmas and productive New Year…. well, its what I am aiming for anyway!

Midsummer Madness at Geevor

Posted in Geevor, meet the geevor staff on August 11, 2009 by geevor


It’s been a busy summer and it’s not over yet. We have had the ‘best ever’ July in visitor numbers – it even seemed at times that Eric Murley’s Jersey heifers were fighting to get out of the field opposite Reception and join the queue of visitors.  August also started with a bang when on the 3rd and 4th we had probably the two busiest days in our history.

And we know why it happened! It’s because Geevor is ‘the best museum we’ve visited’ [as one visitor wrote on the survey form we use]. We know that ‘Hard Rock’ is a major new attraction and that visitors love the special atmosphere of the Dry. The main lure is still the underground: to cope with the rising numbers, we went over to a system which allowed visitors to go through on their own, with guides stationed at intervals to talk to them and ensure safety. This seems to be popular.

But maybe, just maybe, the weather had something to do with it. When it is wet in the holiday season, people look for alternatives to the cliffs, coves and beaches. We think that on average each holiday visitor to Cornwall will visit one ‘Heritage Site’ – so we have worked hard to make sure that there is more on offer here than anywhere else. So, we’ve done activities like having a go at hand drilling, demonstrations of bronze casting and smelting tin, guided walks, talks in the Gallery – things which add to the value of the ticket price.

So, if August is not ‘wall to wall sunshine’, and if the dreaded Swine Flu does not decimate our staff, we will have had a very successful summer.  After August Bank Holiday, most of us will be looking forward to a bit less frenzy and a chance to catch up on all the jobs we’ve neglected over the last few months.  But we have a target of 6000 visitors for September and maybe if we just did a few extra events . . .

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 . . .

Guest Post: Melissa Cooper

Posted in Geevor, Hard Rock Museum, museum, reviews on March 24, 2009 by geevor

One of our lovely student placements!

Hi, my name is Melissa and I’m also a first year history student at the University of Exeter. I have been working on a museum evaluation project over three weeks at Geevor to analyse the audio-visual elements it has to offer. We spent time looking at the audio-visual elements and developed a questionnaire to ask the public what they thought when they visited. Overall I thought the museum was great. It provided an excellent overview of the mining processes and I really learned a lot about mining in Cornwall whilst I was at Geevor. The Geevor film in the museum was excellent and it backed up the information I got on the underground tour especially. In general I thought that the museum was a great place to visit when coming to Geevor because it is good for people of all ages to learn about mining in an interesting and engaging way. Thanks to everyone at Geevor.