20 August 2012>
A group of lucky children from Caerphilly County Borough last week took control of their county museum at the Winding House in New Tredegar, with the return of the "My Museum!" young volunteers project.
Following the success of the project from previous years, another group of 10 young people - aged 9-14 years - became mini-Curators for the week, discovering how museums look after their collections and picking a selection of objects to go on display in the gallery.
Based around the theme of the coal mining industry, the project gave the children the opportunity to develop their knowledge of this topic, with the recording of audio descriptions about the objects, in order to explain their significance to visitors.
Cllr Ken James, CCBC Cabinet Member responsible for Regeneration, Planning and Sustainable Development, commented, "As well as being good fun for the children involved, projects such as this allow our young people to learn and develop skills in an exciting environment. Year after year, My Museum is encouraging children to get involved and learn more about the history of their community."
The week culminated with the unveiling of the objects that the children had chosen for display, in a large exhibition case in the museum's main gallery.
Museum Visitor Assistants Emma Vile and Geraint King, who led the activity explained, "We're keen to regularly refresh our main exhibition gallery and wanted to ensure local community involvement. This is the 4th year of the "My Museum" project and each year we've been thrilled at the enthusiasm and commitment of the children involved. This year more children than ever have taken part."
The objects selected include a sinker's hat worn by one of the men who helped "sink" the pits in collieries throughout the County Borough in the early 1900s, the hooter from Britannia Colliery, a water jack and sandwich tin belonging to a miner from Bedwas , canteen checks for Elliot Colliery, and a key for a locker in the Pit Head Baths at Penallta Colliery.
They will remain on display in the West Gallery of the Winding House, along with the children's audio descriptions.
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