Meet the Team

As part of South West Lakes Trust, Wheal Martyn is led by the Trust’s Leadership Team.  Wheal Martyn also benefits from back office and marketing support from the South West Lakes Trust team.

Colin Vallance

Managing Director

Colin became General Manager of Wheal Martyn when it became part of South West Lakes Trust in 2010 and in 2015 took on the role of Managing Director.  Colin has worked for South West Lakes Trust since 2000 in various roles and is a graduate of the Trust’s Management Development Programme.  Previous roles include Assistant Manager of the Trust’s flagship wedding and conference venue at Roadford Lake and Head of Hospitality.  With a growing passion for heritage he chairs the China Clay History Society, the Cornish Mining Attraction Marketing Association and is a Trustee of Cornwall Museums Partnership. Colin splits his time between both charities, as Heritage and Environment Director for South West Lakes Trust, he oversees the organisations conservation, estate management, forestry and angling operations. A farmer’s son from Devon, Colin has a keen interest in the countryside, enjoys walking on Dartmoor and the coast, as well as good food and the occasional bit of cycling.

colin vallance managing director of wheal martyn st austell cornwall

Sue Ford

Museum Manager

Joining Wheal Martyn in September 2012 as the Visitor Services Manager, Sue developed the visitor offering throughout the museum growing the café and gift shop trade as well as implementing an events programme.  Since then, Sue has been part of Wheal Martyn’s Management Development Programme. And, from 2013, became Museum Manager overseeing all day to day operations.

Outside work she enjoys walking, camping, swimming and socializing with friends and family.

sure ford, team, wheal martyn museum

Jo Moore

Curator and Collections Coordinator

Appointed as Curator in January 2012 Jo has a wealth of experience from her 20 years of working within the heritage sector. Previous roles include working for the National Trust as Collections Manager for the former Wessex Region and later as Curator for Cornwall and Dartmoor, providing a wide range of curatorial advice to properties in these areas.  Jo’s work with a range of historic collections and archives has included cataloguing, documentation, detailed research, creation of exhibitions and overseeing interpretation.  She oversaw the application process and achievement of Full Museum Accreditation for 8 collections and is experienced in working with staff and volunteers across a number of locations including line management and project management.

Since April 2015 Jo has been seconded to the role of Collections Coordinator for the Cornwall Museums Partnership’s three-year Major Museum Partner project. Still based at Wheal Martyn her role is twofold, focussing both on the collections here and on those in other museums across Cornwall. There will be a variety of opportunities for these museums to learn from Wheal Martyn, as it tackles its own collections management and care challenges.

jo moore, team, wheal martyn museum

Gemma Martin

Community and Learning Officer

Gemma started at Wheal Martyn in October 2010 as an Education Officer. She joined us from World Challenge Expeditions where she worked in schools in London, teaching science and leading expeditions for young people in the UK and overseas. She is a qualified and experienced secondary school science teacher. Gemma loves the outdoors, making the most of the Cornish scenery, walking and running and now introducing her two young children to the outdoors and health and fitness.

Julia Orchard

Clay Works Project Officer

Julia joined Wheal Martyn in April 2016 to develop the Clay Works! Project. She started her career as an archaeologist and then moved into the world of museums, culminating in 23 years at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Julia has extensive experience of managing exhibitions and capital projects and is particularly interested in restoring dilapidated historic buildings and bringing them back to life with new and sustainable uses. Outside work, she enjoys gardening, walking and a good book.

Julia Orchard, team member at Wheal Martyn Museum

Nikita Brown

Exhibition and Engagement Officer

Nikita joined Wheal Martyn in May 2018 as Exhibition and Engagement Officer, as part of the Clay Works! Project and National Portfolio programme. Nikita’s role is to engage visitors with Wheal Martyn and the heritage of Cornwall’s china clay industry, whether this is through programming family activities, exhibitions or working with specific community groups. Nikita has an interest in making museums welcoming community spaces and has a particular passion for improving accessibility. Outside of work Nikita enjoys exploring historical sites and walking by the coast.

Maggie Trubshaw


Maggie joined Wheal Martyn in 2014 as a cook before moving to front of house to become supervisor, bringing her fun and quirky style to the Café. Previously, Maggie has run the front of house at The Orangery Café in Penlee Museum, Penzance and the National Trust Café in Trengwaignton Gardens, Newlyn.

Maggie can be seen in the café providing a warm and friendly welcome to anyone visiting for a delicious meal, homemade cake or to use our conference and function facilities.

As well as baking amazing sponges Maggie enjoys visiting historical sites and is a passionate Gig rower.