Many of us have now watched the new Simon Reeve two-part documentary on Cornwall which highlighted issues which are often workman in clay pitforgotten by other media representations of the duchy.

We were pleased to see Cornwall’s clay country on screen, depicting modern china clay mining methods. China clay mining has been a controversial industry in many ways, but as evidenced in the documentary, it has remained a source of steady employment for many people in the area. We are continuously reminded that the china clay industry, as seen in the documentary, has deep roots in mid Cornwall.

Cornwall’s rich industrial and cultural heritage and stunning landscapes make the area a popular place to visit for tourists and holiday makers. However, there are pockets of real deprivation, poverty and struggle in the county. It is important that moving forward, we ask ourselves how we can help our wider communities in Cornwall.

At Wheal Martyn, we are dedicated to creating a welcoming space for our local community and visitors, particularly in terms of health and wellbeing. Although 2020 has been challenging and many of our community projects have had to pause, we have remained focused on sharing a piece of Cornwall’s industrial heritage, serving our community as best we can.

For example, we recently produced a Winter Warmer Craft Activity Pack for families to enjoy together over Christmas, helping to lift the spirits, get families outside and to foster a sense of community togetherness. We were also delighted to win a Wellbeing award in recognition of our inclusivity and accessibility work in the 2020 Cornwall Heritage Awards, hosted by Cornwall Museums Partnership.

Wheal Martyn is also involved with the Trainee Curator scheme and Citizen Curators programme led by Cornwall Museums Partnership which seeks to create a bigger pool of individuals in Cornwall with curatorial and museum skills.