The China Clay History Society was formed in 2001 to stimulate interest in and study of the china clay industry in Cornwall and Devon and of industries related to it, and to collect and preserve relevant material. The Society is part of the China Clay Museum (the China Clay Country Park) at Wheal Martyn, near St Austell, and has 230 members. It organises lectures, exhibitions and field trips, and issues a newsletter containing articles on aspects of china clay history, three times a year.
The Society has assembled a substantial archive of material, which, together with the accredited archive at the China Clay Museum, comprises over 400 boxes of documents; a large number of accounting ledgers, minute books, etc; some 2,000 maps and aerial photographs; technical drawings; cine films, videos and DVDs, and some 100,000 photographs. This material is freely available for inspection or use by the public, on application to the Society.
Members of the Society meet on Wednesday and Friday mornings and are pleased to welcome all those interested in the history of china clay – social, technical, religious, commercial and demographic. Enquiries are welcome from those wishing to research aspects of china clay history and from those wishing to volunteer time to work in the archive.
The Society is also interested in acquiring material (written and photographic) relating to china clay extraction and the resulting change in lifestyles in the clay community.
The Society has forged links with the educational world, and is very pleased to help schools, and individual students, by supplying information, or providing research facilities, relating to the china clay industry.
Membership of the Society costs £15 p.a. If you would like to become a member of the Society, please print off and complete the application form here.
The China Clay History Society is part of Wheal Martyn Trust, Registered Charity Number 1001838.