Wheal Martyn are delighted to announce that they have won the Innovation Award in the 2019 Cornwall Heritage Awards. The awards, which are organised by Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Museums Development Programme, were this year hosted by BBC Radio Cornwall, on Thursday 21 March 2019 at Trenderway Farm, near Looe.
The museum won the award in recognition of their recent Clay Stories campaign. Clay Stories aims to unlock historic stories from Wheal Martyn’s collection, centering around various monthly themes. These stories are shared through social media, exhibitions, themed children’s activities, engagement projects, and even new café creations. The Clay Stories themes allow staff and volunteers to highlight not only the importance, but also the variety of stories around the clay industry. Focusing on different areas of the industry, such as clay landscapes, the importance of water, and local stories, the museum has relished the opportunity to promote the clay industry’s global importance, whilst reinforcing its close connection to individuals in Cornwall.
A particular highlight is Arthur’s story, a dedicated Wheal Martyn volunteer. As part of the museum’s Kettle Kids theme in summer 2018, visitors were able to discover the fascinating story of Arthur’s role in the clay industry as a Kettle Boy, from the young age of 14. The tale was brought to life through an interactive trail and quiz, children’s activities, dressing up and Kettle Kids menu in the café, in addition to information snippets and interaction on social media, and coverage on ITV news, BBC Radio Cornwall and St Austell Bay Radio.