Colin Vallance, Managing Director

Colin splits his time between two roles: Managing Director of Wheal Martyn and Operations Director of its Corporate Trustee, South West Lakes Trust, where he oversees its angling and hospitality operations. He has worked for the Trust since 2000, and is a graduate of its Management Development Programme. Colin also chairs Wheal Martyn’s China Clay History Society and is a Trustee of Cornwall Museums Partnership.

“It is a privilege to head up Wheal Martyn Trust, celebrating and making accessible the heritage of one of Cornwall’s most important industries, in such a special and unique place. I am continually inspired by the dedication and passion of our wonderful volunteers.”

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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 annual events programme. Since then, Sue has become the Museum Manager, overseeing all day-to-day operations, implementing offers to enhance the visitor experience, and growing visitor numbers to the site.

Outside work, she enjoys walking, camping, swimming, good food and socialising with friends and family.

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Gemma Martin, Education Officer

Gemma started at Wheal Martyn in October 2011 as an Education Officer, creating and delivering the education programme at Wheal Martyn. 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 introducing her two young children to the joys of the County.

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Jo Moore, Curator

Appointed as Curator in January 2012, Jo has a wealth of experience from her many years of working within the heritage sector. Previous roles include Curator for Cornwall with the National Trust, when she provided a wide range of curatorial advice to properties in this area. Jo’s work with historic collections and archives has included cataloguing, documentation, detailed research, creation of exhibitions and overseeing interpretation. In her free time Jo loves exploring Cornwall with her dog, catching up with friends and settling down with a good book.

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Julia Orchard, Clay Works Project Manager

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.

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Siân Powell, Exhibition and Engagement Officer

Siân joined Wheal Martyn in January 2020 as part of the Cornwall Museums Partnership Trainee Curator scheme and became Engagement Officer in November 2020.

Siân was previously part of the pilot group for Citizen Curators at Royal Cornwall Museum in 2018 and has taken part in paid and volunteering projects there. She has also worked as a Conservation Assistant and Village Guide at St Michaels Mount. 

Siân is from St Austell and feels very proud to work at Wheal Martyn. In her spare time she likes to make content on Cornwall’s history and folklore. Host of the Celtic Myths and Legends Podcast. 

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Maggie Trubshaw, Front of House Supervisor

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 friendly welcome to anyone visiting for a delicious meal or homemade cake. As well as baking amazing sponges, Maggie enjoys visiting historical sites and is a passionate Gig rower.

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Penny Bulkeley, Trainee Curator

Penny joined Wheal Martyn in spring 2022 working on the front desk before becoming the Trainee Curator 2022.

Her traineeship involves working at Wheal Martyn alongside Jo and Sian, learning best museum practice and application. It includes field trips to museums and galleries throughout Cornwall and further afield. 

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