This August there is certainly a light in the darkness for the National Coal Mining Museum. The museum will safely re-open its doors to the general public after the global outbreak of Covid-19 and will also be revealing its new exhibition, A Light in the Darkness, funded by AIM Biffa Award.

This immersive and interactive exhibition explores the story of Sir Humphry Davy and the invention of the flame-safety lamp – a design which saved countless lives. The gallery aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors whilst also keeping the stories of coal mining alive and preserving the industry’s heritage.

Stephanie Thompson, collections manager at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, says: “It has been fantastic working with Mather & Co on this project. Their imagination and vision has helped us to create a beautiful space where visitors can learn how Sir Humphry Davy helped to save the lives of coal miners and explore the story of how the miners’ lamp evolved and became a symbol of the mining industry.”

Mather & Co won the contract after impressing the National Coal Mining Museum with its interpretation of the tender, which closely aligned with the museum’s vision.

This gallery contributes to a wider ambition of the National Coal Mining Museum to become a centre for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Kim Kherlopian, project director at Mather & Co, notes: ”I have thoroughly enjoyed developing this project with our team at Mather & Co and having the opportunity to be a part of the creative and technical elements of the project.

“Meeting some of the original miners at the museum and hearing their stories was a highlight, and learning the history surrounding the miners’ lamp was a truly educational experience. It was such a pleasure to work with a client who is so passionate about their subject material.”

A Light in the Darkness allows visitors to work alongside Sir Humphry Davy in a series of interactive experiments, understand the science behind the safety lamp and see how the design has continued to evolve to protect miners in our ‘Evolution Wall’ of over 50 mining lamps.

The National Coal Mining Museum opens to the public on Wednesday 5th August 2020.

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