As the country is under the grips of an amber extreme heat alert with the potential of it reaching a level four heatwave for the first time, staff at the National Coal Mining Museum for England will be playing it cool in the mine, which remains at a stable 10-12 C all year round.
Pete Wordsworth, Deputy Mine Manager said “The mine is a wonderful cool sanctuary at the moment. At the surface of the mine, we have a huge working fan that pumps 10 cubic meters of air per second at a speed of 1.5 meters per second which means we have a constant cool breeze. Added to that our mine is 140m deep, so we have the surface water seeping down. Although most of it is pumped away to prevent the mine from flooding, it does leave a damp atmosphere- which is definitely an advantage in this weather.”
The National Coal Mining Museum is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday and visitors can go on an underground tour, of England’s last deep coal mine, between 10 am and 3.30 pm. The tour is led by a captivating former miner who can explain the technical and historical nature of mining, adding his own personal experiences and culture to the conversation. Visitors can pre-book an Underground Tour at www.ncm.org.uk/book but there is also equal availability for visitors who turn up on the day.
Visitors can learn more about the fans and how the mine is ventilated in the Fan House gallery in the Hope Pit zone of the site which has hands-on interactives explaining the closed ventilation system that the mine relies on. In the Pit Wood zone, visitors can learn more about and follow, the water pumped out of the mine through shaded paths seeing how the water is cleansed and eventually released into a local river.
For those who enjoy the sun, the Museum’s beach will open the weekend of 16/17 July then Wednesday to Sunday between 23 July and 4 September 2022.