First stop on this immersive experience is the Cage Shop (and former Tanky Engine Shed), where you will collect your own tallies – as if you were venturing down the mine. Younger visitors can also collect a ‘First Footing’ quest booklet to enjoy completing during their visit.
Then set off to explore six extraordinary experiences in a variety of buildings across Woodhorn, some of which are not usually open to the public.
Venture ‘Into the Dark’ in the Workshop Galleries where you’ll meet a young miner at bait time and hear his tales of getting into bother during the early history of the colliery, lit only by lamplight.
Our ‘Angel in the Mine’ will welcome you into our Pick Sharpeners building, which has been transformed into homely 1950’s front room. Her stories will provide an entertaining glimpse into lesser known lives of the women who lived and worked in our mining communities.
Experience ‘Hanging Up’ in the Heapstead, a dramatic installation of abandoned mineworkers’ overalls which symbolise the pit closures of the 1980s, offering a poignant moment of reflection on how the closures affected our local communities.
After darkness comes hope. Woodhorn Colliery is saved and transformed into a museum. In the Winding House you will encounter ‘Rebirth’, the spirit of transformation and change captured by a powerful young dancer.
Head to the upper floor of the museum Cutter Building to consider what the future holds for Northumberland. ‘A Landscape Redefined’ offers a playful and interactive moment of hope and opportunity.
It’s time to clock out. Return to the tally room and hang up one of your tallies along with your thoughts on what you have seen, heard and experienced on your visit.
To find out more read our FAQ’s at the bottom of the page.
Christina Berriman Dawson, Aiden Nord and Megan Jane Brown
Joe Hufton – Director
Lydia Denno – Designer
Oran Doyle – Producer
Anthony Hollis – Lighting Designer
Alistair Lax – Sound Designer
David Lloyd – Choreographer
Daniel Hemming – Production Assistant
Morrell and Bert – Construction Manager
Free performances take place daily 11am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3pm, no need to book and included within membership admission.
First Footing has been brought to life by Third Folly and was commissioned by Museums Northumberland for Woodhorn Museum thanks to public funding from Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council.