South Wales Miners Museum

Past 2 Present Project Preserves Valley’s Mining Heritage

Mining history comes alive in the Afan Valley thanks to the ‘Past 2 Present @ South Wales Miners’ Museum’ project. This three year project aims to preserve the museum’s collection and resources for future generations. Nearly £350,000 has been successfully secured by the museum from the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve, digitalise and promote the history of this important mining community to the world. Crucial project match funding has come from The Coalfields Regeneration Trust and LEADER Funding.

The LEADER funding will support activities that focus on the development and up-skilling of Volunteers at the Museum and marketing the new additions to the museums activities and interactive guided tours/walks. Through the project two staff will be employed to ensure that the museum’s collection and the area’s history are preserved for prosperity, supported by a band of committed volunteers. The museum wishes to recruit more volunteers and through the project develop an extensive training programme to up-skill all volunteers. Volunteers will be trained to ensure that they are able to better care for and maintain the museum’s collection and resources in compliance with museum collection management standards.

The project is looking to digitalise its collection of artefacts and resources, volunteers, including those from local schools will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of the coal industry in the cultural fabric of the Afan Valley and have a greater understanding of how the community’s predecessors once lived. The exploitation of digital technologies through the creation of Info-points will allow the museum to operate bespoke guided interactive walks. Volunteers will be able to provide visitors with a unique experience through their knowledge of historical information and digital technology to take the visitor on a journey through time in the Afan Valley.

This collaborative project will not only preserve the museum’s collection for prosperity but bring life enhancing opportunities into the rural communities within Neath Port Talbot. A world class community heritage project like ‘Past 2 Present @ South Wales Miners' Museum’ showcases not only the museum’s endeavours to preserve the historical heritage of mining communities in the Afan Valley but will leave a lasting digital legacy for future generations across the world.

The ‘Past 2 Present at South Wales Miners' Museum'  project launch on Saturday, 22 October 2016, coincided with the Museum’s 40th Birthday and to celebrate, Port Talbot’s famous son, actor Michael Sheen, joined staff and volunteers as a guest of honour. The event celebrated and showcased the commitment and dedication of both the museum’s board and volunteers in ensuring that since 1976 the mining history of the Afan Valley has been preserved.

Some photographs from the launch event are below

For further information and advice about getting involved with the above project contact the South Wales Miners’ Museum on (01639) 851833 or e-mail: or go to