The Kent Mining Museum team, together with groups from the local community, have created a new Mining Banner depicting the Kent Coalfield: past, present and future.
The 2m high banner, which made its début in the Deal Carnival parade on Thursday July 27th, is a culmination of 10 weeks of work by a number of local groups. Comprising of families, students from Sholden Primary and Sandwich Technology School plus members of White Cliffs Country U3A, the group members ranged from aged 2 to 73.
The project, funded by the Port of Dover Community Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund, involved weekly workshops at a number of local venues including Sholden Primary School and Sandwich Technology School. Sessions were facilitated by Francesca Goodhart, Kent Mining Museum’s Learning and Engagement Officer, and led by Whitstable-based Fable and Base’s Francesca Baur, who also, along with the White Cliff’s U3A group, put the finishing touches on the banner.
Inspiration for the banner was taken from traditional colliery banners and through talking to former miners at Betteshanger Welfare, Sports and Social Club and Betteshanger Social Club. The final banner includes familiar mining icons such a pit head gear, a miners’ safety lamp plus a map of the UK showing where people migrated from to work in the Kent coalfield. Animals in the four corners: a mouse, a hornet, a canary and a pit pony, depict creatures who were welcome helpers in the mine plus some uninvited inhabitants. The names of the four
main Kent collieries – Betteshanger, Chislet, Tilmanstone and Snowdown, are displayed in bold lettering. Some added modern interpretations include bicycles and wind turbines, representing the renewable energies of the future.
Francesca Goodhart, Kent Mining Museum’s Learning and Engagement Officer, said: “We started the banner project on May 4 th and it was finished on the day of the Carnival. Despite the wide age range between the group members, they all worked together incredibly well, sharing skills and techniques that included drawing, painting, embroidery, screen-printing, applique, batik, and felting. The finished banner is exceptional and everyone involved in the project should be really proud. The Deal Carnival gave us a wonderful opportunity to parade the banner and we were delighted to be awarded the ‘Spirit of the Carnival’ cup”.
The Banner will on display again at the Kent Miner’s Festival (28th August), Betteshanger Park’s Mining Heritage Day on 10th September and will have pride of place in the Kent Mining Museum when it opens at Betteshanger in 2018.
For further media information on the Kent Mining Museum please contact Lynnette Crisp at Lynnette.Crisp@betteshangerparks.co.uk or call 01304 619227.