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By Eventy - Marketing & PR | Friday, May 13, 2011, 15:26

Falmouth based 20/20 has completed a large scale project for the National Trust at East Pool Mine – formerly known as Cornish Mines and Engines – to encourage visitors to get involved in Cornwall’s rich mining history.

Funded by a European Union and Defra grant through the Rural Development Programme for England, the newly developed visitor centre was officially unveiled to the public on Tuesday 10th May, when entry was free to encourage visitors to engage with the exhibitions and find out more about how the site worked.

Cornish design and build company 20/20 won a competitive tender process to improve the East Pool Mine visitor experience and the way that people journey through the site as part of “Discover The Extraordinary” – a three year programme of investments across Cornwall and Devon developed by the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site to enhance visitor experiences.

Megan Westley, Engagement and Promotion Officer at East Pool Mine is delighted with the effect of 20/20's installations saying:

“We wanted to work with 20/20 as their vision focused on our site being a local community space whilst broadening the facilities currently available.  Our aim is for visitors to engage with all of the internal and external elements of our space, as well as how we can take our information out to the wider community and 20/20 has helped us to achieve this.”

Dave Tonkin who led the design team for 20/20 is pleased with visitor's positive reactions:

“Waymarkers, models of the site and interpretation encourages visitors to explore the whole site and orientate people around the industrial heritage remains, helping them visualise how things would have looked in the 1930s as a working mine. 

“We have designed and installed interactive features so people can get a real understanding of scientific and engineering principles.  For example, there are large scale models of the two engines that people can experiment with, showing the difference between winding and pumping engines.  It was great to see all of this coming into play at the official opening, the visitors really got involved.”

A 6 metre by 3 metre black and white photo montage shows the industrial landscape of the Carn Brea district in 1894 and with a dressing up box, visitors are able to see and feel the years of history.


Dave added, “We have tried to keep the written information on the displays as light as possible – the exhibition pieces themselves and the hands on exploration are the main attraction.   In-depth books are then strategically placed so that visitors can find out more about topics of particular interest.”

A visit to East Pool Mine is now a truly sensory experience. For example in Michell’s Winding Engine house, visitors can feel the whole building move, accompanied by some fantastic sounds and smells.  Resources from the Cornwall Audio Visual Library have been utilised, including tales told by old miners accompanied by silhouette displays that change with the lighting as the stories progress.

East Pool Mine has a wealth of mining heritage, known for its two Cornish beam engines in their (original) engine houses.  The winding engine is in action each day and the pumping engine is one of the largest surviving examples of its kind in the world. 

Tours are provided by knowledgeable volunteers, or visitors can take in the history and atmosphere at their own pace. With many new and interactive installations, there is much to see and do.

The East Pool complex is the latest in 20/20’s vast portfolio of leisure and visitor centre projects which include the National Trust’s Coleton Fishacre site, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Dartmouth Museum, Living Coasts, Rannock Visitor Centre, BT Goonhilly and St Austell Brewery.  With a great deal of experience in design and production through to fabrication and installation, all handled in-house, 20/20 excels in creating innovative solutions and managing the entire process.

For more information regarding 20/20's latest design and build projects, please visit

For more information about East Pool Mine, please visit



  • Profile image for Sealubber

    Great to see European money backing Cornwall in this way!

    By Sealubber at 13:58 on 16/05/11

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