First Minister Launches NMMS Youth Panel Exhibition

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, today officially opened the first ever youth-led exhibition at National Mining Museum Scotland.  The exhibition, entitled Coal Generation: Queens, Teens and Life Outside the Mines explores youth culture within the mining communities through the decades. 

Coal Generation was created by the museum’s Youth Panel as part of a year-long programme of events supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.  One of the Year’s main aims is to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contribution to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.  This exhibition has brought all of these elements together, celebrating the Youth Panel’s achievements while shining a light on past generations.

The Youth Panel were involved in all aspects of the exhibition, choosing the theme, looking through the archives, selecting photographs from the museum’s 20K archive, researching, writing and designing.  

The timeline starts in 1947 with the nationalisation of the coal mining industry and travels through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s ending with the 1984-85 miners’ strike.  Members of the Youth Panel walked the First Minister through each decade of the exhibition.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said “It was a great pleasure to open the first ever youth-led exhibition to be hosted at National Mining Museum Scotland and meet some of the members of the museum’s Youth Panel.

“Their work and commitment to putting together this exhibition has been incredible and the final result really showcases our young people’s creative talent. I am confident the exhibition will help attract visitors from all backgrounds and engage with coal communities around the country.

“With its incredible display of first-hand material and rarely before seen photographs, the exhibition provides a very interesting insight on youth culture within the mining communities.

“As we mark 2018 Year of Young People, this exhibition will help further celebrate our young people’s achievements, while valuing their contribution to Scotland’s communities. I invite everyone to come to National Mining Museum Scotland and visit this exhibition.”

Rebecca Weatherhead, NMMS Youth Panel member said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to work with different generations to put on a creative exhibition which showcases our talents.  We hope to attract visitors from coal communities across Scotland as well as our local community.”

The exhibition will run from now through to mid-October in the Special Exhibition Gallery at National Mining Museum Scotland.   It is open from 10am-5pm, 7 days a week.  Entry to the exhibition is free of charge.  

To find out more about upcoming events hosted by the NMMS Youth Panel or about the museum Year of Young People Programme please visit

Photo credit: Sean Bell Photography

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