The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
The PK Trust, a registered charity, was formed in 1997 with its chief aims being to educate the public and preserve the important historical collections and buildings at Porthcurno situated in Cornwall, UK. In1998 the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum was opened to further these aims. The main part of the Museum is housed in its historic tunnels mined in 1941. From this location telegraph cables spread to the widest parts of the Globe.
Porthcurno is the only museum of submarine telegraphy in the world and recently was awarded National Designated status for the Museum and Archive in the UK. Last year visitor numbers increased by 34% to just over 25,000 (the original business plan for the museum when it opened in 1998 envisaged 5,000). The facilities are now inadequate and compromise the visitor experience. Additionally, there is no dedicated learning space from which to develop the popular school’s learning programmes.
A project, that makes the best use of the existing buildings, has been developed. It includes creating a new flexible learning space, developing both formal and informal learning programmes; providing the object collections and archives, recently ‘Designated As An Outstanding Collection’, in the UK with much needed environmentally controlled stores. The gallery space will be extended in order to improve access and to allow new and changing exhibitions, for a far greater range of activities, to be undertaken.
Once the new Learning Space is built the “Global Reconnections” project, which will link schools in Cornwall with selected schools around the Globe will be launched. There will be a number of exciting and innovative activities that are designed to promote pupil awareness of other cultures and a respect for local identity. This project will result in an on-line platform with an internationally co-curated virtual ‘exhibition’ about all aspects of global communication and its impact on the past and present in their communities.
More details about the museum, its planned developments and sponsorship possibilities are available on its website at www.porthcurno.org.uk