Saturday 2nd July - Saturday 10th September

Our Game Changers summer festival offers something for everyone, from live music, family science shows and workshops, to an exhibition, building tours and public lectures. The best part is, it's all FREE thanks to National Lottery players!

For families looking for some summer fun, our family-friendly activity kicks off on Saturday 16th July with ‘Game Changers: Summer Extravaganza’ – a day of celebrations, including performances from Backworth Colliery Band and drop-in kids’ activities. Family Activity Days will continue to run every Tuesday and select Saturdays throughout the school summer holiday, with a host of activities and workshops, including a live science and history show - Do It the Safety Way! - and an all-new print workshop, 'STAMP!'

A photograph of miners safety lamps in a display cabinet

Game Changers exhibition - open 16th July-17th September (on select dates)

Our exhibition for the festival uncovers the Game Changers - individuals, inventions and innovations - tied to the Mining Institute throughout its now 170-year lifespan, as well as looking to the future of innovation in the North East.

The exhibition is open on select dates throughout the summer. To find out when it's open, check out the dates available for our general admission tickets.

Take advantage of discounted kids’ meals at our 5|Quarter café bar

Make a day of it and enjoy discounted kids’ meals at The Common Room’s 5|Quarter café bar during Family Activity Days! Show proof of your booking for a discount on kids' meals when you purchase a full-price adult meal. Ts and Cs apply*

Game Changers: The Revolution Started Here

Founded in 1852, The North Of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers made Neville Hall - now The Common Room - their home in 1872. The creation of the Institute came about in response to a series of mining accidents, which led to the untimely deaths of many across the North East and country. The Institute aimed to make the industry safer through innovating, inventing and campaigning.

The Institute has seen many 'Game Changers' through its now 170-year lifespan, in the form of its members. Some include: Robert Stephenson, the famous railway engineer and son of George Stephenson; Nicholas Wood, their first President, co-creator of the Stephenson or 'Geordie' Miners Safety Lamp; and Charles Parsons, inventor of the steam turbine.

Today, The Common Room remains a hub of innovation. As a charity, we use this unique heritage to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers - our future 'Game Changers'!

Meanwhile, the Mining Institute is still at the forefront of upholding professional standards in mining and engineering, and practicing engineers from natural and physical science disciplines are welcome to join as members.

Three logos: The Common Room, North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Game Changers festival is delivered in partnership by The Common Room and the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers (known to many as the Mining Institute). The festival is made possible thanks to National Lottery players, via funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

*Offer applies on Game Changers Family Activity Days only (26th July 2022; 2nd, 9th, 13th, 16th, 20th, 23rd and 30th August 2022; 3rd September 2022). Offer only valid with purchase of at least one full-price adult meal, on the same day as your booking.