Find out about our varied programme, from our Youth Board to oral histories, education and apprentices.

Graft and Glory exhibition showing artefacts and information panels

Graft & Glory Exhibition

Graft & Glory tells the story of our region’s engineers. They invented, innovated and campaigned to make mining safer, not only in the North East, but also around the world. It is the story of our region’s graft and glory: our responses to challenges facing industry, past, present and future. You can explore the exhibition in our building or from the comfort of you own home and unearth our industrial heritage. Our exhibition is best explored on laptop, desktop or tablet devices. Use our Superheroes Activity Sheet to help you find out fun facts from our engineering Superheroes.

What did you think?

"Graft & Glory is a really interesting and informative exhibition - and in such a great setting at Tanfield Railway. Great to see a well thought out display celebrating the important industrial heritage of the North East."

Susan Mackall, Land of Oak & Iron

"The exhibited artefact (a large brass Fireman’s helmet) sparked an inspiring debate between a small child and his grandad. They were discussing the design of the helmet and how useful it would be as protection in a fire (e.g. it would get very hot, why was it shiny?) The conversation was short but it showed how something from the past can inspire a conversation today and to think creatively about design and purpose and functionality."

Ednie Wilson, St Mary's Heritage Centre

"From my background working in the engineering sector I understand the importance of sharing this heritage to different audiences to inspire them to go into engineering. The exhibition brings together different elements of the region’s heritage and I enjoyed chatting about this with one of the volunteers."

Alison Reynolds, Strategic Human Resources and Organisational Development Consultant

Volunteering at The Common Room

Our valued volunteers are key in making our programme of activity possible. Click below to find out about volunteering opportunities.

Photo of collections volunteer at a computer