A MINING heritage “theme park” could be created at Lochore Meadows after proposals were given official backing.

Both the National Mining Museum Scotland and Fife Council have agreed to support the idea from Cowdenbeath man Iain Chalmers for the area which is close to where the Mary Pit Head is situated.

Iain first came up with the idea after he had formed a “Save the Cage” campaign group to salvage a miner’s cage from a yard in Leven several years ago.

He then developed an idea to display items currently in storage at the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange.

“I have had a long relationship with the national mining museum going back to when the pit was open because I collect artefacts that are then passed onto the national museum,” explained Iain.

“I was well aware that they have a warehouse. They had heavy duty mining machinery, coal face equipment – I am talking heavy duty stuff.

“The museum, pre-Covid, was only open one day a week. That was only a Wednesday so if you turned up any other time, they didn’t have it on display. I got in touch with the curator and said, ‘I have got a proposal I want to discuss’.

“I arranged a meeting with her and went across and met her. I put my proposal saying, ‘Why don’t we look at the prospect of giving heavy duty equipment off to the Meedies?’.

“I explained my vision about giving this equipment and making it into a sort of mining heritage theme park.”

Buoyed by a positive response from the museum curator, Iain then went to Lochore Meadows manager Ian Laing who also welcomed the idea.

After being forced to wait for an answer from the Museum’s Collections Trust committee because of the coronavirus pandemic, Iain was delighted to receive the news that they were in full support of the plans.

“One thing we have asked for is a cage. We are hoping to display it near the winding gear of the Mary. We are hoping to tell a miner’s story from the pit head,” he added.

“There will be a mining car set up to give an idea of the space and other bits of the machinery. It is to give people a visual idea of what it was like, to explain all the different equipment and for it to be hands on.”

It is estimated that the project will cost around £35,000.

Iain continued: “It is an extensive project and getting the stuff not just transported but getting them installed, making the item safe, there will be a full costing after the new year when we will be sitting down and doing a full business plan.”

Fife Council’s community manager Sarah Roxburgh welcomed the idea.

“It’s important that we do what we can to preserve the area’s mining heritage,” she said. “We are working with the local community to identify an area in the park that could be used to display some mining artefacts so that visitors can see these important pieces of local history.”