Behind the scenes mine tour was a big hit
Over 30 people living around East Leake, near Loughborough have enjoyed a VIP tour ‘down under’ – they were taken around Marblaegis Mine, run by major local employer British Gypsum.
The tour, which took place on Saturday 3 December, was organised following the success of the Gotham Heritage Day which was held in September and celebrated the history of the area.
Mining has played a vital role in the local economy for over a hundred years and British Gypsum’s history featured heavily in the Heritage Day which attracted hundreds of visitors.
British Gypsum’s Marblaegis Mine Manager, John Austin explains more: “We were overwhelmed by the number of visitors and the level of interest in our mining display at the Gotham Heritage Day. People were genuinely keen to find out more about the history of this industry and how it operates in the local area today. We had over 80 requests for a tour of the mine. Unfortunately we are not able to take large groups around so we drew names out of the hat to pick the 34 we knew we could take around in small groups.
“The tours were a big success with our team taking three smaller groups around. To get to the working face of the mine is a half an hour drive underground. On route we gave our visitors an overview of the history of the mine and an introduction to how it operates today. They walked around the face of the mine which is 100 metres underground and got a close look at the big cutting and crushing machines we use. They also saw some of the 5km of conveyor belt which transports the gypsum to the surface for processing into plaster and plasterboard for construction.
“It is really important for us to continue to play a positive role in the community around the mine and this tour gave us a great opportunity to showcase our operation and inform those that had little knowledge of how a gypsum mine works. There were lots of questions and very positive feedback from the whole group – it was a pleasure to host them.”
Comments from the touring group included: “Thank you for a fascinating trip down the mine on Saturday” and “We have lived next to and over the mine for 35 years so it was interesting to see what is hidden below us.”