„Sleeping Beauty“ of Mladějov Industrial Museum

Vlastimil Novák and Petr Sýkora (CZ)

Pupils from the town of Moravská Třebová revealed history and beauty of local fire clay industry and light railway engineering. Moreover, they learned how to share their knowledge and feelings with others. Key partner for the project became Mladějov Industrial Museum.

Museum is located in the middle of Moravia close to the regional centre of Moravská Třebová. Museum has been developed from a fire clay enterprise that was closed due to economic decline in regional industry in the 1990s. The museum runs the local light railway and comprises of a small inactive power plant, engine house, workplaces and shelters. Museum collection includes wide range of historical machinery, steam and electric engines, agricultural machines and technologies, various types of lorries and trucks. The museum and the railway are managed by two public charities whose members are mainly industrial heritage enthusiasts. They have to face issues such as local community reluctance or long-lasting omission of building maintenance.

In 2007 the museum established a partnership with a secondary school in Moravská Třebová in order to develop a heritage education project promoting sustainability and support of industrial heritage. A group of 20 pupils (aged 13 – 14 years) interested in the project spent four days in Mladějov. They explored museum displays and participated in various site-specific educational activities such as art, drama and biology research. They also helped with day-to-day management of the museum and enjoyed both one day walk to the local area and light railway ride. At the end of their stay they shared what they had learned and created with a group of 20 clients of the Care Home for Mentally Disabled Persons. The project then continued back in school encouraging other 20 pupils to get involved in heritage studies. Finally, all pupils set up a special display of their works including a 3D paper model of a steam engine at the Town Hall of Moravská Třebová. Moreover, evidence shows that approximately 10 pupils became volunteers at the Mladějov Industrial Museum.

Both successes and problems of three follow-ups of the project will be illustrated and discussed.

Centrum pro studium kulturně historického dědictví při Katedře dějin
a didaktiky dějepisu PedF UK

M. D. Rettigové 4
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