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Mineral Extraction in Purbeck
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The Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum

Ball Clay Mining was a key employer for the residents of the Corfe to Wareham area of Purbeck. Even today almost all of the residents of that area know of someone who was involved in the industry. In the Isle of Purbeck to be known as "a man of clay" is to hold a title of distinction. There are strong traditions of loyalty; young men follow their fathers into the clay industry and to find three generations of the same family at work together was by no means rare. 

There must be many memories out there of the mining of Ball Clay in Purbeck. We would like to publish those memories on this page for the benefit and education of others.  If you have a memory that you would like to share with us please send us an e-mail  We would also like to hear of amusing incidents or astonishing facts. With the darkness underground being broken only by the workers helmet lamps, many a practical joke was played. So let us hear them.

If you have any photographs of clay employees at work we would like to publish them on the website. The Museum is also collecting photographs of anything to do with the clay industry in Purbeck. Please contact us if you have either.

Just a word of caution to the readers of these pages - these are peoples memories and whilst they are true, beware of using them as facts as human memory is not 100% reliable.




A good day out


Steven Penny

Camera   Mike Giles

Verbal Memories of clay workers

School train   The late Elsie Tomes
Battrick Family   Derek Griffiths
Creech barrow   Matthew Randall
Collecting the Clay   Mike Streeter
Grandad and "the Film"   Ian Welsh
An Omen   Derek Burt
A Young boy's Dream job   Mike Holley
"A Young Boy's exploits on the Pikes boats"   Mike Holley
Clayworkers do a good deed   Mike Holley
"Generations visit Norden"   Roy Welsh
"Artist Jim"   Jim Bugler
Links with Sir Oliver   Stan Davies
Red and green flags to wave   Mike Holley
Underground incident   Garry Burgess
Raymond Tubbs The last in a long line of clay workers   Chris Tubbs
Memories of Quintus and Creech    
The Sawmill building at Norden   Bob Richards


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Contacts:-  The PMMMG Chairman (Peter Sills)    Website queries ( John Rowley)