Projects currently being undertaken by the Friends are...

Science Explainers/Demonstrators

The Science Maze Gallery covers a wide range of electrical and physical sciences from simple switches to gravity and light. In each section historic objects are displayed which utilise these aspects of science. These include levers, switches, engines, radio, TV, radio and computing. Having people on hand able to explain how they work has made an enormous difference to the visitor experience. The Science Maze Gallery is quite a large area so it would be good to get a few more members in action as explainers/ demonstrators.

If you are interested in this volunteering opportunity please contact Graham Bradshaw at

Science Maze Engines

We are looking to create a small team of individuals to demonstrate the working steam and gas engines (electrically driven) one day a week and explain to visitors.


If you are interested in this volunteering opportunity please contact Graham Bradshaw at

Science and Industry Library

We are looking for a person(s) with IT skills to complete the electronic indexing of the Parsons Heaton Works Journals and the North Eastern Electricity Board Nor Easter magazine. The indexing will help the curatorial team at the museum to make better use of the journal and magazine in their research work.

If you are interested in this volunteering opportunity please contact Graham Bradshaw at

NESCo Archives

There is no official history of NESCo, although some books have been written on the work of a few of the participants in the Company’s activities.  Much material is now lost due to the passage of time and the disappearance of many of the organisations involved pre-nationalisation.  Research work has discovered that a not-inconsiderable amount of remaining archive material is fragmented and dispersed amongst former employees of NESCo and its post-nationalisation successor company NEEB, not just in the Region but much further afield.

We are increasingly concerned that much of this information, not just on the Company itself, but on the manufacturing companies which supplied plant and equipment, even the Company’s lawyers, might be lost forever unless it is located, identified and catalogued in the near future.

Please get in touch if you would like to support this project, maybe by donating relevant material or by getting actively involved in the pursuit, recovery and cataloguing of records and artefacts.

If you are interested in NESCo archives contact Ian Burdon at

Object Cleaning

Objects on open display in the Museum need regular cleaning. FODMs members have been helping the TWAM Conservation department with this task after a short training session with conservator Dawn Stoker.

It is very rewarding to see the difference that cleaning makes. The exhibits take on a new appearance and really look cared for.

If you would like to help with this vital work please contact Graham Bradshaw at or telephone 0191 277 2330.

Young Engineer Design and Technology Competition

The Friends are keen to become involved in projects to win ‘hearts and minds’ of young persons to inspire them to take up a career in science, technology or engineering and we have hosted the annual ‘Young Engineers Design and Technology’ competition for schoolchildren to demonstrate their design and construction skills for a number of years.

The event is supported by Northumbria University, Discovery Museum, Friends of Discovery Museum and is operated by Hexham Rotary Club.

This is a fantastic opportunity for students who are submitting GCSE or GCE Design or Technology examination projects to showcase their work to judges which, has in the past included entries from: graphics, materials, textiles, electronics, systems, engineering and food technology.


  • Friends of Discovery Museum; What we did in 2018

    We are a group of people who meet every Tuesday to repair, clean and refurbish the artefacts, exhibits and interactives in the various galleries.

    read more
  • Parsons' Project Appeal

    Appeal for historic documents and artefacts from C A Parsons the company, Grubb Parsons, or anything relevant to the Parsons family who settled in Northumberland.

    read more
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