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Meet the new learning team

Meet the learning team

The Roman puppet show was a hit at a recent open day at Buxton Museum

We have a small but perfectly-formed team of passionate Buxton ambassadors, ready to welcome you for an active and engaging learning visit.  Here’s your chance to get to know a little bit more about them – where they’re from and what they do!


Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund our learning team are hard at work developing and delivering our programme of fun and engaging history-themed learning experiences.  Although much of the work has been around sharing the story of the Buxton Crescent, we’re also working with our friends at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Poole’s Cavern to develop new activities to ‘join up’ the story of Buxton in new ways.

Over the next weeks and months, we’ll be sharing what you can learn when you visit us in Buxton.  This blog will feature news about forthcoming workshops and events, insight into the processes involved in researching and planning our work, and ‘digging deeper’ into the spa and town stories its our job to share with you. 

First though, time to meet the team – our passionate and talented band of self-confessed history geeks, with a shared passion for learning.

Katie Potter

Learning Practitioner


Hello! I’m Katie Potter. I’m a freelance Learning Facilitator at Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust. My role involves delivering workshops for school groups, hosting family drop ins and creating activities for adult audiences too.

As a child I enjoyed making museums in my bedroom.  I gave lucky family members enthusiastic guided tours. Fast forward 30 years and I can see the similarities between my role as learning facilitator at the Trust and these tours!

My story…

After graduating with a degree in Social and Economic History, I did a PGCE. I then became a primary school teacher in Edinburgh. I was happiest teaching the history bits of the curriculum. So, I swapped teaching in schools for learning in museums.

Since then, I’ve shared the stories contained in different museum’s collections with people of all ages.  As a Learning Officer at the Imperial War Museum London I helped school children think about how war shapes lives.  As  Family Outreach Co-Ordinator at Kenwood House I got toddlers exploring its Georgian splendour –  equipped with cameras and magnifying glasses.  As co-curator of Equality Matters Marple’s Women’s Work 100 exhibition I used archive material to engage community groups with suffragist’s campaigns.

Alongside my freelance role at the Trust, I research and evaluate projects for Heritage Insider, a heritage consultancy. I am a Rainbows leader (Rainbows are the youngest members of the Girlguiding family). And in a previous life I played keyboards in Scottish indie band and John Peel favourites- ballboy. Today I’m more likely to be encouraging my children’s attempts at piano, wearing my other ‘hat’ as a Mum.


Why is learning about our heritage important?

I’m most excited about the moment on a visit when people make connections between their own life experiences and what they encounter. Like the time an 8-year-old boy, studying a map in the Women’s Work 100 exhibition, realised that a Marple suffragist would have walked past his house 100 years ago!


What do I enjoy about working in Buxton?

So far, I have three favourite things about working for the trust. Firstly being a part of a team – sharing and developing ideas together in a supportive way is brilliant! Secondly, learning about Buxton’s Roman, Georgian and Edwardian history is enormously enjoyable. Finally, delivering the Roman Buxton puppet show (featuring Porto the plucky young Pot Maker from Portugal) and seeing the Year 4 children’s delight in the story and activities was really rewarding. Not least because it was my first ever puppet show performance! Phew!



Louise Brooks

Learning Practitioner

Hello, Louise here – as a learning practitioner I will be delivering engaging workshops to school groups in a variety of guises. I will take you back in time. Well not physically, but I want visitors to feel like they’ve been on an adventure in time!


My story

I remember being 9. Sat in my primary school classroom, watching my teacher negotiating the narrow doorway, wheeling in the huge brick of a television. The curtains were drawn. I could never fathom why we always needed to watch the television in the dark at school as we never seemed to do that at home.  Anyway, each week we would settle down to watch another episode of ‘Where we used to live’. A series in the 1980s that traced the lives and fortunes of various fictional Yorkshire families from the Victorian era until the early 1970s. One episode in particular, taught us about the fight of the suffragettes, and I felt a new feeling, which was mixed slightly with uneasiness, as we watched the suffering of how women were force fed. It was this sensation, a feeling of shock, disgust and horror mixed with intrigue and an excitement that has never left me.

It wasn’t until I was studying for my Bachelor of Education at Birmingham University, that this feeling re-surfaced. Our history lecturer often took us to ‘Living History’ museums such as The Black Country Museum in Dudley. We were able to talk to people from the past, walk through their houses, eat what they ate.

Once qualified, I settled myself into my new teaching role, firstly in Trafford, then Stockport, then Buxworth. Settling back to where I first began; in Whaley Bridge. As a teacher, I found the thrill of being able to inspire others and share my love of heritage and history. I loved organising living history events with my classes, such as inviting parents to join us in a medieval banquet, where pottage made by the children was served, and our faux wrought iron chandeliers made from toilet rolls hung from the PE apparatus. I also developed a taste for dressing up in historical costumes and still enjoy trawling through charity shops for vintage treasures or very recently, old bed sheets which could be transformed into Anglo-Saxon tunics.

As well as the role of Learning Practitioner for the BCHT, I also work in a local primary school where I teach Year 5 and Reception (Not together!). I am a Level 3 Forest School Leader.   I also run my own company where I deliver after school arts activities in local primary schools, and as an Arts Award Advisor for Trinity College in London, I help children to gain their Discover and Explore Arts Awards. Occasionally, when I have time, I deliver craft workshops to adult groups too, such community groups.


Why is learning about our heritage important?

We are surrounded by buildings, artefacts, footage, books, clothes and people who hold the key to why we are here. I hope to open the doorway and to inspire others to step in and look around and to never stop asking those questions about what came before, and it feels like my calling, if there is such a thing, to encourage our young people to ask those questions and get stuck in, and to teach their parents, grandparents whoever, that learning is a never ending process.


What do I enjoy about working in Buxton?

Where do I begin? Firstly, this is my dream job and I work with a dream team of creative minds who share a passion for history and heritage. I get to trawl through unseen documents and handle artefacts, ask questions and discover new trains of thought. I pull together all of my experiences, my knowledge, my excitement to create something that ignites the same in others.

When dressed as Mary Simpson, a well woman from 1913, in one of our pilot workshops that we run at The Pump Room in Buxton, the children called me Mary. Not just that, but when they listened to me and they talked to me, they looked at me as though I was from another world, they were truly transfixed and convinced I was that Mary Simpson, Well Woman from 1913. That is a great feeling.

If you'd like to know more, or ask any questions, please drop us a line below.

Our visitor experience...

tells the stories of Buxton, The Crescent, its famous water and the many people who came to seek its cure. Click here to read more.

Our Premium Guided Tours set off in the morning, where you can dive deep into the rich history of our area aided by our warm and wonderful hosts.

For those who prefer to discover at their own pace, the Experience opens to Self-Guided visitors at 1pm.

Large group? Or a sensory tour during quiet times? Please contact us and we can help get that arranged.