AN award-winning mining museum – planned and built by a small team of dedicated volunteers over more than a decade – has been officially opened by BBC TV ‘Antiques Roadshow’ expert Paul Atterbury.

The Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum at Norden has taken some 40,000 hours of work to achieve.

Appearing on the Antiques Roadshow since 1990, Paul Atterbury – who lives in Weymouth – is an expert in ceramics, with Purbeck ball being used in the manufacture of fine china. He has also written several railway books.

After cutting the ceremonial ribbon with South Dorset MP Richard Drax, a delighted Paul said: “It was a privilege to be part of such an important Dorset event. Thanks to the dedication and skills of the volunteers, the museum is a major achievement and has been created for a comparatively low cost.

“The museum puts the ball clay mining industry and its history clearly on the map. Its planning and construction is a magnificent achievement and a triumph for the volunteers involved.

“The museum's location is excellent, linking the clay story closely to the Swanage Railway and so offering visitors a more multi-facetted attraction,” he added.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax said: “I congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to reach this very special day.

“The museum is a monumental achievement and a fantastic moment for everyone involved so very well done.”