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Radstock Museum News Update

A while ago Michael Portillo visited the Museum to film part of a programme he is presenting about the Somerset and Dorset Railway. The programme, entitled  'All Change for the West - The closing of the Somerset and Dorset Railway' is being shown on BBC One this Wednesday 1 June at 7:30pm. We hope that what Michael filmed in the Museum will be in the final version on your screens, but even if we don't feature it will be worth watching. If you miss it then you can always use one of the many TV catch up features to watch it retrospectively. The photo below shows Bryn Hawkins, Michael Portillo and Andrew Linham at the Museum.


Our exhibition of embroidery and lac"Threads Thro' Time" closed on Monday 30th May. If you didn't manage to see it then you missed a colourful display of superb craftsmanship and artistic imagination.
A huge thank you to the m
any groups who contributed to this wonderful exhibition, including Embroidery Experiences (Chilcompton), Frome and District Embroiderers Guild, Avalon Embroiderers Guild, Bath Embroidery Group, Irving Embroideries, Vine Embroidery and Heather Kendon (lace).
And of course any others not specifically mentioned in this list.

S & D Railway Trust Exhibition

From 17 June to 17 July the Museum will be hosting a mobile exhibition compiled by the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust which is based in Washford. The exhibition is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the closure of the S&D Railway in March 1966. Some of the exhibits will remain in the Museum for the summer holidays.

On Saturday 18 June the S&DRT will be holding its AGM in the Museum which will therefore not open its doors to the public until 1:00pm.
During the afternoon visitors will be able to enjoy special informal events connected with the S&D Railway, including a talk by Mike Beale on the legacy of the S&D Railway and Kate McStraw presenting her 
 ‘Museum of Memory’ – a curious travelling exhibition / installation which contains an array of jars, each housing an object associated with a story.

On Saturday 9 July from 2 - 5 pm Steph Gillett will be in the Museum signing copies of his book The Somerset and Dorset Railway through time (£14.99). The book is a wonderful collection of photographs of the S & D railway in operation, after abandonment and during the present day. 
It is available in the
Museum Shop together with Somerset and Dorset Swansong by Bob Bunyar (£14.95) and many other books about the history of railways in this area.

The Research Team has been participating in an HLF funded project 'Trade Roots' currently taking place in some local primary schools led by WISE and Wiltshire Global Education. 
The project aims to support schools in exploring our locality’s global connections through learning about industry, trade and working people, and the movement of people.
Our team has put in a lot of effort to produce fact sheets, to give access to archived photos and to manage educational visits to the museum. Team members also visited the local schools to give talks.
The Clock
The project to upgrade the Market Hall clock is starting work shortly on replacing the defective lighting system, thanks to the grant we received from Big Local Dragons' Den. 
Grant applications to raise the large amount of money needed for the rest of the work continue and we also ask for your support for the fund raising organ recital described below. 

Fundraising Organ Recital
We are grateful to St Peter's Church in Camerton for its support to the Market Hall clock project. It is hosting a fundraising Organ Recital by Rory Moules on Saturday July 23rd at 7:30pm, tickets £5 which includes tea/coffee and cake.
Rory is organ scholar at Keble College, Oxford, where he also holds an academic scholarship. Rory attended Downside School, where from the age of nine he sang in the Schola Cantorum in the Abbey Church. From thirteen Rory started organ lessons, firstly with Christopher Tambling, but later also with David Bednall and now has lessons with Stephen Farr.
During his sixth-form, Rory was organ scholar at Downside where he accompanied the choir for services, as well as giving occasional recitals.
Now at Keble, Rory accompanies the chapel choir for services several times a week, playing on the renowned new Tickell organ, as well as in concerts and on tours. As a recitalist Rory performs regularly in Oxford and further afield. Rory is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists.

Summer 2016 Family Activities

School holidays are not far away and at Radstock Museum there is plenty to entertain the whole family from 19 July until 1 September. Tour the Museum with the Family Fun Guide Booklet (£1.50) where the imaginary Steggles family describe their way of living in 1900.  The booklet includes quizzes and spotter tests to keep you amused.
Imagine being in the school at that time....
Upstairs there will be railway memorabilia on display and dressing up clothes for all the family to wear and then you can take your photos in front of our new Market Hall backdrop
which will be  much much more interesting than in 2015, 


Just published and just delivered to the Museum shop is Bath's Railways in Photographs by J.C. Way, priced at £10.00. This is a new picture book compiled by Neil Butters showing never-seen-before photographs of steam engines on the Somerset and Dorset and Great Western railways.

Due to its popularity, we also have a re-print of A Walk through Paulton's Past (£3.50) by Anne Miall, Secretary of Paulton's History Society and a Trustee of Radstock Museum. This booklet includes a short history of Paulton and explanations, descriptions and photographs of many features that existed along this historical ramble.

With half-term and summer holidays coming up we have a new stock of pocket-money gifts and toys for sale.

5 Arches Journal 

The latest issue of Five Arches – Issue 84: Spring 2016 is available from the Museum shop priced £3.50.

Amongst other articles it looks at what the First World War meant for the women of the coalfields, looks at Edward VIII's contact with the coalfields, describes the history of Church Cottage in Timsbury, has a ramble to the old Church Tower at Pensford  and gives an insight into the local building company WG Parsons and Sons.

Grant To Refurbish Museum Research Room

Radstock Museum has been awarded a grant of £500 from the Small Grant Big Improvement scheme of the South West Museum Development Programme supported by Arts Council England.
The money will be used to buy new desks and chairs for the Research Room as part of a project to make it more welcoming for researchers and to make more material from the collection available to be viewed by visitors.

The plan is to have the Research Room open during normal Museum opening hours for the first time, so that digitised photographs of the local area in former times can be viewed, along with more information on local mines, villages, transport and other topics.
Full research enquiries will still be by appointment only (contact but we aim to make more material available as part of this ongoing project to improve accessibility to our collection.
More information on arrangements will become available on our website when the new Research room is officially opened.

Fossil Hunting News

The annual fossil hunt for children on the local batch will go ahead as usual later in the year on a date to be announced.
An interesting geological excavation is planned for Welton Hill near Radstock during late 2016. It will expose a section of Lower Jurassic Clays (Charmouth Mudstone Formation)  adjacent to the former clay pit site (pictured below) on Broadway Lane, Welton, Bath & NE Somerset. Many fossils from this site
 were lost during WWII.
Working closely with the landowner, local museums, schools, universities and the geological community, the site will provide a wealth of new research and collecting opportunities.
A key objective is to get the local community involved, particularly schools, and to donate some of the fossils found in this new excavation to local museums.
The picture below shows a beautifully preserved brittle star.
Copyright © 2016 Radstock Museum, All rights reserved.

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