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News Update - September 2016

The Museum's new fund-raising ventures have got off to a tremendous start, thank you for your generous support. More details are in the newsletter.

A few dates for your diary:

From 10 September - Home of our Delights display

17 September - 7 pm Talk on Social and Industrial History by Dennis Chedgy (Booking Required)

From  20 September  - New Exhibition Pensford and The Harptrees.

20 September - Science in Radstock talk The Nailsea Glassworks

4 Oct - Bygone Days talk An Evening on the S&D by Andrew Linham

Full details are below or on the website.


Home of Our Delights Display

From 10th September we will be displaying some material linked to the Home of Our Delights project taking place in Mells and Vobster from 10 September to 22 October. 

The display is of related items from the King brothers of Vobster.

The Home of Our Delights is a project looking at the effect of WW1 on Mells and Vobster and they are staging an exhibition at Rook Lane, Frome from Saturday 10th

Pensford and The Harptrees Exhibition

From 20th September our latest exhibition in the villages and communities series will feature Pensford and The Harptrees both rich examples of the history of our area; one industrial coal mining with nearby metal working mills on the River Chew, the other truly rural. The picture below shows the damage which was inflicted by the River Chew on the A37 bridge in Pensford after a tremendous storm which hit the South West on 10 July 1968.

Somer Valley Walking Festival

On the 17th and 18th September the Somer Valley Walking Festival run by TryActive is taking place centred on Radstock. Why not combine a walk with a visit to the Museum?

The first event on the 17th Sept is a talk on Social and Industrial History in The Museum at 7 pm by Dennis Chedgy, a local historian and Museum volunteer. Space is limited so please ring 01761 437722 to reserve a place. Entry is FREE.

For details of the walks click here.

Science in Radstock

The Science in Radstock talks restart on Tuesday September 20th at Radstock Working Men’s Club at 7.30pm with a talk entitled The Nailsea Glass Industry by Andrew Smith.

The Nailsea Glassworks, in its time regarded as one of the most significant glassworks in the UK, was established in 1788 and operated until 1873, when it ceased production.

Bygone Days Talks

The Bygone Days talks restart on Tuesday October 4th in the Museum at 7.30pm with a talk entitled An Evening on the S&D by Andrew Linham, which is very appropriate in this 50th anniversary year of the S&D's closure.

The talk will include film footage and a presentation on screen.

Summer 2016 Family Activities

The Children's event on the 15 Aug was very well attended with 44 children taking part, all of whom enjoyed the activities based on the theme of trains, to reflect the exhibition upstairs.

Accompanying adults welcomed the refreshments in the tea room and the shop was popular too.


Support from the Radstock Hotel

Ben and Natalya, the new publicans at the Radstock Hotel, held a fund raising family day in support of the Museum on 28 Aug which because of bad weather was extended to the Bank Holiday Monday. The event raised a total of £74, a great result for which the Museum is very grateful. 

An attraction on the Museum's stall was a competition for children to guess the name of one of the Museum volunteer's teddy.   Elisha and Daniel from Midsomer Norton won the prize which was a family ticket to the Museum. The picture below shows Grace.

Ben and Natalya are now planning another event at Hallowe'en to raise money for us and we are considering running a quiz night in the Hotel in late November.  Watch this space for details!

Miners' Reunion

On Monday 5 September a team of Radstock Museum Volunteers and co-opted helpers, led by Julie Dexter, laid on a luncheon for the treasured former miners from our local Somerset Coalfield. The former mine workers enjoyed sharing memories and stories over their lunch. Radstock Museum volunteer Dennis Chedgy was Master of Ceremonies. 

The volunteers included Sylvia Chedgy, Sue Sullivan, Kitty and Nick Hall, Carol and David Cocks, Michael Dexter, Lucy Tudor, Dawn Townsend, Bryn Hawkins, Mo Dury, Dennis Chedgy, Robyn Dexter-Atwood. 

Radstock Co-op and the Miners' Welfare Trust provided lovely food for the occasion and we were joined by Pam Young a representative from the Co-op who has been employed there for most of her lifetime. Pam's husband had been a miner at Norton Hill Colliery and her father had been a miner at New Rock Colliery in Chilcompton where Michael Eavis of Glastonbury Festival fame had also worked.

Michael Eavis is the President of the Somerset District Miner's Welfare Trust supporting former miners and their families. He joined fellow mine workers including Chair of the Trustees Francis Phelps Hillier now 87 for a catch up.

The photo below shows (l-r) members of the Somerset District Miners' Welfare Trust:

Bill Morris, Secretary.
Francis Phelps Hillier, Chair 
Michael Eavis, President 
Bryn Hawkins, Trustee 
Clive Norman, Trustee 

Thomas Martin

On Friday 9 September the Museum hosted an afternoon tea for the descendants of Thomas Martin. The group, which included Alex, Jeremy and Simon Hann, Clive Martin and Paul Stevens, had gathered for the unveiling of a new exhibition board detailing Tom's contribution to the landscape of Radstock. 

Chairman Nick Hall welcomed the extended family and guests. Alex Hann spoke with pride about his  ancestor's achievements - which included Radstock Methodist Church and Radstock Market Hall - before unveiling the board which he had sponsored.

Visitors will find it on the half landing of the main staircase and can read more about Tom's story in Issue 84 of Five Arches.


The Museum's online fund raising initiatives have got off to a good start and we hope as many of you as possible can consider one or both of the schemes to help keep us financially viable.  

Local giving has already raised almost £600 in one off donations and has some supporters now signed up to donate a small amount monthly via Direct Debit, which will already contribute another £1000 every year towards the Museum's running costs.

The details of this scheme and a link to the Radstock Museum Localgiving page are on the Museum website's new DONATE webpage.

Easyfundraising has got off to a much slower start but we hope that in time it will have more participants who will make purchases through this system and thus contribute to the Museum at no cost to themselves. 

The details of this scheme and a link to the Radstock Museum Easyfundraising page are on the Museum website's new SUPPORT US webpage.

Stalls at Village Events

Museum volunteers regularly attend local events and set up a stall with displays of the Museum's artefacts and relevant historic photos, together with a selection of books and items from the shop which are on sale.

Our displays have recently benefited from refurbishment thanks to 
Clip Exhibition and Display Ltd., who are based at Wick just outside Bristol, and they generously agreed to supply us with a quantity of new clips and screws, free of charge.


Sometimes the weather is not kind  as can be seen from the photo taken at Coleford Village Day when our stalwart volunteers had their work cut out keeping the books dry.

If your village would like the Museum to bring a stall next year, get in touch with us ( well in advance and we will endeavour to meet your request.

Miners' Lamps

Collecting miners' lamps is, believe it or not, a major hobby both in the UK and the USA. Here in the UK, the Miners' Lamp Society is a large organisation with many members and organises both national and regional meets, lectures and exhibitions.

The miners' safety lamp was invented in 1815 and to commemorate the bicentenary of this achievement, a book called, "CLANNY, STEPHENSON AND DAVY, Commemorating the Bicentenary of the Miners Safety Lamp", was published by the Society in October, 2015


One of the authors responsible for this superbly illustrated book is Gary Chedgy, son of one of our longest serving members, Dennis Chedgy, and he has very kindly donated a copy to the Museum Library. Among the illustrations is one of a unique safety lamp made in the Somerset Coalfield in the early 19th century and which is on display in the Museum.

The Clock

If you are passing the Market Hall at night, glance up at the clock and admire the faces which are illuminated once again. 

We are still raising funds towards the next item on the list of work to be done, which is to erect scaffolding to access the strike mechanism and restore it to working order. 

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