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News Update - March 2020

Items in this Update cover:
Full details are below or on our website. 
Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Museum is remaining open as usual and is following the guidance issued by the Government regarding precautions to minimise the risk of spreading the infection. 

Should Government advice change then the Museum will react accordingly and details will be on our website.
Dates for your Diaries

Feb 1st -           6 mini Exhibitions on local people and mines
Apr 26th          

Mar 17th           Science in Radstock Talk

Mar 20th           Memory Cafe + Carers

Mar 23rd           History Club (AgeUK)

Mar 27th           RBL Veterans Support Cafe

Apr   3rd           Back in the Day Cafe

Apr   6th           Get-together Cafe

Apr  14th          Bygone Days Talk

Apr  21st          Science in Radstock Talk

Details of all the events and exhibitions are here

Community Programme Manager

We are sad to announce that Lisa Pool, our Community Programme Manager, is leaving us in March. She has made a large impact on the Museum's engagement with its local Community and her enthusiasm and cheerfulness will be sorely missed.

We are seeking someone to replace her and the following advertisement has been placed in the local press. 

Are you interested in our local history?
Would you like to work with our local community?
Then this job could be for you!
With support from volunteers, you will manage and run community café sessions for people living with memory issues and their carers, veterans and local history groups. You will also help organise the wider Museum events programme which raises both its profile and funds.
The post is 15 hrs/week, to include cafés currently on Mondays (pm) and Fridays (am) and is initially available for one year. Salary will be in the range £15-£18000pa pro rata.
Please apply to
 The deadline is 5pm on Wed  March 18th

If you have further questions, please send them to the same address.

Community Cafe Programme
Our programme of events in the tea room has been expanded and now includes a Veterans Support Cafe hosted by the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Royal British Legion Branch which provides an opportunity for local veterans and their families to meet twice per month with support from local RBL members.

This new Cafe was officially launched on 9 March  with representatives of the RBL and SSAFA present.

The photo shows the ribbon cutting by Mrs Sue Bendle, mother-in-law of Corporal Gordon Pritchard of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards who was the 100th member of the British Armed Forces to be killed in Iraq.

Also in the picture are Graham Jagger (RBL), Dr Nick Hall (Chair of Radstock Museum), Councillor Eleanor Jackson (Chair of BANES Council) and Denis Louzet (RBL).

We now have six Cafe programmes running, see the posters below for details of four of them and also the website.

Current Exhibition

6 Mini Exhibitions on

Local People and the Mines
The first exhibition of 2020 involves 4 mini exhibitions celebrating the lives of local people, together with 2 which are focussed on the mines.

These 6 exhibitions make good use of the new exhibition space on the mezzanine floor, which is now renamed the Alex Hann Exhibition Gallery. The space has new display systems and also 2 new high security cabinets. 

Science in Radstock


From submarine detection to baby scanning
Science in Radstock talks continue on Tuesday Mar 17th at 7:30 pm in the Radstock Working Men's Club with Dr Francis Duck exploring the history of Ultrasound.

Ultrasound is used in a huge number of applications, including the one most people are familiar with which is the scanning of babies in the womb. 

See website for details.

Bygone Days
Bygone Days talks continue on Tuesday Apr 14th (NOT the usual 1st Tuesday of the month) at 7:30 pm in the Somer Centre Midsomer Norton, with Dr Nick Hall presenting
"The Joy of Sets"

an illustrated talk on the joy of model railways.

See website for details.
We have a new map, price £3, covering Midsomer Norton in 1902, based on the original 1883 survey.
It covers the Stones Cross area and top of the high street with Welton in the centre, the edge of Clandown top right and Westfield/Wellsway area on right. On the rear are some historical notes, plus a small section of map showing further into Westfield with Norton Hill Colliery on the right and the rest of MSN down to Steam Mills on the left. Its the Revised 1902 OS map (originally surveyed in 1883). 

Coal Tub
The Museum has recently become aware of an old Coal Tub which is lying abandoned locally, having been used possibly as a cattle drinking trough.

We are making arrangements to recover this piece of local history so that it can be preserved and displayed locally. 
New Item Acquired for the Collection
In January this year, a WW2 RAF pilot’s cockpit escape axe turned up on an online auction site.

According to the information provided, it had been found many years ago on the site of the glider crash at Double Hill field, Paulton, where, on 17 September 1944, a Horsa glider, Number RJ113, en route to Arnhem as part of Operation Market Garden, crashed with the loss of 23 lives. This event had been commemorated in an exhibition in our museum during the latter months of 2019.

The axe had been an exhibit for many years in the Humberside Aircraft Preservation Society museum, near Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire, to whom it had been donated by the finder, whose name is now unfortunately lost.

The closure of this museum resulted in many of its exhibits being sold and the axe was put up for auction. It was successfully acquired for our Museum where it is now on display together with its original museum label and a newly researched full history.
Half Term Activities
The Museum was open both am and pm every day during half term week, with a new trail on the Planets and a space themed activity morning as well. One of the highlights was the visit of a Dalek which was driven around the Museum by a few lucky draw winners.

This week proved to be one of the most successful in the Museum's 20 year history in Radstock and helped us to attract nearly 1500 visitors during the month. School visits during the month were also fully booked.

We recognise that the activity morning was extremely crowded and apologise if you weren't able to enjoy as many of the activities as you would have liked. We are looking at what we can do to reduce the pressure on space in future events.

A huge thank you to all our Volunteers who worked so hard to make this happen and also to all the visitors who came despite awful weather. 

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