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News Update - October 2016

Items in this Update cover:
  • Dates for your diary
  • Exhibitions
  • Talks (Science in Radstock and Bygone Days)
  • Events
  • An opportunity to get donations doubled
  • The Shop
  • The Clock, a major donation received
  • Grants and Donations, good news!
  • Access the Museum's Facebook page
  • Oakham Treasures Visit
Full details are below or on the website.

Dates for your Diaries

There are a few events in the lead up to Christmas which we hope you will support or will encourage others to support. Details can be found on our website.

Tues 18 Oct 7:30 pm Science in Radstock talk, Working Men's Club

Mon 24 Oct 2:00 until 4:00 a Fossil Hunt starting at the Museum.

Thurs 27 Oct 10:30 to 12:00 Meet the Victorians at the Museum.

Tues 1 Nov 7:30 pm Bygone Days talk at the Museum

Tues 15 Nov 7:30 pm Science in Radstock talk, Working Mens Club

Fri 25 Nov 7:30 pm a fund raising Quiz Night in the Radstock Hotel.

Sat 3 Dec 2:00 to 5:00 a Victorian Christmas in the Museum and Radstock Christmas light switching on ceremony at the Mine Wheel.

Sat 10 Dec 10:00 to 4:00 Museum Christmas Fair.


Home of Our Delights Display

We are 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  until 22 October. 

Pensford and The Harptrees Exhibition

Our latest exhibition in the villages and communities series features 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.

Paulton Junior School Exhibition

Radstock Museum, WISE: (We Inspire Sustainability Education) and Wiltshire Global Education Centre teamed up to run a project involving Paulton Junior School called Trade Roots, looking at Migration and Trade and focused on the migration of people into the Somerset Coalfield area to work in the coal mines.

Between 22 October and 30 November some of items produced by the children will be on display.

Clandown Claypit Fossil Dig

The Clandown excavation, which was independent of the Museum, is now complete and the Museum is fortunate to have been lent some of the finds to put on display.

Come in and see the rest and more details about the excavation itself!


Our Bygone Days talk An Evening on the S&D which took place on 4 October was overwhelmed by attendees, many of whom were unable to be accommodated. We offer sincere apologies to our loyal supporters who were turned away due to our limited space; this is only the second time this has happened in about 5 years. We try to keep the talks in the Museum whenever possible but in this case we obviously seriously underestimated the demand for seats. 

Science in Radstock Talks

The next in the  series is on Tuesday October 18th at Radstock Working Men’s Club at 7.30pm.

Dr Dave Brown of the University of Bath explains in his talk entitled "Now see ear!’  how technology and the amazing brain are letting the blind ‘see’ using sound.

For more details visit the Talks  page of our website.

Bygone Days Talks


On Tuesday November 1st at 7.30pm at the Museum, Martin Horler presents his talk on the "Role of the Royal Mail Guard" in full livery. He explores the postal system from 1784 to the coming of the railway in 1840; the revolutionary introduction of Mail Coaches, which were provided by contractors, with regular changes of horses, keeping to a strict timetable, exempt from tolls and carrying an armed guard.  For more details visit the Talks  page of our website.


BANES Museum's Week Events

Free to Discovery Card Holders

Fossil Hunt


Our annual FOSSIL HUNT  will be on Monday October 24th between 2:00 and 4:00 pm for children accompanied by an adult. For more details visit the Events  page of our website.

If the weather is poor this event may be cancelled so please check the website or our Facebook page in good time to avoid a wasted journey.

Meet the Victorians

Come and MEET THE VICTORIANS at Radstock Museum on Thursday 27th October from 10am to 12.30 pm. Volunteers from the museum will be in Victorian costume acting the roles of people from the past. Find out how the schoolteacher spent her day and how she kept a record of daily life in the school.  What was it like to be a miner? How did the miner's wife manage to make ends meet?   
Help her with some of her daily tasks.  Visit the Co-op, how is shopping different today?  Dress up in Victorian clothes and have your photograph taken against a real photo backdrop of the market hall or follow the displays with a quiz book.  Free to BANES Discovery Card holders.
For more details visit the Events  page of our website.

 Quiz Night at the Radstock Hotel

Bring your team of 4 masterminds and join us for a Pub Quiz on Friday 25th November at 7:30 for 8pm start in the Radstock Hotel skittle alley, to raise funds for the restoration of the Market Hall Clock.

£4:50 per person, pay at the door,  which includes buffet supper and cash prizes. There will be a raffle and a cash bar. Details on the website  Events
To book in your team, email Lucy Tudor at 

Doubled Donations Opportunity

The Museum is signed up to Localgiving for either a one off donation or a regular donation through a direct debit. So far we have had £600 in one off donations and have direct debits amounting to about £1000 per year.

Localgiving has just announced a match funding scheme called Grow your Tenner which effectively doubles anything up to £10 which you donate! 

The details are as follows, and please note that the match funding will only apply to donations made between the dates/times given:

Grow Your Tenner 2016 🌟New🌟 Conditions

• The campaign kicks off at 10am on Tuesday 18th October 2016 and closes when the match fund runs out or at 5pm on Thursday the 17th November 2016 (whichever comes first).

• During the campaign one time donations made to local charities via Localgiving will be matched by up to £10; as will Direct Debits by up to £10 a month for the first 3 months.

• Radstock Museum has the chance to secure up to £2,500 of match funding: £1,000 from one time donations and £1,500 from Direct Debits.

• This year funding from the Office for Civil Society and a private philanthropist has brought the overall match fund for the campaign to £345,000.

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

The Shop

To complement the current Village Histories exhibition we have books, pictures, DVDs, and booklets on The Harptrees and Pensford for sale in the museum shop. These include:

Around Pensford (£7.50) and Around Harptree (£7.50) both by Ian Bishop and each including many old photographs of the villages.

Before the lake: Memories of the Chew Valley (£10.00) published by The Harptrees History Society which has created the displays for the current exhibition.

A DVD - East Harptree: Hidden History and Secret Places (£7.00)- the title says it all!

Harptree Villages Cricket Club: 119 not out (£1.50) and The Threads of Faith: 200 years of Catholic Faith in the Chew Valley (£3.50) both by Gill Hogarth.

We have also just got copies of "Killed in a Coalpit" (£15.00) a moving book about mine accidents in the Kingswood Coalfield which gives real insight into the lives of the miners and their families.

The Clock

The faces are now lit up at night and the restoration fund now stands at an amazing £2400!

This is thanks to a wonderful donation of Aus$2000 from Derek Chivers in memory of his late wife Jenny (Daphne Jennifer Dando). Derek and Jenny left this area for Australia in 1968 and celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary shortly before Jenny sadly died. They visited the Museum in 2011 and were hugely impressed by what we are doing to keep the past history of this area alive. The photo below shows them on their wedding day.

With the additional funds we hope to raise at the Quiz Night on Friday 25th November we believe that we will have enough very soon to tackle the bell strike repair!
Grants and Donations

The Museum has been successful with a number of grant applications recently.

We have received a significant grant which will enable us to purchase another display cabinet, similar to the one shown below in which we are displaying the Wellow Coin Hoard. In the picture is Geoff Pike who discovered the hoard when a new power cable was being laid on his farm land near White Ox Mead. You can read about Geoff's family history in our Five Arches Journal.

We are grateful to Big Local for providing a grant which will enable us to open the Museum for free on Saturday Dec 3rd, and put on a Victorian Christmas event leading up to the Radstock light switching on at the Miner's Wheel.

We have also been awarded a grant by BANES towards some new notice boards and assisting with the costs of some forthcoming events. 

And finally we are indebted to the Midsomer Norton Piano Accordion Band   which, thanks to Peter Barter a long term member of the Band and former miner, has donated £2000 to the Museum from its residual funds on being wound up. The Band started in 1937 with Gerald Stenner (our Curator Nick Turner's great uncle) as Conductor and finally ceased activity in 2013. There are a number of articles about the Band written by Peter in the Five Arches Journal, available from the Museum shop.


Accessing Museum Facebook Page

Not a member of Facebook and don't want to be, but would like to find out what is going on at the Museum?  Then follow these simple instructions to see all the latest news and events and blogs about Radstock Museum on our FaceBook Page:

  1. On the Museum website or in this News Update scroll down to the bottom of the screen (page)
  2. Click on the facebook logo (a small white f in a blue box or circle):
  3. You will automatically go to the Radstock Museum facebook page
  4. A box may pop up suggesting you should “sign up” to facebook – just click on the “x” in the top right hand corner of the box to get rid of this YOU DON’T HAVE TO SIGN UP
  5. You can now see our facebook page and scroll down to see what news we have added
  6. You are just looking at a facebook page, YOU ARE NOT A FACEBOOK MEMBER and YOU WON’T SUDDENLY BE INVOLVED IN FACEBOOK IN ANY WAY it is just like looking at a website.
  7. Once you have finished looking and you close the page just as you would close any website page- that is it – you can visit again by following my instructions once more.

Visit to Oakham Treasures


Museum volunteers spent a really interesting day at Oakham Treasures on Monday 26th September. The museum is vast and varied with lots of memorabilia of everyday life from probably late Victorian times to the 1990s. With daily groceries and clothes, tools and implements from motoring and farming, lots of tractors and an enormous collection of enamel signs plus so much more. A delicious lunch was provided and tea and  tray bakes. Thank you to Pat and Dennis who organised it.

The photo below shows the old weighbridge mechanism from Strap Colliery, Chilcompton, which was originally offered to us by Jacksons Fencing, who now occupy the site, but which we could not accommodate so we passed it on the Oakham Treasures where the information board says that it was donated by Radstock Museum!
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