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News Update - November 2018

Items in this Update cover:
  • Dates for your diary
  • Theatre in the Museum
  • Talks
  • Events
  • Shop
  • Exhibitions
  • News
Full details are below or on our website.
Dates for your Diaries

Nov 4th       Museum SHUT
- 12th

Nov 6th       Talk: 'The Victoria Cross, Our Local Heroes'

Nov 8th       Play: "At the Going Down of the Sun" 

- 11th

Nov 20th     Talk: 'West Country Dialect, is it Dead or Alive?'

Nov 23rd     Fundraising Quiz Night

Nov 30th     Museum displays shut until February 2019

Dec 1st       An Edwardian Christmas and switching on of
                  Radstock Christmas Lights

Dec 8th       Museum Christmas Fayre

Dec 15th     Museum Shop open

& 22nd

Details of all the events and exhibitions are here

Theatre in the Museum

At the Going Down of the Sun

Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum in partnership with Black Hound Productions proudly present:

“At The Going Down of the Sun” a play written especially for performance at the Museum by Patrick Withey, of local youth theatre group Black Hound Productions, about our local heroes returning from WWI.

We are delighted to be able to give space for this talented band of local young people to show their skills and to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the First World War.  We hope that you can all support this venture by coming to see the play in the unique surroundings of the Museum.

There will be three evening performances, starting at 7.30pm, on Thursday 8th, Friday 9th and Saturday 10th November with two matinee performances starting at 2.30pm on Saturday 10th and at 4.00pm on Sunday 11th November. The performance, which will last for 1 – 1.5 hours, will be ‘in the round’ in the Museum’s upstairs gallery.

The Museum doors will open one hour before each performance for browsing the Museum’s downstairs area where you can see the Victorian Street, an exhibition about the show and some WWI artefacts.

There will be a bar for the purchase of drinks before and after the play and the opportunity to meet the cast after the show.


TICKETS, which are limited to 60 for each performance, are £10 each and are now available on-line at the Eventbrite website: (there is a  small booking charge if you buy on-line).

The tickets will also be available on the door before each performance, subject to availability.

In order to accommodate the play the Museum will be SHUT from 4 Nov until 12 Nov (inclusive).

Bygone Days

'The Victoria Cross; Our Local Heroes'
by Nick Waton

7:30 pm Tuesday November 6th
Somer Centre, Midsomer Norton

Come and learn about three men from North East Somerset and their acts of gallantry in illustrated stories from the Second Boer War in 1901 and the Western Front in 1915 and 1918.

Admission: £4. Raffle.
Full details are on our website.

Science in Radstock

'The West Country Dialect; Is it Dead or Alive?'
by Tony Painter.

7:30pm Tuesday November 20th
Radstock Working Men’s Club

A look at the history of West Country dialect. How did our ancestors speak and would we have understood them?

The talk also takes a look at dialect studies, local words, customs and superstitions from boyhood memory and dialect writers.

Admission: £3.00. Under 18 years FREE. 
Full details are on our website.

Fundraising Quiz Night
23 November
Book your team in now to enter this popular quiz at the Radstock Working Men's Club and help to raise funds to support your Museum. There are prizes for the top teams, plus a raffle, and a bar.

Teams of 4 at £5 per person including the buffet. Pay at the door.
To book contact Janette, 01761 435448, or e mail

Full details on our website.
Edwardian Christmas Event and
Radstock Christmas Light Switching On

1 December 
An Edwardian Christmas at Radstock Museum, on Saturday December 1st 2 pm - 4 pm, is a family event with Edwardian themed Christmas arts, crafts and other activities with Museum Volunteers dressed in Edwardian costume to add to the atmosphere. Children are welcome to come dressed up too if they choose to.

During the event families can make Christmas lanterns which will include a battery tea light and there will be an opportunity to learn some Edwardian Christmas songs (song sheets will be provided).

Then at 4pm the children and their parents, are invited to join the Museum volunteers in a lantern procession, carrying the lanterns they have made, around the Miners' Memorial Garden and to the Christmas Tree by the Miners' Wheel where they can sing their Christmas songs to launch the Radstock Christmas Light Switch On.

Full details on
our website.
Museum Christmas Fayre
8 December 

The Friends of Radstock Museum will once again welcome you to their popular Christmas Fayre on 8 December from 10am-4pm.

Admission is FREE.

There will be lots of Christmas gift stalls including jewellery, books, accessories, crafts and pottery all accompanied by live festive music.

The Museum Tearoom and Shop will also be open to tempt you with winter warming refreshments and unique Christmas gifts.

Full details on our website.


There are only about 50 shopping days to Christmas and the Museum shop stocks all sorts of things which will solve your present problems.

The shop is open during Museum opening hours in November. In December, when the Museum displays are shut, it opens every Saturday. See the website for details of times.
The shop now has copies of a new book, "On the Trail of the Titfield Thunderbolt", by Simon Castens at £8.95.

This is an illustrated guide to Ealing Studios' location filming of The Titfield Thunderbolt in 1952. The action took place south of Bath including at Camerton and Monkton Coombe stations.

All is recalled in the book through previously unpublished photographs, location maps and a detailed text. It includes a complete list of the locations used and how to find them today.

The Museum shop is doing something for the environment by offering Ecoffee cups.

The 12 oz re-usable cups are made of eco friendly bamboo fibre and are available in six designs, including an ammonite pattern. They are £7 each (99p cheaper than on Amazon!). An ideal Christmas present.

Current Exhibition

WORLD WAR I …how it changed us 1914-24

The aim of the exhibition is to bring into focus the changes that were brought by the advent of a World War; these were both social and industrial.

We demonstrate the changes by highlighting the developments that took place in the Somerset Coalfield villages.  The changes were obviously very subtle and took place gradually over the years, proving a shock for the men when they returned from the war and found that women were doing the jobs once considered only a male province.

Buckland Dinham is able to give an agricultural view whereas Paulton and Clutton have an industrial flavour, and Camerton and Shoscombe border both spheres.

The exhibition has an interesting display of postcards; a form of rapid communication that came to the fore in this period. And medals and memorial plaques with a variety of war memorabilia and village history artefacts are also on show.

Included is the story of the Beauchamp Girls of Welton; presented by Museum Trustee and Local Historian, Tom Randall.

WI Village Models

We are also grateful to three local WIs (Timsbury, Radstock and Farrington Gurney) who have lent us the prize-winning models of their towns or villages (shown above) which they made for a competition celebrating the 80th year of the Camdyke WI Group . 


New Displays in  the Schoolroom
Thanks to a generous grant from the Somer Valley Small Grant scheme we are installing historical school related displays into some of the school desks, particularly aimed at children.

The photos show one of the display boxes ready for its contents to be put in place. The two fingers on the sides of the box are a safety feature which will reduce the risks of anyone dropping the desk lid onto fingers.

We hope that the boxes will be progressively installed over the winter months to be ready for the Museum's re-opening in February.

Trash or Treasure Fundraising Event
The Trash or Treasure event held at the Somer Centre raised over £300 for Museum funds and will be used for further improvements to our displays and facilities. Well done to all the Volunteers who made the event a success.

We would particularly like to thank the experts from Killens' Mendip Auction Rooms who once again generously gave up their time to value items which were brought in. And also of course, Mendip Auction Rooms who will be donating their commission on any items which are subsequently sold through their Auctions. 

Half Term Events
The Museum volunteers pulled out all the stops during the half term week, not only running the annual Fossil Hunt and an Autumn Fest event, but also opening up every day in the mornings as well as afternoons with attractions such as a Halloween VR ride, storytelling, mystery object identification, and a Halloween trail. 

We received many very positive comments and a request that we do it all again over the Christmas holidays! But even our volunteers have time off so the next flurry of activities for children will be in the spring half term.
The Fossil Hunt attracted nearly 100 children in glorious sunshine to search on the batch for fossils. The children benefited from new smaller safety goggles. which are a great improvement on the larger size used in previous years. Some excellent examples were found, to be taken home, cleaned up and displayed.

We are very grateful that the new owner of the batch attended and we would like to thank her for allowing the event to take place.  
The Autumn Fest attracted a huge number of children who enjoyed the many activities which the volunteer scarecrows were running. The Mine was suitably haunted by all manner of ghostly items, lanterns were made, apples bobbed and fat balls produced for the birds, amongst many other things.
Trustee of Radstock Museum and Mendip Storyteller, Martin Horler captivated children and parents at Halloween Storytime at the Museum in October half term with a mixture of well known tales and spooky stories.  
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