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News Update - November 2017

Items in this Update cover:
  • Dates for your diary
  • Exhibitions
  • Events
  • Old Pound Coins
  • The Radstock Dragonfly
  • Somerset Coalfield Life programme latest news
  • Shop
  • Tearoom
  • Talks programme
  • Five Arches
  • News
Full details are below or on our website.

Dates for your Diaries

Nov 21st  Science in Radstock Talk    

Nov 24th  Fundraising Quiz Night

Nov 29th  Last day of Westfield Exhibition

Apart from the events listed below and Saturday opening of the shop during the run up to Christmas, the Museum is shut from 30 Nov until the end of January.

Dec 2nd  Christmas Fair  (Free Entry)

Dec 9th   Christmas Event for Children  (Free Entry)

Details of all the events and exhibitions are here, and our December  programme and shop/tearoom opening times can be found here.

“The Way We Lived Then”
The History of Westfield: 1860-2017.

The fifth in the museum’s series of Communities and Villages Exhibitions , the latest is all about Westfield and its  long history which stretches from the Romans in AD 49 (building of the Fosse Way), through the quiet years of the agricultural middle ages, to the explosion of the coal mining industry in the nineteenth century which in turn supported various minor industries, to today’s flourishing small businesses and entrepreneurships.

The exhibition closes on 29th Nov so you only have just over a week to visit!

Quiz Night - Friday 24th November 
The Friends quiz night with a raffle and a buffet is in the Working Men's Club at 7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00. 

All profits will be donated to the Museum to help pay for an audio visual display in the Printing Shop.

There is still room for a few more teams so get your friends together and book a place, see our website for details.
Christmas Fair - Saturday 2nd December 
The Annual Christmas Fair is in the Museum on 2nd December between 10 am and 4 pm, followed by switching on of the Radstock Christmas lights at 4:30 pm. Entry is free.

Stalls in the Museum will tempt you with a variety of goods and there will be a raffle and tombola.

Enjoy live entertainment throughout the day with Ian Piff on keyboard, the group ‘Sing Your Heart Out’ during the early afternoon followed by the delightful children of Farrington Gurney School.

Radstock Museum’s railway themed Tearoom and the Shop will also be open.

We look forward to your company for this very special annual event.

Victorian Christmas Event  
Saturday 9th December 

‘MEET THE VICTORIANS’ themed event for children to enjoy Victorian crafts and activities and sample winter-warming refreshments in the railway buffet styled Tearoom. The Museum will be decorated in Victorian style with our volunteers in Victorian costume. Entry is free

There is also an opportunity to buy unique Christmas cards and gifts from the Museum Shop.

Join us at Radstock Museum for a special seasonal experience.

The Radstock Dragonfly
When the fossil remains of this dragonfly were found on Tyning Batch, about 1910, it proved to be the largest insect of its kind ever found, with a wingspan of about 18 inches. This fossil is now in the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge.

Other smaller dragonfly fossils have been found since and local geologist, Simon Carpenter, recently told the museum that about 40 years ago a friend of his was offered a near-complete dragonfly fossil with a wingspan of about 3 to 4 inches 
in the Guss and Crook pub in Timsbury. The asking price was £25 which his friend could not afford. 

The museum team would like to know if anyone has information about this insect fossil or any other similar items which might be available to be added to our fossil displays. 

Please contact the Museum Development Officer, Miranda Lichfield, on 01761 437722 or 
Old Pound Coins

The museum will be glad to take any old pound coins (or £5 notes!) which are cluttering up your pockets and purses as donations in our collecting churn! 

Somerset Coalfield Life Update
Our new lighting displays are installed and the sound system is ready to go as soon as the recordings of mining memories are completed. 

We are grateful to the Camerton Batch Local Nature Reserve Supporters Group who have kindly donated 4 extra pit props taken from trees recently felled on the Camerton Old Pit Batch, which appropriately had originally been planted to provide timber for the mining industry. 
The Co-op bread van horse's name will be decided at a draw during the Christmas Fair. Thanks to all who have entered this competition and good luck for your proposed name! 
The next phase in the SCL development is to install a sound system in the Co-op shop and an audio-visual display in the Printing exhibit. 
Christmas Ideas

The Shop will be open on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas for you to get inspirations for interesting presents. See the website for Shop opening times.

Why not buy Tom Randall's beautiful book telling the complete history of Chewton Mendip Iron Works where Charles Wesley Harris built steam lorries, petrol-engined vans and charabancs, and the Mendip car. It would make an ideal Christmas present for any motoring enthusiast or someone interested in local history.

The book costs £12.95 plus postage. A signed dedication by the author can be added for £1.50! 

Orders please to Radstock Museum, Waterloo Road, Radstock, BA3 3EP. Cheques payable to Radstock Museum. OR visit and buy from our shop where it is now on display.

We have a range of bespoke merchandise in the museum shop. Using black and white photographs of local miners and Chris Marshall's drawings of Radstock Market Hall and Clandown pit, the mugs, coasters, fridge magnets and eco-jotters represent Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum in a very stylish way.

Prices start at £2:00 and go up to £7:00 for the mugs. 
We also have Christmas cards, at £1 each,  featuring the competition winning photograph that captured Old Mills Batch covered in snow.
The Tearoom

The Tearoom is being repainted in Southern Region livery over the Christmas closed period and will also be getting some fascinating artwork added to the windows. Come back in February to see the difference!

The 2 series of Talks associated with the Museum have had a very successful start to the season. Full details are on the website.
Science in Radstock
On Nov 21st at 7.30pm at Radstock Working Men’s Club, the last talk in this year's Science in Radstock programme is by Karin Petrini, University of Bath, for all parents and grandparents! Dr Karin Petrini is a Lecturer in Experimental and Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bath; she leads the Virtual Reality lab and is a member of the Cross-Modal Cognition Lab and the Centre for Applied Autism Research team (CAAR). Her talk is entitled:

‘The world through children’s senses:

Why kids experience the world differently, and why this matters.’ 
As someone talks to us, we receive information through their spoken words, the way in which they are delivered, a person’s facial expressions, body gestures and mouth movements.  As adults, we develop a mechanism for processing these varied sources of information in order to evaluate what is being saidand meant. However, children do not usually develop this processing ability until they reach eight years old. 

All welcome. Adults £3: Under 18 years FREE
Bygone Days
Bygone Days Talks are now over for this year. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Five Arches

Issue 89 will be on sale at the Christmas Fair. It includes stories from the Western Front, memories of Shoscombe, the miners reunion, another ramble to Holcombe and a school trip down a coal mine. There's a new glimpse of Turner's Tower, a Durham miner in Somerset, the story of one local professional footballer, the winning entry of the  "Five Arches" postcard competition and a seasonal tale with Farmborough. Plenty for everyone to enjoy with the nights drawing in.

An annual subscription would be the perfect gift for anyone with local links, something they can unwrap again and again during the year ahead. Click here for details of how to subscribe.
To celebrate 25 years of Five Arches a lunch for the editorial team and family members was held recently. Pictured left to right:
Julie Dexter (Editor), Tom Randall, Elizabeth Maggs, Keith Trivett, David Cheetham, Isobel Cheetham, Dennis Chedgy, Sylvia Chedgy, Robert Attwood, Michael Dexter.
Missing, to take the photo, Robyn Dexter Attwood, and missing due to ill health, Dick Graham.
Children's Activity Morning 
Our activity morning for children on Thursday 26th October proved to be very popular and everyone who attended enjoyed spending a morning without the internet and battery powered toys!

If you enjoyed it why not come again on December 9th. 
Annual Fossil Hunt
Our popular annual fossil hunt took place in excellent weather and on the section of the batch which had been newly turned over thanks to grants from Big Local, Wessex Water and the Bristol Naturalists' Society. 

Over 200 people took part and some excellent fossils were found. 
‘Trash or Treasure' Day - 21st October
in association with Killens Auctioneers 
Our Bygone Days Team 'Trash or Treasure' event proved to be hugely popular and all sorts of interesting items were brought for appraisal by the team from Killens Auctioneers.

The answers to the mystery item quiz are now on our website,
click here. Photos of some of the objects are below.

We hope to repeat the event before too long. Thanks to all who attended and who helped to raise funds for the Museum.
Somer Valley FM 
With funding from the Big Local, Somer Valley FM will train Miranda Litchfield and Lucy Tudor from Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum to record items for broadcasting on Somer Valley FM relating to local history focusing on the museum.

We hope to broadcast at least once a month.

Many thanks to Dom Chambers for providing this great opportunity, we hope you all listen in!.

New Additions
John Blatchford has donated the enamel sign which was on the wall of the St Barnabas Works in West Road, Welton. It is awaiting cleaning and rust stabilising before it is found a home in the museum.

Ralph Blatchford started his engineering business in Wheeler's Hill, Midsomer Norton, and moved to Welton in 1941 following the closure of the brickworks next to the GWR Bristol to Frome line.

In later years the company was best known for its agricultural buildings, easily identified by their green enamel sign on each gable end.  The business closed in the 1980s.
A copy of a new book has been acquired for the Local History library on the history of Wainwright, the quarry company which was famous for over a century for its Moon's Hill Quarry with its unique volcanic rock outcrops which are geologically very important.

The company also owned Newbury Colliery, Vobster Quarry, and constructed the Newbury railway and coke ovens. The book is written by quarry historian, Robin Thornes.

The Clock

Thanks to support from Big Local, the clock night silencing system is now installed, although it will not be functional for a few more weeks whilst we await installation of the necessary power supply.

The silencing system is a prototype model developed by Symon Boyd of Timsbury Clocks, who has been involved with the clock project from the start. 
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