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The visit of
HRH the Countess of Wessex GCVO
to Radstock Museum - 26 February 2019

News Update - March 2019

Items in this Update cover:
Full details are below or on our website. 
Dates for your Diaries

Feb 1st -          Model Exhibition
Apr 28th      

Mar 19th          Science in Radstock Talk

Mar 23rd/24th  Miniature Railway Layout Operating

Mar 30th          Tussie Mussie Making

Apr 2nd            Bygone Days Talk

Apr 5th             Memories over Elevenses

Apr 11th           Easter Eggstravanganza - Children's Event

Apr 13th/14th   Vintage 0 Gauge Layout Operating  

Details of all the events and exhibitions are here

Model Exhibition

Until 28 April 2019

The Museum's exhibition,

"Model Engineering - Micro, Macro, Meccano"

will run until the end of April.

The smallest model railway locomotive is about 10mm long and the largest is about 1100mm long!

Some of the Meccano models are able to be operated, although keeping them working properly is a constant battle.

As part of the exhibition there will be 2 weekends with operating layouts specially brought into the Museum as listed in the diary above.

A 2mm Finescale Gauge Model Railway Layout
23rd and 24th March
We are delighted that Jerry Clifford, an internationally-recognised finescale model builder, will be presenting his layout called Foxcote New Pit (called that because it's not a totally accurate model of the colliery) over the weekend of 23/24 March.

This is a rare opportunity to see an astonishingly detailed model at such a small scale, for instance the tank locomotive is about the same length as the diameter of a pound coin!

More details on our website.

Tussie Mussie Making
Saturday 30th March 10:00 - 11:30 am
Mums or Dads and children can join us on Saturday 30th March in making a personal, thoughtful and pretty posy – a Tussie Mussie – ready to take home and present to your Mum on Mothering Sunday

Local floristry expert, Ann Bevan, will be on hand to advise you and to share with you her years of experience.

All equipment, floristry and foliage is included. We shall be using a variety of roses, herbs and seasonal foliage. 

You will also have a chance to craft the outer cover of the posy using stamps and rollers, or keep it traditional with a pre-cut doily. 

The event price is £13 for one adult and one accompanying child. One additional child £2.50 extra. Not recommended for under 5s.

The price includes a year's admission to the Museum. Full details here.

To reserve your place please drop into the museum, during normal Opening Hours, leave your own name and your child’s name and a £5 deposit. The balance will be payable on the day.
Easter Holidays Children's Event
11th  April 10 am - 12 noon
The next Children's event at the museum is an Easter Eggstravaganza on Thursday 11th April 10 am-12 noon.
Entrance is £2.50 per child, one adult per child FREE with additional adults £2.50  
Children will have a chance to make nests with free mini chocolate eggs in, decorate eggs Faberge style, make Easter hats and bonnets and enjoy many more Easter themed arts and crafts. 
Five Arches
Five Arches is the journal of the Radstock and Midsomer Norton Museum Society which is published 3 times per year.
It is now on its 92nd edition and the total sum of articles represents a large archive of fascinating information which might otherwise not have been available to future generations. 
Much of the content comes from interviews with individuals or is from family records made available by individuals, and a lot of this would not otherwise have been captured.
If you or anyone you know is able to provide information on local history which could be turned into an article for Five Arches please visit the website or get in touch with:

We are trying hard to increase the circulation of Five Arches to ensure that it can be published for many more years. Five Arches is on sale through the Museum shop, with back copies available too, but the best way to get your copy is through a subscription which will ensure that the latest copy is sent to you by post. You can also buy gift subscriptions for friends and families.

To subscribe please visit the subscription web page.

Memories over Elevenses
5th April - 10:30 am

Are you around on Friday Mornings? Every First Friday of the Month we will be holding "Memories over Elevenses" in our Tearoom. 

The idea is that you come to Radstock Museum for 10:30 am, maybe with a friend too and perhaps some old photos or objects relating to local history. Then for just £3 to cover costs, you can enjoy teas, coffees and cakes with other local people and with Lisa Pool, our new Events Manager. 

You can show your photos and objects and chat with others about the items, sharing stories or maybe you have a query about a photo or object which other attendees might help you to solve.

Photo Competition

During the next few weeks The Midsomer Norton, Radstock and District Journal is linking up with Radstock Museum to run a photography competition which anyone can enter.

We are looking for the best “NOW” photograph to go alongside our “THEN” mystery photograph; one for every week that the competition runs. 

Full details will appear in the Journal.


Science in Radstock

"Cracking Starlight's Hidden Code
by Hugh Allen

7:30pm Tuesday March 19th
Radstock Working Men’s Club
The atomic structure of hydrogen is revealed in the light from the bright star Vega.
8″ Meade LX90 telescope, Atik 314L+ mono camera, Alpy 600 spectroscope with a 23µ slit, BASS software.

Have you ever wondered what is really going on up there? The apparently constant light from stars is just the cover of a book. By carefully spreading the starlight into a rainbow with a spectroscope it is possible to open the book’s pages. The lines revealed in the spectrum show a world of complex chemistry, searing temperatures and violent motion. Spectroscopy is of fundamental importance in professional astronomy, from the classification of stars to the search for life on other worlds.

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

Bygone Days

"Cleveland Pools - 
Bath's Hidden Heritage Gem"
by Sally Helvey

7:30pm Tuesday April 2nd
Somer Centre, Midsomer Norton

This talk by Trustee Sally Helvey will explain the fascinating history of this 200 year-old swimming pool site by the river in Bathwick which is about to undergo restoration after a 14 year campaign. Sally has many slides to share, from photos of 1960s swimmers through to recent events, and will explain what the future holds for both swimmers and visitors.  She hopes to meet some former swimmers of the Pools amongst the audience, so do come along and say Hello.    

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


The shop makeover is now complete and has been well received by visitors who find the new displays much easier to browse.
The shop now stocks a specially commissioned tea towel which is based on the historic poster shown below warning parents of the dangers of sending their daughters to London or other large towns.
The Royal Visit - 26th February
This year Radstock Museum celebrates the 20th Anniversary of opening in the old Market Hall and we were delighted and honoured that this should be recognised by the visit of Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex on 26th February.

At the same time we also marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Radstock Co-operative Society and items from the associated exhibition were thus on display during the visit.

A large number of Museum volunteers attended and many had the honour of being presented to Her Royal Highness. 

We were able to invite children from both St Nicholas and Westfield primary schools and HRH joined in with their lesson in the Victorian schoolroom. 

The visit achieved a large amount of very positive publicity, not least in the Daily Telegraph, although the Daily Mail confused us with a visit to Portishead that HRH had made earlier in the day! 
Dick Graham
1926 - 6 March 2019)
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Dick Graham, a stalwart supporter of Radstock Museum in all sorts of roles over very many years. 

Dick will be sorely missed and the Trustees send condolences to his family on behalf of all the volunteers in the 

It is intended to write a fuller appreciation of Dick's achievements in the next News Update.

Trash or Treasure?
Last Autumn in conjunction with Killens at Mendip Auction Rooms, we held a second antiques, collectables and curiosities valuation day, “Trash or Treasure?”

Many local people came along to the Somer Centre bringing with them an array of fascinating items one of which turned out to be a rare, old medal.

Nicky Houston, from Killens, spent the following week carrying out research to track down similar examples that had been through other auctions and discovered that the medal (or order) was The Imperial Order of The Double Dragon dating from the late 19th century, awarded to foreigners for outstanding services to the throne and Qing court in China. 

At the auction an Australian telephone bidder verses a Swiss internet bidder  fought it out to make the eventual hammer price of £9,500.

Radstock Museum’s Bygone Days Talks team volunteers, who organised the “Trash or Treasure?” event were delighted at the news, because Killens had generously offered to donate their seller’s commission on all items sold from "Trash or Treasure?" to the Museum.  

Tom Killen and Nicky Houston from Killens at Mendip Auction rooms, are pictured here handing over the cheque for over £1100 to the Bygone Days Talks team at Radstock Museum. 

February Half Term Activities
We repeated the experiment of opening the Museum for longer hours during half-term and attracted a large number of families who enjoyed the various activities, which were arranged and managed thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers.

There was great excitement as children brought their teddy bears for a zip wire ride from the museum's mezzanine floor to the ground floor. Teddy bears queued for the thrilling ride and children released their bears and watched as they zoomed off down to the ground floor of the museum where they were safely caught and collected by Museum Trustee Tom Randall.

Children also made parachutes, paper planes, paper boats and hot air balloons which they were able to try out to see how well they worked. There were marble runs, train sets and lego sets for the children to play with and come up with some wonderful engineering creations. Needless to say the children and their parents and grandparents enjoyed a wonderful morning. 

We are indebted to the SW Meccano members who came in and ran a Meccano workshop for children to make simple models. And also to the modeller who demonstrated how his Stirling engine worked.

Story telling was another attraction, with Martin Horler keeping children enthralled.

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