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News Update - October 2017

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

Dates for your Diaries

Oct 17th   "Grow your Tenner" fundraising Day & Science in Radstock Talk

Oct 21st  "Trash or Treasure Day" with Killens

Oct 23rd  Annual Fossil Hunt

Oct 26th  Children's Activity Morning

Nov 7th  Bygone Days Talk     

Nov 21st  Science in Radstock Talk    

Nov 24th  Fundraising Quiz Night

Dec 2nd  Christmas Fair

Dec 9th   Christmas Event for Children   

Details of all the events and exhibitions can be found on our website. 

“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), though 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 was formally opened by Michael Eavis, who has long connections with this area as a former miner, and the photo shows Michael with Councillor Geoff Fuller the Chairman of Westfield Parish Council and Councillor Eleanor Jackson, a Trustee of the Museum and the inspiration behind the exhibition.  

The opening event was attended by many other notable local people including Councillor Karen Walker, Vice Chair of BANES, Councillor Keith Tyrrell, Mayor of Radstock, John Turner, CEO of Visit Somerset and Dr Simon Johnson, Head Archivist Downside Abbey.

Grow Your Tenner - Fundraising Day

The Museum uses Localgiving as a means of raising funds and over the last year we have benefited by well over £1000 from this source.

On Tuesday 17 October Localgiving is running the Grow Your Tenner scheme again and we hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to double a donation. This year, regular monthly donations up to £10 are also being matched for 6 months.

This scheme is very popular with Charities and the limited pot of money can run out quite quickly, so if you do plan to participate make your donation as soon after the 10:00 start time as possible. Note that Localgiving will claim Giftaid on your donation if you are eligible to do this.

‘Trash or Treasure' Day - 21st October
in association with Killens Auctioneers 

Our Bygone Days Team are running a special event on Saturday Oct 21st from 10am - 4pm at The Somer Centre, Midsomer Norton.  Entry is FREE.

Professional valuers from Killens Auctioneers will be on hand to offer a valuation on your antiques and collectables for £1 per item. The experts will include specialists in jewellery, paintings, stamps, guns, ceramics and general items.

After your valuation, should you wish to sell any of your items, Killens will arrange for them to be included in a future auction at their auction house on the Mendips and will very generously donate all their commission to the museum!

There will be a fun quiz and refreshments available for those attending, including for those who just come to watch the day unfold. 

All money raised will be donated to Radstock Museum.

The photo above shows Nicky Houston (Killens), David Cocks (Museum Trustee) and Harry Sloggett (Killens).
Annual Fossil Hunt - 23rd October
Our popular annual fossil hunt is taking place on Monday October 23rd between 2 and 4 pm, weather permitting. The event is free for Discovery Card holders, any donations would be much appreciated. 

Please check the Museum website or Facebook page if the weather is bad as the hunt may have to be cancelled at short notice.

All the details are on the website.

The site of the hunt has been turned over, thanks to grants from Big Local and the Bristol Naturalists' Society, and so we hope for some good finds. A couple of examples are shown below.
Children's Activity Morning - 26th October 
An activity morning aimed at primary age children but with some activities for younger children, is being held in the Museum from 10:00 - 12:00 on Thursday 26th October.  

The Museum's displays will not be open for this event but the T
earoom and Shop will be open.

Come and see real vintage toys and play with newer versions of them. Have a go at old games such as table skittles, hoopla and hopscotch and join in with some Victorian themed crafts.

All children have FREE entry but they must be accompanied by an adult (see below).  All adults must be accompanied by a child!

Adults prices are:
Free entry for BANES Discovery Card Holders; with a maximum of three accompanying children per adult.
Non Discovery Card Holders: Adults: £3.00 each, Concessions (over 65 years): £2.50 each; with a maximum of three accompanying children per adult.

Watch our website and Facebook for more details.
Quiz Night - 24th November 
Following on from the success of last year's Quiz Night the Friends are planning another one to be held in the Working Men's Club at 7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00 in aid of the Museum.

Gather your teams together and watch our website and Facebook nearer the event for more details and for how to book a place.
Old Pound Coins
The museum will be glad to take any old pound coins which are cluttering up your pockets and purses as donations in our collecting churn! 

Somerset Coalfield Life Update

Miranda has carried out further work on the mine entrance and we are about to start installing a sound system and illuminated panel displays.

The Co-op bread van at last has a horse to draw it on its rounds, a huge thank you to the Oasis Carnival Club for the loan of the horse, Miranda Litchfield and her father for restoring the horse and to Martin Horler for procuring, restoring and fitting the vanner harness. 

Click here to see all the latest developments.
The shop is delighted to be selling a new book by Tom Randall, a local historian and one of the museum's Trustees, who has generously donated all the profits to the museum.
His beautiful book, packed with old photos and diagrams plus a CD, tells 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 contains lots of previously unpublished photographs and tells for the first time the industrial war effort in Chewton Mendip and the utterly bizarre demise of the business. It also has the stories of some of those involved who went on to do greater things elsewhere, including building Spitfires! 

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.
Christmas Ideas

We have a new range of bespoke merchandise for sale in the museum shop. Using black and white photographs of local miners and drawings by Chris Marshall 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 are now selling Christmas cards, at £1 each,  featuring the winning photograph from our competition that captured Old Mills Batch covered in snow.
Wifi in the Tearoom

The Tearoom has just entered the 21st century, despite the late 19th /early 20th century railway theme, as we have now installed free WiFi for our visitors to use. 

The Tearoom and Shop are open to non-visitors.

Five Arches

Big Chief I-Spy
Julie Dexter and the Five Arches team are working on the story of 'Big Chief I-Spy' for the winter issue of Five Arches.

They are looking for your memories of I-Spy as a child (or parent!). Did you have a favourite I-Spy book? Fight with siblings to tick off things you had seen? Struggle to find something? Do you still have your I-Spy books tucked away in a box of mementoes?

The team would love to hear from you...
Contact Julie - 

The 2 series of Talks associated with the Museum are well underway for the autumn/winter. Full details are on the website.
Science in Radstock
These talks are on the 3rd Tues of the month during the autumn/winter. 

On Oct 17th at 7.30pm at Radstock Working Men’s Club, 
Prof Nick Mitchell, University of Bath, will be talking on:

‘Exploring Giant Waves in the Atmosphere over the Mountains of the Andes, Antarctica and the Islands of the Southern Ocean.’

This will be followed on Nov 21st by Karin Petrini , University of Bath. talking on:

‘The world through children’s senses:
Why kids experience the world differently, and why this matters.’

Bygone Days

These talks are on the 1st Tues of the month during the autumn/winter.

On November 7th at 7:30pm at The Somer Centre, Midsomer Norton, local artist Roger Jones will deliver a talk entitled :

'Local historical Scenes through a Paint Brush'


Items in the Museum's Collection
Francis Hillier's Collection

The Museum is delighted to have been given on loan a cabinet of mining items collected by Francis Hillier, an ex mine employee and Chairman of the Somerset Miners' Welfare Trust.

The photographs show it when it was installed in the Hollies, the Wansdyke Council Offices and how it looks now installed in the museum.

We are indebted to Francis for his generosity in lending us this magnificent record of mining in Somerset.

The Street Lamp
Thanks to Tom Randall the street lamp and bracket are now installed in the museum and are illuminated, adding another touch of authenticity to our street re-creation.
The museum has now given access to a selection of items in its archives through the website via a system called PubCat. 

The available items can be searched online using keywords and this will provide thumbnail images of archive material.

Give it a go by clicking here and seeing how your village looked in the 19th Century .

Access to the full archives and to high definition images is available off line through our research enquiry system.
Radstock in Bloom Award

The museum is honoured to receive a South West in Bloom award in the 'retail and leisure' section of the competition. For a first time entrant in this highly competitive section ' silver gilt' is very good. It came in recognition of what the Museum does for the community, and its merit as a leisure destination. 

The Trustees would like to thank the Radstock in Bloom committee for  arranging this independent entry, with the floral displays around the Museum which also contributed to Radstock in Bloom's main entry in the 'small towns' section, and for representing them at the South West in Bloom awards ceremony in Torquay on October 5th.
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