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Welcome to Radstock Museum News Update
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News Update - November 2019

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

Aug 20th -         Arnhem and Double Hill Exhibition
Nov 30th           (Only open 11:00 am until 1:00 pm on 30th)

Nov 30th           Children's Christmas Event

Dec 1st -           Museum Shut (but see Shop opening times)
Jan 31st

Dec 7th             Christmas Fair


Details of all the events and exhibitions are here
 

Events

Children's Christmas Event

Saturday 30 November
 
On Saturday 30th November there is a children's event, based on the theme of Pantomime, from 2:00 until 4:00 pm on both floors of the Museum.

Entry is free so come along and enjoy the fun.

The Museum will be open for paying visitors from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm and then shut for an hour to get ready for the children's event.

 
Museum Christmas Fair

Saturday 7 December

 
On Saturday 7th December the Museum Friends are holding their annual Christmas Fair, from 10:00am until 4:00 pm. Entry is FREE.

A great opportunity to buy Christmas gifts from the many stalls, whilst listening to festive music and enjoying refreshments.

The Museum Shop and Tearoom will be open.
This event will be followed by the Radstock Christmas Light switching on at the Miners' Wheel outside the Museum, organised by Radstock Town Council.

Current Exhibition

Your Last Chance!

75th Anniversary of Double Hill Crash
and Arnhem
Please note that although the Exhibition was planned to close on the 30th and will still be in place until then, there is a children's event that afternoon. Hence the last opportunity to see the exhibition will be on the 30th from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. See here for details.

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Horsa glider crash on Double Hill in Paulton,  the Museum is displaying posters and artefacts relating to Operation Market Garden and the battle of Arnhem, and how the first 23 casualties who were being transported in the ill fated Glider RJ1113 died in a Somerset field, less than 3 miles from Radstock.

The Exhibition tells t
he story of how a memorial was built and a service is held every September to honour their sacrifice.

A book, The Battle for Arnhem, which contains rare photographs from wartime archives is on sale in the Museum shop.
 
The Shop

Christmas Opening Hours at the Shop

The Shop is open during normal Museum opening hours until 30th November. It is then open throughout the Christmas Fair on 7th Dec and on Saturdays 14th and 21st December between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. 

The Shop stocks a large number of items which would make ideal presents for people who have an interest in the local area and its history, together with a good selection of walking books for the area.

We are now stocking a calendar featuring 12 paintings of local scenes by Frome artist Amy Yates. Note that the images below are watermarked, which will not be the case on the actual calendar
We also have a new range of illuminated prints featuring local scenes from artist Roger Jones, which are available to order.
Or you could buy a subscription to Five Arches, the historical journal of the Museum Society, which publishes and sends out 3 editions each year. An easy present to give to  someone who has left the area but still wants to keep in touch. 
 
The Shop Manager's Role

The Museum Shop volunteer manager has run it very successfully over quite a few years and as a result it is a thriving concern with excellent displays and a well chosen selection of merchandise. It contributes nearly £5000 to the Museum in profits each year!

But she is retiring from her role at the end of the year and the Trustees are seeking a replacement or replacements (if 2 people wish to share the role), but so far without success. The role does not require taking part in or managing the shop till volunteer rota, it is concerned with choosing and ordering stock and ensuring that the displays are in good shape. Consequently some of the role can be done away from the Museum and the remainder in the Shop itself can be done at a time of the manager's choosing.

If you are able to take on this role or part of the role, or you know someone who would take it on, please contact either Nick Hall (chairman@radstockmuseum.co.uk
)  or the current shop manager herself (shop@radstockmuseum.co.uk) for more details.
 
Talks

After a successful and well received series of talks over the autumn, both Science in Radstock and Bygone Days are now taking a well earned break.

The spring series of Bygone Days will start during the first week of February with a talk by Adrian Tuddenham on "The Somerset Coal Canal".

Science in Radstock will start on Tuesday Feb 18th at 7:30 pm in the Radstock Working Men's Club with Dr Maran Pauly presenting a talk on  "
Dendrochronology".

Watch the website in January to find out more details.

Five Arches

The winter issue of Five Arches should be coming off the press in a week's time. 

It you aren’t already a subscriber, or want a Christmas present that keeps giving throughout the year, you can pick up a copy - and a subscription - at the Museum Christmas Fair on 7 December or by visiting the
Museum website.

In the winter issue we stop in at the 31st Annual Miners’ reunion; Anne Miall marks the 75th anniversary of the Double Hills disaster; John Gibson takes a look at evacuation at Norton Hill Colliery; David Cheetham explains the workings of a Savory steam engine; Gill Hogarth investigates the history of the Somerset yeomanry; Steve Biggs and his father set off in the footsteps of ancestor Henry Witcombe; and we publish the last article written by the late Barry Maule, celebrating the life of a miner’s wife.

 

Find out more about these candlesticks in the latest ramble in Five Arches.

Back in the Day
(Memories over Elevenses)
 

Memories over Elevenses has been rebranded as Back in the Day (to avoid confusion with our Memory Cafe events).

It takes place on the first Friday of the month, 10:30 am to 12 noon.

The next meeting is 7th February.


 

News
 
Christmas Lights

The Museum now has seven Christmas lanterns ready for the light switch on in December.

These have been kindly donated by a local resident who also carried out the installation.
Changes to the Mezzanine Exhibition Space
 

Thanks to two substantial bequests, work has started on revitalising the exhibition space on the mezzanine floor.

The colour scheme is being brightened up and a series of movable display panels are being installed which will allow much more flexibility into our temporary exhibitions. The first trial panel has been erected and the remainder are on order.
 
In addition we hope to purchase 2 new high security display cabinets, which should improve our chances of attracting significant artefacts on loan from other Museums.

The work is being carried out by the Volunteers over the Christmas/New Year closure and we hope that the new look will bring in lots of visitors when we re-open on February 1st.

The Fossil Hunt
 
This year the Fossil Hunt was again well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by about 100 hunters, all thanks to the efforts of the Museum Volunteers who organised and managed the event.

We were very grateful that one attendee took the time to write to the local press expressing her thanks.

Put a note in your diaries for next year, it's usually the first Monday afternoon of the school half term in October.
 
This was followed on Saturday 16 November by a fossil event in the Museum using the expertise of Simon Carpenter, a renowned local geologist.

This brought a large number of people in to have their fossils identified and the Museum is grateful that Simon gave up so much of his time to run this event.

The Colouring Competition
 
Children across the region entered the Radstock Museum 20th Birthday Colouring Competition and all the entries are currently on display at the Museum.

During half term the entrants and their parents enjoyed a birthday celebration morning at the Museum complete with birthday cake and refreshments.  
Abi Robinson won first prize in the over 7 years category and Henry Maidment won first prize in the under 7 years category with runners up Ava Harvey-Nimmo, Isla Belts and Harry Brinkworth. 

Carnival Children's Event 

The Museum was filled with sparkling lights and costumes in a carnival atmosphere during half term when almost 200 attended the Carnival themed family event.

Newly crowned Midsomer Norton 2019 Carnival Queen, 10-year-old Shyla Hagen, was on hand in her first engagement to lead a procession of children wearing Carnival King and Queen crowns that they had made during the event. She also chose the best King's and Queen's crowns and presented the makers with prizes generously donated by Radco.

The event also saw the Somerset Carnival Van visit with families having a chance to go inside to be treated to entertainment. The Somerset Carnival team also brought piles of costumes for the children to try on and pose for photos on the mock Carnival Float. 

Fund Raising Events
 
Museum supporters regularly hold events to raise funds and we thank all those who attend and help us to keep the Museum financially viable, as well as the Volunteers who make the events happen.

The Trash or Treasure event at the Somer Centre took place on a day of appalling weather, which affected the number of attendees. However despite this, almost £200 was raised.

The Quiz Night was well attended with 21 teams battling it out for top honours in the face of some quite tricky questions. It raised over £500 towards the revitalisation of the exhibition space on the mezzanine floor. 

Many thanks to Radstock Working Men's Club for all its help on the night and to the local traders (Clements the Chemist, Dockys, Rebecca's Flower Shop and Days Greengrocers) who generously donated prizes for the raffle.
 
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