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News Update - May 2018

Items in this Update cover:
  • Dates for your diary
  • Children's events
  • Fund-raising concert
  • RADCO 150th Anniversary exhibition
  • Mini exhibition - fossils
  • Shop
  • Somerset Coalfield Life programme latest news
  • Five Arches
  • News
Full details are below or on our website.
Dates for your Diaries

May 28   Mayday Merriment Children's Event 

Jun 23    Mendip Male Voice Choir Concert 

Details of all the events and exhibitions are here

Children's Events
There is an event on Wednesday 30th May during the half term holiday specifically for children. 
Come to "MAYDAY MERRIMENT" a children’s (and adult’s) craft and activity event on Wednesday May 30th from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon.

Come and learn a Morris Dance. We shall dance outside around the Pit Wheel if the weather permits; but inside if wet. NB: PLEASE WEAR SUITABLE SHOES!

Mayday arts and crafts include; making Mayday King or Queen crowns; making sashes, rosettes and Morris bells;plus a group activity of making a model chairoplane fairground ride!

And there will be folk songs with Patrick!

We will be make the following charges towards the childrens’ craft materials.

Adults: £3.00
Senior Concessions: £2.50
Up to 3 children come FREE with every paying adult!

And we have two other longer running events, one for the under fives and one for older children.

For the under 5s we have a Fossil Hunt where our Ammonites have now been joined by Baby Ammonites.

Search the Museum and try to find all 14. There are also unpainted large and small ammonites in our shop, so you can take one home to decorate yourself.

For older children we have a Creative Writing Competition where you can tell us your story of how the miner lost his boot! Competition rules are on our website.
Fundraising Concert
Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum has joined forces with the Mendip Male Voice Choir to raise funds for Radstock Museum.

A concert is being held in the Trinity Methodist Church at 7:30 pm on 23 June. Entry to the Concert is via the church's main doors in Fortescue Road. Free parking is available in the public car park adjacent to the Working Men's Club .

Tickets: £8 in advance (from the Museum), or £10 on door.

Free soft drinks and biscuits will be served during the interval.

The Mendip Male Voice Choir was formed in 1919 when coalmining played a large part in the local economy. The choir probably included a number of miners from the outset and even today includes former miners amongst its ranks. It has achieved a reputation for giving excellent wide-ranging programmes that have raised over £30,000 for local charities.

Join the crowds at Radstock Museum to celebrate 150 years of Radstock Co-operative Society’s service to the community.
Founded in an era when independent co-operative retail societies were springing up all over the country, the Society has endured rocky times, but, when similar societies have long since disappeared, it has emerged stronger and more successful now than at any point in the past.
After 150 years the Society manages more stores than it has ever done and remains ambitious to add more. Aiming to be the best community retailer wherever it operates, the Society still places traditional co-operative principles at the heart of everything it does.

The exhibition includes a wide range of posters and artefacts illustrating Radstock Co-operative and Industrial Society’s place in the lives of the people in our area and has been compiled with assistance from many people who have worked in or been served by RADCO in its various shops and other facilities over many years.

There is also the opportunity to buy a book specially written for the anniversary, on sale in the Museum shop (see below for details)
Mini Exhibition

A personal collection of fossils

We are lucky to have, on temporary loan, a selection of fossils from the collection of local geologist Alan Bentley, which has been put together for us by Simon Carpenter, another local geologist.

Alan has made a truly remarkable collection of specimens throughout this lifetime and is in the process of donating most of his collection to the British Geological Survey; he has also donated some of his fossils to museums around the county.

Those pictured here are on temporary display at Radstock Museum; so please come and see this beautiful array of sea urchins and other intricate wonders while they are here.

The Shop
The History of Radstock Co-operative Society
Copies of the book commissioned by RADCO to mark its 150th anniversary are now on sale in the shop, priced at £14.99. The book is also available via mail order, click here for details.

This book tells the Society’s story, from humble beginnings through scandal and adversity to the flourishing organisation of the current day. It describes the transition of a business always conscious of its role in the community from the days of daily deliveries of bread, milk and other goods to the friendly, well-stocked modern community stores of today.
Nigel Watson, the author attended the launch event and also a book signing session in the Museum. There are a few signed copies of the book still available, in addition to the normal unsigned copies.
Nigel Watson (left) with Nick Hall (Miuseum Chairman) and Anny Northcote (Museum Research leader, who assisted Nigel with research material)

Somerset Coalfield Life Update

Miranda Litchfield has moved to a new job at Wookey Hole, where we are sure she will make as big an impact as she has in our Museum.

We would like to thank her for all her hard work, great ideas, wonderful graphics and enormous energy, without which the Somerset Coalfield Life development project would not have made the impact it has.

We wish her all the best for the future and if anyone visits Wookey Hole keep an eye out for her!

Five Arches
The Spring Issue is on sale in the Museum shop, price £4.

It contains more stories from the Great War, including that of local heroine Catherine Pollard; reveals details of the last Baron Radstock; takes a closer look at local landmark - the Old Down Inn; delves into the mysteries of 'moon lore'; investigates public health nuisances from the nineteenth century; and take a trip from Mells Road Station with the Vobster W.I.

If you want more details about Five Arches or you wish to subscribe, all the details are on our website, click here.

Killens Cheque Presentation
Nicky Houston (Killens) presenting the cheque to Dennis Chedgy (Bygone Days Chairman)
Last October, the Bygone Days Talks team  in conjunction with Killens (Mendip Auction Rooms, the local Auction House at Binegar), held a very successful valuation day where the general public brought along any number of items for valuation by experts at £1 per item with all proceeds going to the Museum. 

Killens donated the services of a team of four valuers headed by Nicky Houston who worked extremely hard all day with the result being that the Museum coffers were swelled by almost £500. Their generous support did not stop there as they have just presented the Museum’s Bygone Days team with a further cheque, which was a donation of their commission earned on items that had been valued and then sold at their Mendip Auction Rooms.  

The combined total of just over £1000 will be used to pay for installation of UV protective film and transfers of historic local photographs to the Museum’s shop windows.

Radstock Museum and Killens will be holding another valuation day event on Saturday 27th October at the Somer Centre, a definite date for your diary. 

This is a wonderful example of a successful local business going the extra mile to support its local community. The Museum’s volunteers would like to thank everyone from Killens for their generosity.

Nicky Houston (second from left) with some of the Museum volunteers who helped to run the event.
Tree-planting ceremony at Sun Chemical
The Museum was invited to attend a tree-planting ceremony at Sun Chemical in Westfield on Friday 27th April 2018, in memory of the 10 miners killed in an underground explosion at Norton Hill Colliery on 9th April 1908
Sun Chemical are the current occupants of the former Norton Hill colliery site, and the ceremony was arranged jointly by the company and Unite the Union in recognition of Workers’ Memorial Day and its theme in 2018 “Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces”. Our thanks to Matt Lanfear, the company and the Union for the invitation.

The explosion in 1908 occurred late in the evening of 9thApril. Rescuers, including the colliery owner Frank Beauchamp and a relay of doctors, toiled overnight to evacuate the trapped workers, risking their own lives. Many of them collapsed in the process, overpowered by toxic fumes, but 19 of the 29 workers in the mine were saved. 

The 10 men killed included 25-year-old Gilbert Jones who had been married only five weeks, as well as Ernest Jones and his 16 year-old brother Stanley. The youngest victim was 14-year-old Harry Sage, a powder boy who had just left school to work down the pits.

The disaster led to a visit by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, in 1909. More information is available in the Museum.
Photographs by John Newport
Copyright © 2018 Radstock Museum, All rights reserved.

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