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News Update - August 2016

The Museum relies on public support for its long term future and we have embarked upon 2 new fund-raising ventures, which we hope will help. Please take a few minutes to read the details below or on our website.

A few more dates for your diary in this edition:

15 August - Children's event at the Museum
28 August - Radstock Hotel Fund Raising Children's Event
Until 1 September - Children's trail around Museum
5 September - Miners' Annual Reunion in the Museum
From  20 September  - New Exhibition Pensford and The Harptrees.
20 September - Science in Radstock talk The Nailsea Glassworks

Full details are below or on the website.

STOP PRESS: We are reliably informed by one of our younger volunteers that there is a Pokemon gym just outside the Museum and a Pokestop in Waterloo Road. A good excuse to get your children or grandchildren into the Museum for a visit!


Pensford and The Harptrees Exhibition

From 20th September our latest exhibition in the villages and communities series will feature Pensford and The Harptrees both rich examples of the history of our area; one industrial coal mining with nearby metal working mills on the River Chew, the other truly rural. The picture below shows heavy horses in East Harptree.

The White Ox Mead Hoard

A hoard of medieval silver coins found near Wellow a few years ago is the first group of objects to be put on show in a new showcase at Radstock Museum. Local farmer Geoff Pike and a friend found the coins when a pipeline was being dug through his land. The small group of coins might be the contents of a purse or a small hoard hidden hundreds of years ago. 

Geoff’s find was declared Treasure and the coins went to the Roman Baths Museum.

Nick Hall, Chairman of Radstock Museum, said “We are delighted to be able to show fantastic objects like this from the local area. We are very grateful to the Roman Baths for providing the display and look forward to displaying many other objects in the future.”

Summer 2016 Family Activities

School holidays do not have to be boring and at Radstock Museum there is plenty to entertain the whole family from 19 July until 1 September. 

Children's Event at the Museum

Between 2:00 and 4:30 pm on Monday 15 August we are running an activity and games afternoon themed on trains, with plenty to do for children aged 4 - 12. The tearoom and shop will be open and there is a 50p charge for materials per child, who must be accompanied by an adult for whom there is no charge. More details are on the website.

Children's Event at Radstock Hotel

We are very grateful to Ben and Natalya new publicans at the Radstock Hotel just opposite the Museum, who are holding a fund raising children's event in support of the Museum at the Hotel on Sunday 28 August from mid-day onwards. There will be a bouncy castle, stalls and of course food and drink. 

Children's Trail

Have a look around the museum in the company of the imaginary Steggles Family. You can buy the Family Fun Guide (£1.50) and let them take you around some of the exhibits explaining how life was when they lived in Radstock more than 100 years ago.

Upstairs enjoy some memorabilia from the days when steam trains passed through Radstock and two level crossings caused chaos.
Try on the dressing up clothes and take your photo against the market backdrop. 
We also have a new stock of pocket-money gifts and toys for sale in the shop.
Don’t forget to ask the steward for a sticker before you leave!

5 Arches Journal
30 Year Anniversary Edition

The 5 Arches Journal is now 30 years old and to celebrate this the Summer edition, now on sale in the shop, includes an article celebrating the 30 years of publishing the journal. 
In addition there are items on:

  • William Peacock on the Somme
  • A ramble to 1916 in Mells (exploring the village connections with the Somme battlefields)
  • The story of Thomas and John Poynting
  • Remembering the S&D railway
  • And investigating the mystery of a first aid box.

Miners' Reunion

On Monday 5 September at 11:45 am the Museum and its volunteers will once again open the doors to welcome Somerset miners to the annual reunion. There will be a ploughman's lunch, tea and cake.  Former mine employees are welcome.

Please contact the Museum if you have any special dietary needs or need to bring someone to assist you to attend the reunion. 


The Museum has embarked upon 2 fund raising initiatives to help keep us financially viable for many years to come.  

The first is Localgiving, which is a means of collecting donations, including Giftaid, electronically. And the good news is that for the first £250 collected we will be given another £250 of match funding! A real incentive to donate now.

The details of this scheme and a link to the Radstock Museum Localgiving page are on the Museum website's new DONATE webpage.

The second is Easyfundraising which gives us a small percentage (up to 3%) of everything that people buy online from major retailers accessed through the Easyfundraising system. So if you buy a new TV from John Lewis for £300 the Museum will get £3 plus Giftaid, and this costs you nothing!

The details of this scheme and a link to the Radstock Museum Easyfundraising page are on the Museum website's new SUPPORT US webpage.


We have just sold the last copy of one of our popular walks books - Pub walks near Bristol and Bath - and it is now out of print so we won't be getting any more. To compensate for this loss we now have a new walks book in the shop - Somerset Teashop Walks (£7.99) by Roger Evans.

This is a classic collection of country walks in Somerset with good teashops. The routes include Burnham-on-Sea, Porlock, Bruton and Chewton Mendip.


In the Somerset section we have restocked an old favourite - Don't tell I, tell 'ee! (£7.95), a brilliant celebration of the Somerset dialect also by Roger Evans.

Some of you may have noticed that our new stock of Radstock Museum tea towels now come in a choice of Black (the original colour), Red and Sepia. All at the same price of £5.00.

The Souvenir Museum Guide is also available at £3.50.

Paulton Junior School Project

As reported in an earlier newsletter, Radstock Museum has been taking part in a local educational project in conjunction with two education groups: WISE: ‘We Inspire Sustainability Education’ run by Jacqui Grainger in the Bath and NE Somerset area and ‘Wiltshire Global Education Centre’. The project may continue into next year with one or two schools in Radstock.

Paulton Junior School were the first to take part and presented the project to staff, parents and museum volunteers at the end of term. The work displayed included their oral narratives, film and photos, various forms of writing, pottery, art and more. The children clearly enjoyed the project as did the families who also had their own personal stories to tell to us.

It is hoped that some of this work can be put on display in the Museum in the coming months, the picture below shows a fantastic model of a mine, complete with guss and crook, made by one of the children.

United Ancient Order of Druids Lodge Box

The 'United Ancient Order of Druids' was an affiliated friendly society, one of many which became popular during the nineteenth century. A branch was formed in Welton, based at the Rose and Crown in Gladstone Street, in 1900. The name of the lodge was 'The Loyal Friend Indeed'.

In its first year it recruited around 50 members, mostly coal miners. Its first financial transaction was for £1 1s. 6d. which paid for the framing of the lodge certificate and the purchase of the Lodge Box which was for holding all the Lodge's paperwork.

About 1990, this box was discovered in the loft of the White Hart in Midsomer Norton. Its contents, about 1800 documents and several items of regalia were listed but the box and its contents were forgotten until a volunteer on the cataloguing team came across the contents list in a file and tried to locate it. A chance remark to another volunteer jogged a memory and the box was recovered from a member's loft with its contents still intact.

The box itself has been cleaned and polished  and a long process of cleaning its contents is now nearing completion. There is still a good deal of work to do and our Acquisitions Officer, Brenda Ollis, is well on the way to completing the cataloguing of the contents. The documents contain the names of many local families and it is planned that the contents be made available for research purposes.

If you would like to be involved in work like this why not join our Documentation or Research Team? Details of how to volunteer are on the website.

The Clock

We are very grateful to St Peter's Church in Camerton for raising almost £400 towards the Market Hall clock project by putting on a fundraising Organ Recital by Rory Moules who played works by Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor and Bridge in front of an appreciative audience.

Many thanks to Rory for his superb organ playing. Thanks also to  the audience for their support  and to all those at St Peter's who organised the evening, provided tea and cakes and put on displays relating to the Church’s stained glass windows, the organ restoration, local needlecraft and the  clergy of Camerton across the ages.

Finally thanks to all of you who attended the recital and helped raise this magnificent amount. The fund now stands at just under £1000.  
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