Museum of Bath at Work and Bath Postal Museum Spring Film Season – Telephones and Telegrams

The Fairy on the Phone -GPO Switchboard operator

Join us on April 10th at 12.30 to watch four more films from the GPO film unit. The cost is £5.00. The films are jointly organised and publicised by the Bath Postal Museum and ourselves. The two museums will share the proceeds.

GPO film unit logo

The General Post Office created the GPO film unit in 1933. The Unit soon became internationally renowned as a centre for creative, exciting public information films. The films deal with various aspects of the GPOs work in the 1930s, and give an evocative record of that era.

The Fairy of the Phone: Post Office Telephones and Telegrams

Date:                        April 10th 2019

Time:                       12.30

Venue:                     The Museum of Bath at Work

Admission:                £5.00 (Free if you have already paid for museum admission)


Sixpenny Telegram (1935)

The Coming of the Dial (1933)

The Fairy of the Phone (1936)

The Heavenly Post Office (1938).

A charming collection of films presenting to the public the new GPO services.  The opportunities provided by sending and receiving telegrams, and the advantages of getting a telephone for your home or business. Introduced by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs.

The films last about an hour.        

A light lunch of sandwiches will be available to purchase.

Look out for the next screenings in our Spring Film Season. In April, we have a series of evening films that relate to different environments: The City, The Sea and the Land. In May, the last two GPO films are about the Post Office Savings Bank. At the end of May we have films from the Bath fringe.

Have You Heard the News? Bath and the Big Issue

Big Issue Seller

Date:                          April 5th 2019 to September 1st 2019

Bath Big Issue vendors have become a fixed point in many local people’s lives over the years. In this exhibition, we would like to share with you the day-to-day working lives of Big Issue vendors in Bath, and their personal journeys.

Since its launch in 1991, the magazine has become a familiar sight in Bath. The award-winning weekly magazine offers hope for homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK. Vendors buy magazines for £1.25 and sell to the public for £2.50, keeping the difference. In this way, the magazine provides them with the means to earn a legitimate income.

Entry to the exhibition is included with admission to the museum.

More about the Big Issue Foundation in Bath.

The Horstmann Self-Winding Clock – Update

Horstmann & Son Shop Front

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends and sponsors, the restoration of the unique self-winding Horstmann clock is under way. Thank you to everyone who helped.

Specialist clock restorers Clockworks Workshop of London have had the clock movement delivered, and have started work on returning the mechanism to working order.

Whilst we cannot restore the ‘self-winding’ mechanism, we will be able to show the clock working. The associated interpretation will explain its value and importance and may include a scale model of the heat driven motor’s operation.

Only three self-winding clocks made by Gustav Horstmann exist, and each is unique with its own special features. The museum’s example is the only clock on public exhibition. We hope to have the clock back on display, in a more prominent position, by the summer.  We plan a grand unveiling – details to follow.

Gustav Horstmann was a well-known inventor, and maker of clocks and watches in 19th century Bath. His sons established the Horstmann Gear Company and the Horstman Car Company. Nowadays, Horstmann make controls for domestic heating controls and metering equipment. Horstman Defence make suspension systems for armoured vehicles.

Become a Friend of the Museum