Bristol Austin Seven Club

The Museum was pleased to have a visit of members – and their cars – of the Bristol Austin Seven Club on Sunday 26th February.

Trevor Turpin, Museum Board Chairman and an owner of an Austin Seven for 50 years, gave them a guided tour, after which they adjourned for lunch to the nearby Chequers. Although Austin Sevens were last made in 1938 there are over 10,000 left in the world and the Bristol Club has a membership of over 500. http://www.ba7c.org/

CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH BEDROOM COMES HOME TO BATH!

 

A suite of furniture designed by the world famous architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is coming home to Bath one hundred years after it first arrived.

Designed for the family home of Bath businessman and engineer Sidney Horstmann, the bedroom suite will be re-created in the Museum of Bath at Work as part of a special exhibition that that will run this summer from June to September.

Mackintosh designed the interior for the bedroom and also the furniture in a house that Sidney Horstmann lived in until 1935. His daughter Alison Dunmore was born in one of the beds designed by Mackintosh and had fond memories of growing up in the room, which was her own bedroom.

The Museum has been fortunate in gaining consent from the Victoria & Albert Museum to borrow the furniture for display – furniture that has not been seen for 50 years!

Progress so far:

  • We have secured a grant from the Arts Council to upgrade our Fire and Security system to V&A standards.
  • Bath Spa University School of Art and Design have agreed to design and decorate the bedroom.
  • We have funded the photographing of the furniture and have obtained the necessary reproduction license – from our own resources and generous donations.

But we still need financial support to meet the V&A loan costs, transport and insurance and construction of the room …and printing of the catalogue. The cost of the project is £10,000.

 Please help this exciting venture – and enable the Museum to reach a new level in the field of regional Museums.

Historic camera

Both the tripod and camera date from around 1910 and have fascinating histories. The well-used tripod was used by local photographer George Love Dafnis as he toured the West Country, firstly by bicycle with it strapped to the crossbar, and later by motor car. Dafnis worked for the Post Office and turned his photographs into postcards which were sold by the village post offices he no doubt visited. He created over 5,000 cards that are now highly collectable.

 

The camera was owned by Col. Linley Blathwayt of Eagle House, Batheaston and was used at the same time he created a unique set of portraits of the suffragettes that were given refuge by his family whilst they recovered from their ordeals in prison. Although not the same format as the actual camera used for these portraits, it comes from the same period and used the same individual glass plate negatives that both these gentlemen photographers preferred, giving remarkable clarity in the photographs they created.