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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

Bath Buddhist meetings at Museum

The Bath Sakya Buddhist Group meets at the Museum of Bath at Work on Tuesday Evenings at 8pm. They offer a chance to learn about Buddhism and to practise meditation. There are no meetings at Christmas, New Year and two weeks in the summer.

Buddha statue -face

Each session lasts about an hour, and comprises meditation and a short talk, followed by a discussion and refreshments. The Group recommend that you attend at least a few sessions to get an understanding of Buddhist teachings. There is no need to book-just turn up. The cost is £4 per session (£2 Concessions).

Liz Godfrey of the Bath Sakya Buddhist Group says,

The meetings are informal, relaxed and friendly and everyone is welcome regardless of experience. Each week we teach and practice meditation and hear about the unique perspective on life that Buddhism has to offer. We start with calm-abiding meditation, which we fully explain and then practise. The evening includes a short talk on a topic about basic Buddhist teachings, followed by a short contemplation on the topic. We end with a time for discussion and refreshments.”

 For more information visit the group’s website:

Enquiries to: .

Alternatively, call
Molly on 07842 855790 or Liz on 07747 633577.

Volunteers run the Bath Sakya Buddhist Group, which started in Bath in 2006.

Sakya Buddhism

Sakya is one of the four main traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The name means ‘grey earth’ and comes from Sakya in Tibet, the location of their first monastery. The other Tibetan schools are Gelugpa headed by the Dalai Lama, Karma Kagyu headed by the Karmapa and, the oldest of the four, Nyingma. Sakya teachings pass from teacher to disciple, as they have for nearly 1000 years. The head of the Sakya tradition, the Sakya Trizin, currently lives in Northern India.


The Duke of Gloucester joins our 40th Birthday Celebration

The Duke of Gloucester

On  26th September 2018, HRH Duke of Gloucester  attended the Museum of Bath at Work’s 40th birthday celebration. It was the Duke’s third visit to the museum.  His first visit was to open the museum in September 1978.

Duke of Gloucester opening the museum in 1978

The Duke of Gloucester arriving to open the museum in 1978

The Past

The Museum of Bath at Work opened as a reconstruction of the Victorian engineering and soft drinks factory of businessman J B Bowler. The factory shut in 1969, and the museum trust purchased the contents to preserve them for future generations.  The museum has since expanded to include the many other ways in which Bath people have earned a living since Roman times.

The Present

Duke of Gloucester cutting the birthday cake

The Duke of Gloucester launched the celebration by cutting the birthday cake-with a saw! In explanation, the cake represented Bath stone blocks, which are soft enough to be hand cut with a saw. Edward Cross, chairperson of Bath industrial heritage trust, said that when the Duke finally retires he might, as he knows the museum so well, consider being a volunteer.

The Duke, who has a keen interest in industrial history, had a tour of the museum to see the changes since his last visit. He was particularly interested in a guest exhibit: a motor bike with a revolutionary rotary valve. The engine developed by Roland Cross in the 1930s used a rotary valve to replace traditional poppet valves. The engine was not a commercial success, but the high performance sealing rings he developed for the engine were. The Bath firm he founded now exports alloy sealing rings worldwide.

Duke of Gloucester with Roland Cross's motor cycle

The Future

The Duke then saw the museum’s plans for the next 40 years. The ambitious changes involve staged improvements that will expand the space devoted to displays and research facilities.

The People

The Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Mrs Anne Mawe, Mr Edward Cross, and Museum Director Stuart Burroughs greeted HRH the Duke of Gloucester. Also present were many of the volunteers, Friends of the Museum and trustees without whom the museum would not exist: in the past, the present or the future.