Equal in Everything? Bath’s Women, World War One and the Vote
To mark the centenary of the granting of the vote to women (or at least 40% of them) in February 1918, the Museum of Bath at Work is holding an exhibition about the contribution of Bath women to the war effort between 1914 and 1918. In addition to replacing men in munitions and other manufacturing positions, jobs in transport were taken on by women. Against the backdrop of demands for women to be granted the vote through suffragette and suffragist action before the war, the exhibition will chart the story of how, finally in early 1918, women in Bath got the vote.
The exhibition will run throughout the summer and autumn and fundraising is carrying on to guarantee the display.
The Pitman Soldiers – Two Diaries
The Museum of Bath at Work is preparing an exhibition – The Pitman Soldiers: Two Diaries to help mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The Museum has access to two diaries both written in Pitman Shorthand – which was invented in Bath in 1837-by two soldiers during the First World War. One soldier was an assistant quartermaster, in Kent, who survived the war and lived until the 1980s and the other, an Australian private soldier who died at Gallipoli in 1915. Pitman Shorthand was widely used by clerks, journalists and secretaries at the time and these volunteer soldiers used the system in keeping their private journals – not least to ensure their officers couldn’t read them! Shorthand was not something – as a rule- that the officer class would have needed.
The exhibition runs from May 17th until November 1st and admission is free with admission to the Museum.
Totem – Factotum is a collection of sculpture by Paul Juillerat.
The collection will be on display at the Museum of Bath at Work where the exhibits will be displayed amongst the clutter of the reconstructed Victorian workshops of Bath engineer J B Bowler. The sculptures will honour and celebrate the lives and work of local people. Domestic and commercial objects found near the site of the former Crown Inn (old Brassknocker Inn) have been incorporated into the sculpture, including clay pipes, glass bottle stoppers, tools and implements, alongside bullet casings and a Civil War cannon ball! Thus the work has a familiar presence in the Museum of Bath at Work, albeit with a different perspective and presentation.
The exhibition will run during opening hours from March 30th to June 30th 2018.
Combe Down Schools
The history of Combe Down has been brought to life in a new book written by a local resident which explores the village’s past through focusing on its many schools.
Combe Down resident Jill Woodhead’s book, ‘A Village of Schools’, charts the history of Combe Down by unpicking the evolution of education in the village, from the Dame schools of the early 1700s to the present day.
The book took three years to write and grandmother Mrs Woodhead, who studied Local History at the University of Oxford after retiring, explained that most of her research was done at the records office and central library in Bath.
The book, commissioned by Combe Down Heritage Society, is Mrs Woodhead’s first and was launched at the Cornerstone Museum in Combe Down on December 13.
Mrs Woodhead said a big chunk of the research was done by speaking to people who grew up and went to school in Combe Down, and the Combe Down Heritage Society workshop, created to help people record their memories of life in the village, is still ongoing.
A rare scale model of a Royal Navy minesweeper, HMS Arun, which was designed in Bath at the Admiralty, has been put on display at the Museum. Raymond Dixon, who was a senior Naval Constructor at the Admiralty, donated the model to the Museum of Bath at Work some years ago. It has been restored and put on display.
Sidney Horstmann Bedroom Wall
One wall of the reconstructed bedroom designed by C R Mackintosh for Bath engineer Sidney Horstmann has been retained at the Museum of Bath at Work and is on permanent display. The wall panel, recreated from a watercolour by C R Mackintosh, was painted by Bath Spa Graphics lecturer Paul Minott.
A Modern Man: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, His Life and Work
Museum of Bath at Work
Wednesday October 4th 2017
1 p.m. Light Lunch Available £5.00
As part of the centenary celebrations for the bedroom commission that Charles Rennie Mackintosh completed for Bath engineer Sidney Horstmann in 1917, Chairman of Directors Dr Trevor Turpin will introduce the BBC documentary A Modern Man: Charles Rennie Mackintosh on Wednesday October 4th.
There will be an opportunity to view the reconstructed Mackintosh bedroom exhibition at the Museum and light lunch will be available from 12.30 p.m.
Michael Cross Lecture 2017
Museum of Bath at Work
September 21st 2017 7.30 p.m. £8.00
A Bedroom at Bath Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Sidney Horstmann
Dr Trevor Turpin
The annual Michael Cross Lecture is being delivered this year by Dr Trevor Turpin on the subject of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his commission to redesign the master bedroom for Bath engineer Sidney Horstmann. The furniture and a recreation of the room – complete with its original decorative scheme- has been on display at the Museum of Bath at Work since June. The exhibition will close on November 1st 2017.
The illustrated lecture will be held at the Museum of Bath at Work on Thursday September 21st and tickets are £8.00. Tickets can be purchased in advance – please call the Museum on 01225 318348 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Michael Cross lecture has been held each year since 1990 and is held in memory of the first Chairman of Bath Industrial Heritage Trust Limited. The lecture is made possible by the generosity of Cross Manufacturing Co (1938) Ltd of Bath.
Landscapes and Lifetimes: A Short Season of Television Films at the Museum of Bath at Work
The Museum of Bath at Work is showing two seminal BBC plays, made in the 1970s, on the subject of landscape, livelihoods and lifetimes as part of its continuing Local Distinctiveness project. The two films will be introduce by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs and each last 1 ½ hours.
A BBC Play for Today (1978)
Wednesday September 6th 7.30 p.m. £5.00 Museum of Bath at Work
Red Shift takes the viewer on a beguiling voyage through English history, spanning three distinct time periods: Roman Britain, the English Civil War and 1970s modern day. Garner’s play tells the story of three troubled young men, Tom, Thomas and Macey, who occupy these different eras and are haunted by shared visions. They are connected through a shared location (Mow Cop in south Cheshire) and by the discovery of mystical talisman: an ancient axe-head. Red Shift is a uniquely compelling Play for Today from the golden age of BBC drama.
A BBC Play for Today (1979)
Wednesday September 13th 7.30 p.m. £5.00
When Penda’s Fen was first broadcast in 1974, The Times commented that it was a ‘major work of television’, only for the film to vanish into unseen cult status. It is now recognised as an extraordinary countercultural investigation of landscape, myth, and the self at a crucial moment in post-war Britain.
A public schoolboy in the Malvern Hills undergoes a series of visionary experiences which strip away many of his complacent assumptions about his place in the world along the way he encounters Edward Elgar, King Penda, angels and devils!
Levelling Off: Somerset Band The Levels to play for Opening Night of Bath Festival May 19th 2017
Somerset band The Levels will be bringing their own brand of surftastic instrumental rustic rock to the Museum of Bath at Work to celebrate the opening night of the Bath Festival on the evening of May 19th 2017. Doors will open at 7.00 p.m. with the band performing at 8.00 p.m. At 7.30 p.m. the Museum will be showing a short Ken Russell film – Amelia and the Angel- as the support band ‘Filmschool’ can not attend. Admission is free and there will be a bar. The Levels draw influences from the past, the present and the far future and this performance will mark the end of a highly successful regional tour with fellow Somerset bands ‘Arnold Palmer and the Ponytails’ and ‘The Underlying Trendies’.
The Poor Man’s Friend?: Bath and the Workhouse 1836-2016 Exhibition May 18-October 1st 2017
A new exhibition will be opening at the Museum of Bath at Work on May 18th ‘ The Poor Man’s Friend: Bath and the Workhouse 1836-2016’ and describes the gradual extension of provision for the poor and needy in Bath, through the building of a Workhouse in Midford Road, Bath and the provision of outdoor help. The exhibition has been created by local historian John Payne who has prepared the fascinating story of the personalities, the buildings and the principles behind the New Poor Law of 1834. We have borrowed a number of items from the National Health Service facilities at what is now the St Martin’s Health Centre including a bell used in the workhouse chapel. The exhibition is being held in the Hudson Gallery on the ground floor and admission is free with admission to the Museum.
A Bedroom in Bath: Sidney Horstmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition June 15th – October 1st 2017
A suite of furniture designed by the world-famous Glasgow-born architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is coming ‘home’ to Bath 100 years after it first arrived in the city.Designed for the family home of Bath-based businessman and engineer Sidney Horstmann, the bedroom suite, which arrived in the city in 1917, will be recreated in the Museum of Bath at Work.It will be part of an exhibition called A Bedroom In Bath that will run this summer from June to October 2017.The items in the exhibition will be on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.Bath is one of only a few known locations for Mackintosh-commissioned work in England.The Scottish architect and designer visited the West Country three times during his formative years in the 1890s travelling to the Cotswolds, Somerset and Dorset.Some of the tall grand windows at Montacute House, near Yeovil, inspired those in the Glasgow School of Art, his masterpiece, and the small country church at Merriott in Somerset influenced Mackintosh’s Queen’s Cross Church in Glasgow.Dr Trevor Turpin, chairman of the museum board, who has curated the exhibition, said: “This is the first time that the people of Bath will be able to see a bedroom designed by Mackintosh for a room in Bath. It may not happen again for another 100 years.
“With the bedroom suite coming back to Bath a new chapter in the story of Mackintosh has been opened. This exhibition is all about travelling back in time to see the furniture and the careful attention to detail that is the hallmark of Mackintosh and has inspired generations of designers and architects.”
Mackintosh designed the interior for the bedroom and also the furniture in a house that Horstmann bought in 1916 and 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.Horstmann had been introduced to Mackintosh’s work via his friend and fellow businessman Wenman Bassett-Lowke. The Northampton-based engineer had commissioned Mackintosh to design the interior and furniture for his home in the town in 1916.
Pamela Robertson, professor emerita of Mackintosh studies at the University of Glasgow, said: “It will be marvellous to see the Horstmann furniture set against a recreation of the original Mackintosh decorative scheme.
Events and Films for Spring 2017
The Open Road – Early silent and colour film show 2nd March 2017
Dir. Claude Friese-Greene | 1925 | UK | 64 min
Thursday 2nd March
7pm (doors 7pm / film 8pm)
Museum of Bath at Work, Julian Road, Bath BA1 2RH
Advance tickets from www.popupdocs.com: £8 / £4 Student / £3 statutory benefit & single parent / £0 refugees & carers
With much demand Pop Up Docs’ archive screening returns with THE OPEN ROAD, a silent film with musical score. A travelogue filmed by Claude Friese-Greene between 1924 and 1925 on a motor journey between Land’s End and John O’Groats, passing through Bath, using Friese-Greene’s two colour additive process.
Small Grant makes a Big Difference
Child’s Alphabet Project Completed
A project funded by the South West Museum Development Office has enabled the Museum to work with six local primary schools, in the compilation of six local alphabets, created by children in the schools themselves. The Small Grant Big Difference Scheme funded the project to the sum of £1000 and the local alphabets – created by children at the schools scrutinising their surroundings-will be displayed at the Museum in the summer of 2017.
The exhibition of alphabets has been illustrated with images – some supplied as paintings, drawings and photographs- by the children themselves. Director Stuart Burroughs said, ‘This has been a really worthwhile project engaging children in the creation of small exhibitions which they have helped make. I’m sure they have found it as valuable as we have!’
Artist in Residence at Museum of Bath at Work
Bath at Work has invited Duncan Harper to work in the museum over a period of time as an ‘Artist in Residence’. Through his drawings he will be making a documentary record of its daily comings and goings, the people who literally and metaphorically keep the wheels turning, the many and varied visitors and, of course, the marvellous collection of artefacts that are housed there. You can see his blog at documentarydrawing.com
Make More Noise! The Suffragettes in Silent Film 1899 -1917
Saturday March 11th 11.00 a.m
Introduced by Museum Director, Stuart Burroughs
For International Women’s Day
Out East!: The Horstmann Gear Company in India
Wednesday March 15th 1 p.m.
Presented by Museum Director, Stuart Burroughs
£5.00 Light Lunch available.
In 1962 after some discussions the Horstmann Gear Company entered a business arrangement with an Indian entrepreneur with the intention to establish a presence for the Bath company in Asia. The consequent troubles with poor communication and unscrupulous business practice became legendary and eventually forced Horstmann to abandon their plans.
In the City: Weaver & Sons of Broad Street ( and their neighbours! )
Wednesday March 22nd 1 p.m.
Presented by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs
£5.00 Light Lunch available
In the late 19th century the furniture and carpet retailing and cleaning business of Weaver & Son flourished in Broad Street in premises now occupied by the Kath Kidston shop and Rossiters department store. However running a business of this kind caused all manner of unexpected problems with complaints, long running legal cases and vociferous correspondence from local business and residential neighbours!
Alice 150 Years
To mark the 150th anniversary of the first popular edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland we will be showing two film versions of this classic tale.
Alice in Wonderland (1966)
Wednesday April 12th 7.30 p.m. Introduced by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs
£5.00 by donation Refreshments available
Made by Jonathan Miller in 1966 for the BBC and starring Peter Cook, Peter Sellers, Sir John, Gielgud, Malcolm Muggeridge, Alan Bennett and more British character actors than you could name, this surreal take on the famous tale became an instant hit on the BBC and was almost immediately repeated. Very amusing.
Something from Alice (1988)
Wednesday April 19th 7.30 p.m. Introduced by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs
£5.00 by donation Refreshments Available
Made by Czech film maker Jan Svankmajer this stop motion animation version of Alice in Wonderland is regarding as one of the best versions ever made. An international success when it came out, it most closely follows Lewis Carroll’s original tale. With subtitles.
The Strange Case of Princess Caraboo
Wednesday April 26th 7.30 p.m. Introduced by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs
£5.00 by donation Refreshments available
In 1817 a young woman found wandering at Almondsbury near Bristol, claimed to be the Princess of a south seas island. Speaking a strange language and dressed exotically Princess Caraboo, as she called herself was the toast of fashionable Bath and even met George IV. What happened subsequently made fools of everyone. Starring Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline and Jim Broadbent. Great stuff.
Faces of Bath 100 Portraits / 100 Years Exhibition
From 20 October 2016
The Museum of Bath at Work has recently had a donation of a large number of photographic portraits taken at a Bath studio between 1912 and 1920. The portraits are of working Bathonians whose details have been saved and their lives can be traced. We have traced many of the biographical details of the subjects and will be displaying 100 of the portraits in high definition in a new exhibition being held at the museum’s Bath in Particular Gallery.
The exhibition opens on 20th October and admission to the display is free.
Bath and its Villages: As Easy as ABC!
Between October 24th and 28th the Museum of Bath at Work is presenting an illustrated alphabet of five districts of the city. The alphabetic list of images is being presented at 11.00 a.m. each day that week by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs.
‘We have used a set of images suggested by local residents in the five areas to create the visual alphabets which will be projected onto the big screen with explanations by me. I hope residents from the areas come along as there is much more to Bath than meets the eye’
All the shows are free and being held in the top floor display hall. Illustrated is the famous cold water bath house at Bathampton.
The areas being covered are:
Monday 24th Bathampton and Claverton Villages
Tuesday 25th Bathwick
Wednesday 26th Bathford and Warleigh
Thursday 27th Batheaston and Swainswick
Friday 28th Twerton and Newton
Liquid Light Show at Museum of Bath at Work
During the summer the Museum has been working with students at the Bath Light and Sound Workshop in the creation of a series of moving liquid light projections. Inspired by the work of Mark Boyle in the 1960s the projections have been created by filming moving oil and water slides heated and kept in motion. The projections –which will be different each day- will be shown in the Hudson Gallery between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. each afternoon.
Admission is free.
An exhibition of photographs taken by museum volunteer Adrian Betts is on show in the Hudson Gallery at the Museum. Adrian has been taking photographs of the objects and archives in the museum for some years and has specialized in close-up images of some of the most recognizable objects in the Bowler collection. As he says himself:
Over two years ago I started to take photographs of objects in the Museum. There wasn’t any direction that I followed or any timescale, just simply taking images of things that I wanted to share – parts of machines made from wood, cast in iron and covered by grease; bells to ring for the servants who could always be found another job; coins that jingled in pockets and purses, before the First World War, before the closure of the railways; staff magazines, a time clock, and jobs for life
Friday 3rd June and Sunday 5th June
Directed by Jamie Leich and presented by the Bath University Student Theatre.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”… Vengeful Hamlet, haunted by his father’s Ghost and his own melancholy, seeks justice against his uncle who has usurped the throne and taken the Queen as his wife. Set in a 20th Century dictatorship, this shortened Shakespearean classic explores treachery, love, madness and revenge.
The Museum of Bath at Work presents
Ken Russell’s The Boyfriend
Wednesday 8th June 2016
Starring Twiggy, Barbara Windsor, Glenda Jackson etc. Hilarious and typically over-the-top version of Sandy Wilson’s slight musical comedy by Ken Russell. Featuring Twiggy (!) and a host of other British character actors you’ll recognise including, amazingly, Glenda Jackson. Dance sequences, dream sequences. You’ll fall about laughing. Probably.
Doors open 7:00pm, performance 7:30pm
Dog Show with Sylvia Hunt
Thursday 9th, Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June
8.00 p.m., tickets £5 (50% of proceeds donated to Bath Cats and Dogs Home)
After its success at the Rondo Theatre in March… Dog Show is back in Bath! And this time it’s raising money for Bath Cats and Dogs Home!
Coiffed and teased to perfection, clipped and trimmed in all the right places Sylvia Hunt’s Dog Show is a fabulous 60 minutes of canine high jinks and biscuit slobbering joy!
Comedienne Sylvia Hunt explores the complex co-dependant relationship we share with our canine companions via a series of doggy puppet vignettes. Humorous, hilarious and painfully poignant Dog Show will prove once and for all that it is impossible not to smile at a four legged sausage as it scampers down the road!
Dog Show is a cabaret of tail wagging ingenuity featuring playful direction by Corina Bona and animated creatures and stage trickery by puppet maestro Mr Marc Parrett. Dog Show, the latest theatre piece from Bath based Sylvia Hunt, has been described as “Unique and wildly creative”…”Moments of pure comedy gold”. Sylvia’s rapport with her puppet dog Billy Bubbles at Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2015, was so successful she decided to create an hour long doggy cabaret show exploring our relationship with man best friend. After premiering at the Rondo Theatre Bath in March for this latest run of show Sylvia is teaming up with local charity Bath Cats and Dogs Home and giving 50% of proceeds to them to make tails wag and say thanks for the inspiration!
Midsummer Film: A Chronicle of A Summer (1961)
Wednesday 22nd June
7.30 p.m, free admission
Celebrate high summer with the only recent showing in this country of the ground breaking documentary interviewing workers in Paris during the summer of 1960. The first example of ‘Direct Cinema’ and by turns revealing, poignant and inspiring. Subtitled.