OPP Day 4 -Museum of Bath Architecture

Over the past three days in Bath we have mainly focused on the principles of conservation and exhibition development. Today, we were joined by Polly Andrews for a very comprehensive workshop on audience engagement. Our session started with a short powerpoint presentation on engagement strategies and how to create school and community group activities. Continue reading “OPP Day 4 -Museum of Bath Architecture”

OPP Day 3 – No. 1 Royal Crescent

On the agenda today was a session at No. 1 Royal Crescent Museum and the Cleveland Pools. When we arrived at the museum we were divided into two groups. My group went first with exhibition developer Kate Rogers to see the museum’s temporary exhibition. Titled “Indulgence” the museum traces daily delights in Georgian Bath through a variety of themes. These include Journey and Arrival in Bath, Comfort Eating, Evening Entertainment, and Trivial Pursuits. Continue reading “OPP Day 3 – No. 1 Royal Crescent”

OPP Day 2 – Beckford’s Tower and Museum

We spent most of today at Beckford’s Tower and Museum with the unbelievably amazing Dr Amy Frost from the Bath Preservation Trust. Her absolute wealth of knowledge will be tapped into over the next three days as she joins us again tomorrow for the Royal Crescent and Thursday for the Museum of Bath Architecture. For today, the focus was on heritage conservation, specifically buildings. After an in depth tour on the tower and a spiel on UK heritage laws and practices we broke into groups and completed our own building survey. Continue reading “OPP Day 2 – Beckford’s Tower and Museum”

OPP Day 1 – Walking Tour of Bath

Today was the first day of the Open Palace Programme. This morning we embarked on a guided tour by the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guide, Phil, around the city centre. The theme of the tour was the historical and architectural evolution of the city. Lasting just over 2 hours, it provided a great introduction to the city and covered a significant amount of information. Continue reading “OPP Day 1 – Walking Tour of Bath”

Museum of Bath at Work

This is going to be a really short blog post on the Museum of Bath at Work!

The Museum of Bath at Work is a cross between a museum and a recreated factory. It reminded me a lot of living history houses which make you feel as though you are walking through a still inhabitable space. The museum tells the story of the Bowler family who operated a thriving engineering and mineral water business. When the business, originally on Corn Street, was closed down, its contents were rescued. Utilizing photographs, parts of the factory and offices were recreated in a new location and became a museum. It is divided into 13 sections each with its own focus. The first 6 stops were dedicated to engineering feats with, for example, a metals workshop and pattern making room. Continue reading “Museum of Bath at Work”

The Roman Baths

What a truly amazing experience at the Roman Baths. I arrived nice and early and found myself to be the only person in line. Not only this, but, when I went to the free tour meeting spot an hour later it was just me and a lovely couple from London. So I essentially got a free private tour and could ask as many annoying questions as possible. It really does pay to wake up early! This blog entry will cover the museum, the main bath itself, the audio guide, and the guided tour. I’ve never experienced so many forms of interpretation in one place so it was definitely an interesting morning.

To get to the lower level of the bath you must walk through a museum. As well as panels and object labels, you could also listen to an audio guide. I did find myself only listening to the guide for the more impressive objects and relying on panels for the others. The museum covered life in Roman Bath from funerary practices to symbols in the temple and everything in between. There was also a section where you could walk above the ruins of the city. Highlight objects for me were the Roman Curse Tablets that have been inscribed on the Memory of the World UK UNESCO Register in 2014. If someone, for example, stole your blanket whilst you were bathing, you could write a curse on a piece of lead, give it to a priest to bless, and throw it in the water. If it floated, the curse would be projected back on to you. Some of the curses on display included one to whoever stole a cape and one suggesting possible culprits to help the Gods find the wrongdoer. Continue reading “The Roman Baths”

Fashion Museum – Bath

This museum has been at the top of my “must visit” list for years. For those of you who don’t know, I have been volunteering both directly and indirectly with the Australian Dress Register since 2014. This work has really sparked my interest in textile collections from both a collection management and conservation perspective. I believe that every textile can tell a fascinating story reflecting a time period, personality, society, or all of the above. I had planned on visiting the museum tomorrow but I was so excited I went there as soon as I got off the train. The exhibition I saw was: A History of Fashion in 100 Objects. There is a small entrance fee, but, trust me, the exhibition is worth every cent. Included in the ticket price is an audio guide that can be used throughout the entire museum. Continue reading “Fashion Museum – Bath”