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”

British Library

I am currently en route to Bath in a quiet carriage that is anything but quiet. Although the programme doesn’t start until tomorrow night, I wanted a couple of days in Bath to relax beforehand and visit some more museums. Since I have some spare time I thought I’d write a little blog post on the British Library. I visited the library post-Museum of London with the intention of seeing a Punk Music exhibition. It was interesting, but, I really want to write about the Sir John Rittblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library.

I have to admit I only went into the gallery because I could feel how amazing the air conditioning was inside. It was a hot day so don’t judge. Anyway, I was very glad, well extremely glad, to have walked in because the gallery contains some of the most incredible paper-based objects I have ever seen. If you like music, history, sacred texts, maps, or beautiful art then there is guaranteed to be something in the gallery that gives you goosebumps. Continue reading “British Library”

Museum of London

I have to say, above all else, the Museum of London had some amazing staff on the floor today! First thing I did when I arrived was go to the information counter to buy a map. The staff member there was so helpful and friendly and told me all about the free tours that were happening throughout the day. Since I am still a bit jet lagged, I thought going on a tour was a smart move! I am going to divide this post into three sections – an overview of the museum, the tour of the City Gallery, and highlights from the rest of the museum.

The museum consists of nine permanent galleries that trace the history of London from prehistoric times to 2012. Combined, they tell an overall narrative with each individual gallery adding its own stories. The top level deals with prehistory to roughly the 1660s. There is little opportunity to choose your own path with each section leading on to the next. In saying this, having to walk through a couple of galleries that I didn’t plan on spending too much time in (prehistory and Roman) meant I saw some amazing objects. The recreated Roman dressing table with make up tools in particular was amazing and I am so glad I saw it! The ground floor has the more modern-era exhibitions and, unlike the top floor, there is a little more freedom to walk around. Obviously there was a lot of information to consume during one visit, but, I did the best I could! Continue reading “Museum of London”

The Beatles Tour

So my time in England has come to an end. The last museum I want to review is the Museum of Liverpool. I don’t have a lot to say about this one. We visited just to see the Beatles installation show on the top level. That, in itself, was worth visiting. You step into darkened room that plays Beatles music and tells you a bit of their back story.

There is something else I’d like to write about – the Fab Four cab tour of Liverpool. It wasn’t a museum per-se but we saw a couple on the way. Continue reading “The Beatles Tour”

The Cavern Club Liverpool

Liverpool – home of the Beatles and the coolest/hippest city in England. The former is true and the latter is opinion. We dropped off our rental car yesterday morning and headed straight for the Beatles Story Museum at Albert Dock. The dock is absolutely beautiful packed with restaurants and museums. There are two bands in this world I love more than I should: the Beatles and Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. So the Beatles Museum was an obvious start to the trip. Putting it out there I cannot be completely unbiased reviewing this museum. In fact I’m writing this review listening to Hello, Goodbye. If the museum was just two boards that said THE BEATLES I still would have loved it. Continue reading “The Cavern Club Liverpool”

The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

So technically we didn’t go to a museum today but an “attraction”. For the sake of this blog, however, we went to a museum – The World of Beatrix Potter. I can understand why they don’t call it a museum. On the other hand, though, it was a building that contained various objects that told a story and represented a memory.

This is why I’ve called this entry “Let me Regress”. When I was younger my mother used to tape (on VHS my gosh remember those) episodes of Beatrix Potter on the ABC. I would watch them over and over again. My favourite, of course, was Peter Rabbit. I loved the stories and soon enough I was reading the books and admiring the illustrations. Continue reading “The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction”

Hadrian’s Wall & Derwent Museum

How can you improve a long road trip? Go to a museum! Whilst driving from York to the Lake District we detoured slightly to visit Birdoswald Fort and Hadrian’s Wall. The Fort itself was quite impressive. However, I really enjoyed seeing the remnants of Hadrian’s Wall. Birdoswald is where you can see the longest remaining intact stretch of the wall. Inside Birdoswald you can see the wall up close – you and a few dozen sheep. There are so many sheep roaming around it’s quite atmospheric. Continue reading “Hadrian’s Wall & Derwent Museum”

York Cold War Bunker & York Castle Museum

The first museum we visited today, the York Cold War Bunker, is something you all need to see. Early last year, whilst in Berlin, I did their Cold War and Second World War bunker tours. They were phenomenal. When I saw that York had something similar, I just could not resist.

We arrived bright and early just before the first tour of the day. You can only access the bunker on a tour (times are on their website). At 10.00 am sharp we were greeted by an incredibly enthusiastic tour guide who welcomed us, along with five other people, inside. It is a small entrance price to pay to literally walk through history. Continue reading “York Cold War Bunker & York Castle Museum”