Brunel’s Great Western Railway certainly opened up Bath in terms of transport and trade but this engineering marvel came in handy when the city needed to promote its recently discovered Roman baths and its spa and Georgian architecture to a new type of visitor – the rail-travelling day-tripper.
It features 19th century views of the railway through the city, a wonderful collection of railway posters and the amazing panorama of Victorian life The Railway Station by William Powell Frith – kindly loaned by Royal Holloway College, London University.
The Virtual Museum has been talking to Katharine Wall who curated the exhibition.
NB. My poster images are of printed art mounted behind glass for the exhibition – so apologies for the reflections in the glass.
One painting on display was actually commissioned for the exhibition. It’s entitled Bath Spa station at night and is by Peter Brown. He is the artist better known as ‘Pete the street’ for his habit of working outdoors in all weathers.
Bath and the Great Western Railway continues at the Victoria Gallery until February 2nd next year. Tickets are £2.50. www.victoriagal.org.uk