Museum of Bath at Work invites you to the movies!


bath at workThe Museum of Bath at Work  has arranged a short festival of films to lead up to the official opening of the feature exhibition ‘Knowing Your Place:Bath in Particular’.

 The festival ‘Landscape Livelihoods and Lives-Local History in Films’ will comprise early evening showings of the six following films and has been funded along with the exhibition by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

All the films are free of charge but donations are welcome.

Thursday April 17th 7.30 p.m.

A Canterbury Tale (1944) (90 minutes) Powell and Pressburger’s curious film celebrating the British landscape and heritage through the experiences of four contemporary pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, a British officer, a land girl, an American G.I, and a local magistrate. Magnificent.

Thursday April 24th 7.30 p.m.

Akenfield (1974)(80 minutes) Taken from Ronald Blythe’s seminal book of oral testimony in a Suffolk village the film, made on a low budget with local villagers comprising the cast, contrasts contemporary and historic life in a small rural community. Essential viewing for local historians!

Thursday May 1st 7.30 p.m.

Requiem for a Village (1979)(80 minutes) David Gladwell poetic rumination on the loss of historical tradition and livelihoods through the story of an old man recalling a village’s idyllic past – which surprisingly comes to life, as he tends the local churchyard.

Thursday May 8th 7.30 p.m.

Listen to Britain (1943) (30 minutes) Humphrey Jennings’ masterful film of the sounds of Britain at War. Without any dialogue or narration the very essence of Britain is conjured from the recordings of film and sound.

Thursday May 15th 7.30 p.m.

The Landscape and Summer: An Evening of Short Films. A Summer Discord (1955), Miss Thompson Goes Shopping (1958) by David Gladwell and H is for House(1975) and Windows(1976) by Peter Greenaway (90 minutes)

Four short films taking their inspiration from a rural landscape and lives lived out against its backdrop from David Gladwell whilst the two short films from Peter Greenaway consider the value and ordering of the information gleaned from documentary film making – a lesson for museum professionals!

Thursday May 22nd 7.30 p.m.

Folk Films: An Evening of Short Documentary Films (1930-1980)

Selection of short films made by folk historians in the 20th century of traditions and customs which have either disappeared or survived. (80 minutes)

This festival of films would not have been possible without the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Museum of Bath at Work is currently involved  in a project called Landscapes and Livelihoods which is a Heritage Lottery Funded enterprise involving a redisplay of the Museum’s collections of Bath’s working life – from the 1st century to the 21st. It also includes the community alphabet project – Knowing Your Place.

Landscape and Livelihoods is intended to give a comprehensive view of the city’s commercial development and features displays on tourism, bath bun making, bath chair making, chair making(!), Plasticine, coin minting and so on. The displays will features new additions to the collections including a prototype Dyson Cyclone vacuum cleaner, a Plasticine model of a cockerel at sunrise(!), the railway station sign from Limpley Stoke and a host of images not seen before.

There will also be a timeline of the city from pre-Roman times to the 21st century.

A major element in the redisplay is a community involvement project ‘Knowing Your Place’. Meetings were held at church halls and a primary school in eleven areas, into which the city of Bath has been divided by the museum, as it were. At these meetings local people were asked to suggest things in the area- which they felt were significant-and to make a list from these identified features – buildings, landscape features, local personalities, stories or customs. These suggestions could be historical or current and in the case of local stories or traditions need not even be substantiated!

From this list an alphabetical selection has been made with 26 items chosen from each area. That is to say, one item per letter of the alphabet. The only restriction on the choice of local distinctive items is that they must been suggested by residents in particular geographical districts, as defined by the museum.

Once the lists have been suggested, for all the areas, the museum will arrange for images be located to illustrate every single item suggested. The result will be eleven illustrated alphabets, covering the great diversity within Bath which will be exhibited at the Museum of Bath at Work from July 2014. For each community group that has assisted in the preparation of the community picture alphabets, a copy of the display panel will be presented.

These areas are:

Lansdown and Weston

Walcot and Larkhall

Batheaston and Swainswick

Bathford and Warleigh

Bathampton and Claverton

Twerton and Newton St Loe

The City Centre

Southdown and Englishcombe

Westmoreland and Oldfield Park

Odd Down and Combe Down

Bathwick and Widcombe