Museum of Bath @ Work receives Pitman Press memorial for safe keeping

A memorial plaque which was removed from the former Bath Press building on the Lower Bristol Road when the business closed has been presented to the Museum of Bath at Work.

The war memorial from the Bath Press Building.
The war memorial from the Bath Press Building. Click on image to enlarge.

The solid wood plaque, which had been originally dedicated in 1924, with 19 mens’ names listed, had been in the safe keeping of the CPI Group in Reading and was tracked down by local historian John Branston.

It was through his researches into South Twerton School (now Oldfield Junior School) that led John to contact CPI about the plaque’s whereabouts.

After the Second World War, another 14 names were added, all employees of the firm.

The Pitman Press moved to the Lower Bristol Road site from a city centre location in 1889 and expanded throughout the 20th century. The Pitman Press became the Bath Press in the 1980s. The works closed in 2007 and is now the subject of a redevelopment scheme.

Director Stuart Burroughs said ‘We are immensely grateful to CPI for presenting us with this plaque and to John Branston and his researches. The plaque is quite something and is a very solid piece of work. It appears to have a metal plate along the back of the wooden body to prevent it warping, which makes it pretty heavy!

We will display it for the time being but ideally once the Bath Press building has been developed it would be appropriate that, with agreement of the owners, to have the plaque rehung there’

Other important memorials from World War 1 include one from the Bath YMCA and the Good Templars neither of which have been seen for some years.