What’s this?! Another colourful demonstration by ratepayers on the steps of Bath’s Guildhall??
Well, no – this time the gathering is more of a celebration to mark the launch of a subscription scheme for the city’s Medical Museum – currently based at ‘The Min.’
Set up to conserve artefacts – including original patients’ books and a sedan chair – from the building’s original use as a hospital for the poor of the nation – the collection now also includes material donated from other sources.
Bath Medical Museum is keen to establish itself – and expand – but is under threat of losing its home as the building in which it is housed has been sold for redevelopment.
Currently home to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, the Min’s facilities will move to a new purpose-built ‘Min’ on the Royal United Hospital’s main site at Weston.
The more familiar name refers to the building’s previous history as the Mineral Water Hospital.
Monies the NHS receives for selling the old city site will be ploughed into the cost of building the new centre.
The original Grade 2 * listed building in Upper Borough Walls – designed by John Wood the Elder – was built between 1738-42.
Funds to pay for its construction it were raised through the activity of Bath’s Master of Ceremonies, Richard (Beau) Nash who opened a subscription list in 1737.
So it was history repeating itself today as Ali and Luca – from Bath’s Natural Theatre Company – help other period-costumed members of the Medical Museum’s Trust accept the first two £50 subscriptions from Vice Admiral Sir Barry Wilson and his wife Lady Wilson … from Shaftesbury
There to offer support was the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Ian Gilchrist and the Chair of B&NES, Cllr Cherry Beath.
The museum’s Project Manager is Dr Roberta Anderson. She told Bath Newseum that she had written to the Min’s new owner – Mr Frank Mountain in Winchester – asking if he would consider letting them be part of any new development.
If that fails they do have one or two other locations in mind but are keeping alternative venues very close to their chest at present.
The Medical Museum is open on Mondays from 2pm to 4pm, Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm and Fridays 10 am to 12 noon.
It’s the place to take your donations if you want to subscribe – or you can send a cheque to the Museum c/o RNHRD, Upper Borough Walls, Bath, BA1 1RL
If you want to find out more about Bath’s Medical Museum go to http://www.bathmedicalmuseum.org