Faces of the past

We see plenty of shots on social media of how Bath looked in the days of trams and even horse -drawn carriages but now there’s a chance to come face to face with the people who lived in this city, 130 years before us.

A fantastic new exhibition at the Museum of Bath at Work features over 300 photographs from the 1890s and 1900s, all of them portraits taken in the studio of Tom Carlyle Leaman which was at number 7, The Corridor.

These amazing pictures give us a real window on the past, especially the clothes that were then in fashion, accessories, and the way people styled their hair.

The photographs are glass plate negatives and have been digitised.  Many of the plates have a surname written on the back, and volunteers at the Museum of Bath at Work have researched some of them. 

In the exhibition you can meet Mr David Press who ran a confectioners and bakery in Broad Street; the girls of the Candy family whose parents were farmers at Bathampton; Mr Charles Moutrie the General Manager at Bath Racecourse; and Miss Daisy Fentiman who worked stitching corsets.

Museum Director Stuart Burroughs says:

“Face to Face: Victorian and Edwardian Portraits of Working People in Bath shows us the faces of ordinary people, and gives a snapshot of the kind of jobs they did and where they lived.  There are many portraits where the person’s identity remains a mystery – come and see if you recognise anyone from your own family album!”

It’s all at the Museum of Bath at Work.  We’re open every day of the week, 10.30 till 5.00 (last entry 4.00).  Find the museum in Julian Road, near Christ Church, only ten minutes’ walk from Bath city centre.