The curator of the Museum of Bath at Work Stuart Burroughs (pictured) has been in post for three decades although the shrine to industry in Julian Street opened back in 1978. Since then not only has the city changed but so has the museum.
“Museums like this have evolved,” he explained, “they have moved from a narrow vision of manufacturing with collections of steam engines to more technical industries. It’s moved from machinery to the workers and all types of work.”
Originally named the Bath Industrial Heritage Trust the museum’s collection consisted of a reconstruction of 19th century engineering and the mineral water business. Now it covers the endeavours of the 20th century including a surprising archive of more recent times.
“I was born in Bath and my father worked as a precision engineer at Horstmann Gear. We have archives from the firm with his signature on them. It shows Bath’s changing fortunes from the highs of Roman and Georgian Bath to what I feel is now its real golden age of Bath whose fame is large,” he said.
In 1971 Bath still had a gas works processing coal from the North Somerset mines he said. Now the city has manufacturing on a different scale with many small makers such as milliners, tailors and glass makers, as well as engineering firms such as Rotork in Brassmill Lane.
The museum has regular talks and exhibitions including a reconstruction of a Bath Stone mine For more see bath-at-work.org.uk/
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