Lunchtime Lecture Series

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Weston Village: A Look Back

Stewart Burgess

Chairman, The Weston Local History Society

10 November 2005

The first inhabitants of Weston were the Celts, of whom a little archaeological evidence remains, who called a collection of houses a ‘toun’ so its name probably arose from that collection, being west of Bath The Celts were conquered by the Belgae, of whom little trace remains, and even when the Romans arrived they left nothing except their metalled section of Julian and Weston roads, along which stone from Landsdown may have travelled to build Bath.

How to Start Your Family Tree

Chaired by Rodney Tye

David Judd

Bath Family History Society

14 July 2005

In this country the key documents in family history are certificates of birth, marriage and death. From the early 17th century these were kept by the church concerned, but in recent times the County Record Offices have been the main places for research.

Chinese Invention and Innovation

Brian McElney

Museum of East Asian Art

9 September 2004

Victoria Gallery into 2005

Jon Benington, Curator

9 December 2004

The speaker emphasised that the Gallery was funded by B&NES and therefore was dependant on per capita attendances. He said that in the last seven years he had been curator, the number of visitors had increased by 50%. Another problem was improving wheelchair access; in addition they were planning a ground floor kiosk with large screen virtual reality tour of upper gallery for the disabled, as there was no lift. He pointed out that anyone interested in research could use their reading room and study the reserve collection.

Stuart Bath: Life in the Forgotten City

Dr John Wroughton

Author & former Headmaster of King Edward’s School Bath

13 January 2005.

Dr Wroughton told the story of life and work in the 17th century city - a period which has been largely ignored by historians in the past and 'gently airbrushed out of Bath's rich heritage'. Yet this forgotten city was a lively, colourful and affluent place with fine buildings, a vigorous health spa and a brand new Abbey Church.

Combe Down - more than Stone Mines

Talk chaired by Rob Randall

Rosemary Simmons

Chair of the Combe Down Heritage Society

10 February 2005

The Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project has required research to establish the extent of the underground quarries (Firs Mine) and this sparked off a wider interest in development of the whole village.

OBSESSION: JOHN WOOD & THE CREATION OF GEORGIAN BATH

Lunchtime Lecture

Amy Frost, Building of Bath Museum, on 11 March 2004

The basis of the lecture was to introduce the Exhibition at the Building of Bath Museum from 7th September 2004 to 6th February 2005 to the audience. To ensure that not too much of the details were given away, (we need to save something for the exhibition itself), I concentrated on explaining how the exhibition has evolved, where the idea came from, and most importantly why it is called what it is.

The Boast of Heraldry, The Pomp of Power

Meeting chaired by Don Lovell

Roland Symons
City of Bath Heraldry

9 June 2005

Preserving Bath

Chaired by Rex Valentine

Eleanor Murphy

The Bath Preservation Trust

9 June 2005

The speaker said that when she first looked down on the City of Bath from Bathwick Hill she could see it, in its entirety as designed in 18th century, and thought it unique.

She then discussed how the role of the Preservation Trust to preserve the Heritage buildings had evolved with changing perception and functions of the city.

BEFORE ENVELOPES: DESIGNS ON WAX LETTER SEALS

Donald Lovell, Member, on 9 October 2003

 

In 2000 BC the Babylonians wrapped their clay letter tablets in another piece of clay that they then fired; this had to be broken to be able to read the letter. When papyri were used we think they were rolled but were they sealed? Envelopes as we know them were introduced in the 16th century for official letters to be sent "under cover"; they were home-made. The inventor of the ‘standard size’ envelope is not known. (1)

 

The American Museum: Its History & Collections

Talk chaired by Don Lovell

Christina Parker

Educational Officer, American Museum

8 July 2004

Why is there an American Museum in Bath? The initial idea came in 1956 when New Yorker Dallas Pratt and his friend, British born but naturalised American, John Judkyn, decided that they wanted to show the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts in order to combat many of the stereotypes surrounding the United States and its people and to promote Anglo-American understanding. They had the money and the connections to make their dream a reality.

JANE AUSTEN: FILM AND FASHION

Rosemary Harden, The Museum of Costume, Bath, on 13 May 2004

 

The Bath Postal Museum: the History of the Postal Services

Talk chaired by Rob Randall

Colin Baker

Trustee, Postal Museum, Bath

8 April 2004

This talk described the development of the postal service in this country, the significance of Bath in that story and the work of the Bath Postal Museum in maintaining records and telling the public the story of the history of communications.

Introduction

Obsession: John Wood & the Creation of Georgian Bath

Talk chaired by Judy Partridge

Amy Frost,

Exhibition Curator, Building of Bath Museum

11 March 2004

The basis of the lecture was to introduce the Exhibition at the Building of Bath Museum from 7th September 2004 to 6th February 2005 to the audience. To ensure that not too much of the details were given away, (we need to save something for the exhibition itself), I concentrated on explaining how the exhibition has evolved, where the idea came from, and most importantly why it is called what it is.

The Georgian Guildhall

Talk chaired by Guy Whitmarsh

Trevor Fawcett

Bath Historical Research Group,

12 February 2004

The old ‘Stuart’ Guildhall, built 1626-7, sat on top of an open-sided market hall in the middle of the High Street, Bath. An incongruous Classical extension was added in 1725, but the building had become increasingly decrepit by c.1760 when the Corporation decided to replace it on a site further east incorporating the butchers’ shambles.

THE PEREGRINUS PROJECT

Stephen Clews, Curator of the Roman Bath Museum, Bath.
8 January 2004

Practical Answers to Poverty:

The work of ITDG

Donald Lovell

BRLSI Member

11 December 2003

The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) is based on the philosophy of Fritz Schumacher, who quoted the proverb: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.’ in Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (1966). The Group’s Mission is to help eradicate poverty in the poorer countries by developing and using technology, demonstrating results, sharing knowledge and influencing others.

MUCH BINDING IN BATH

John Lewis & Evelyn Lewis, Members,
on 11 September 2003

This report is included as a tribute to John Lewis who died in June 2004 and will be much missed by all his friends at the Institution.

Historically and geographically one would expect Bath to have a chained library and illuminated manuscripts, but the Abbey's collection of books founded by Arthur Lake, Bishop from 1616 - 1626, consisting of some 300 books are, today, in the Wells Cathedral library.

The Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution’s (BRLSI) Book Collection

Dr Evelyn L. Lewis & Robert Randall,

Trustees & BRLSI Members.

11 September 2003.

History and aims of the Institution and its Library 1.

BEFORE ENVELOPES: DESIGNS ON WAX LETTER SEALS

Donald Lovell, Member, on 9 October 2003

 

In 2000 BC the Babylonians wrapped their clay letter tablets in another piece of clay that they then fired; this had to be broken to be able to read the letter. When papyri were used we think they were rolled but were they sealed? Envelopes as we know them were introduced in the 16th century for official letters to be sent "under cover"; they were home-made. The inventor of the ‘standard size’ envelope is not known. (1)

 

RADSTOCK MUSEUM: REVIVAL & THE LOTTERY FUND

Radstock Museum

Brain Gym

Short-Run Publishing

Assessing Silver

Princess Andrew of Greece

RADSTOCK MUSEUM: REVIVAL & THE LOTTERY FUND
Stephen Marks, Chairman, Radstock Museum Project Board; Vice-Chairman, Radstock, Midsomer Norton and District Museum Society, on 10 February 2000

PORTRAIT MINIATURE

Cleo Witt, Education Officer at the Holbourne of Menstrie Museum, Bath, on 9 September 1999

The speaker explained, with the aid of slides, the different materials and techniques used by artists to create these delightful works of art through the centuries. Many of the miniatures shown are in the Museum's own collection.

Jean Brushfield

MRS GASKELL: "WIVES AND DAUGHTERS"

Rosemary Marshall, President of the local branch of the Gaskell Society, on 14 October 1999

This book has recently been the subject of a BBC TV serial. The speaker spoke about the life and works of this Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, and explained the effect on her as a novelist of her role as the wife of a church minister in Manchester in the mid-19th century. She used several quotations from Mrs Gaskell's novels to illustrate her talk.

Jean Brushfield

GARDENS: PROBLEM OR DREAM

Martin Sturge, Member, on 11 November 1999

The speaker displayed a wide-ranging knowledge of linguistics and ancient societies to illustrate his theme. He made reference to gardening books and themes from many lands. Several members of the audience asked for a transcript of his text for subsequent reference so a slightly shortened version of his talk is given below.

Jean Brushfield

 

GARDENS: PROBLEM OR DREAM

Martin Sturge, Member, on 11 November 1999

A slightly shortened version of his talk.

PRINT COLLECTING

Robert Kennan, Head of the Print Department at Philips Fine Art, London, on 9 December 1999

The speaker brought several bound collections of prints to explain the range of techniques used for printmaking and the reasons why they had been used at various dates through the centuries. He used his technical training to explain how the different effects were produced and why these could affect the value of the prints.

Jean Brushfield