Latest News

Latest News

Frome Heritage Museum has a busy programme of activities, development projects and activities for visitors. Here are some recent news items.

Object of the month

As we celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, find out more about this month’s object, a notice for a procession held in Frome in February 1820 to mark King George IV’s accession to the throne.

JW Singer family collection donated to the Museum

In early May, Lesley van Vliet and Janet Beer, the grandaughters of Edward Royall Minns, a bronze worker at the JW Singer foundry, donated a number of items belonging to Mr Minns and his wife Minnie.

During his career at Singers, Mr Minns worked on the statue of Boudicca that can still be seen on the Embankment in London, as well as the Chancel gates at Westminster Cathedral and the bronze orbs on the naval memorials that stand at Plymouth Hoe and Portsmouth Common. He also made the wall lights at the once-grand Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.

The family have previously donated Singer wall sconces and other items made by Mr Minns which are already on display at the museum.

The latest donation includes another sconce, some of the tools Mr Minns used at Singers, including his geometry set, metal working tools and hammers, together with a collection of documents including Singers patterns and photos.

The family also donated also a number of personal effects including two athletics cups won by Mr Minns and some bowling items belonging to his wife Minnie, who was an active member of the Frome Selwood Bowling Club. One of the athletics cups was also won by Walter Singer, the eldest son of JW Singer.

We look forward to displaying some of these fascinating items soon and are very grateful for this extremely generous gift.

The picture below shows Steve Francis, who worked at the Singer factory, enabled the glass negatives from the factory to be given to the Museum and has been involved in the conservation of the negatives from the start, Lesley van Vliet, Ann Prees and Sheila Gore. Ann and Sheila have both been instrumental to the ongoing Singer conservation project at the Museum.

Frome Local History Festival – 12-26 May

This month’s Frome Local History Festival has a varied programme events taking place around the town, a number of them at and involving the museum.

For full details of the programme and information about how to secure tickets , please visit the Festival’s Facebook page.

SUNDAY 14 MAY – FROME MUSEUM ‘OPEN DAY’ (10.00-14.00) – includes Museum tours and other activities.

FREE. Donations will be welcome, with all proceeds going to Frome Museum.

MONDAY 15 MAY – JOHN ASHE – THE GREATEST CLOTHIER OF HIS TIME talk by Michael Gorman (19.00-20.30) A talk on this very influential clothier, who was instrumental in creating Frome’s greatest period of prosperity in the woollen industry.

FREE. Donations will be welcome, with all proceeds going to Frome Museum.

PLEASE NOTE: Booking is essential as places are limited.

TUESDAY 16 MAY  – FROME MUSEUM EXHIBITION  – OBJECT WORKSHOP – ‘UNSPINNING THE STORIES’ (14.15-16.00) This is a free taster session to give participants a chance to explore some of the artefacts of Frome Museum . Rather than focusing on creating an artistic response to the objects, workshop leader Lisa Kenwright will lead you through a process based on her training as a storyteller. The aim is to think about what a museum artefact tells us in a way that could be the basis for future traditional storytelling, creative writing, memoir work and visual arts but also simply to enjoy exploring historical objects. We will be discussing what items may tell us about the society that produced them and the people who made and used them, as well as our own connections with the objects, their history and the folklore surrounding them. We will be able to examine and handle some simple everyday objects from the museum collection and will also have the opportunity to view the museum’s permanent exhibition outside public opening hours. Lisa Kenwright is a Frome Town Guide and a traditional storyteller who uses folklore and storytelling in her work with local heritage.

FREE. Donations will be welcome, with all proceeds going to Frome Museum.

WEDNESDAY 17 MAY FROME MUSEUM EXHIBITION – OBJECT WORKSHOP – ‘LETTING THE OBJECTS SPEAK’ (14.00-15.30)– This workshop is led by Dawn Gorman, who is an award-winning
poet, creative writing tutor and mentor. She is committed to enabling
everyone to tell their story through creative writing. Dawn works with poetry in therapeutic settings, including reminiscence activities with older people and cross-generational disability awareness. For more on Dawn’s work

Tickets: £10.

Maximum participants 10. Adults 16+

FRIDAY 19 MAY – FROME MUSEUM EXHIBITION –  – OBJECT WORKSHOP – FEELING DRESSED (14.00-15.00) – Join Dr Lucy Gundry for a round table conversation to look through ‘our eyes only’ at pieces of dress from the archives. We will find words to imagine what it would have felt like to touch and wear these items dressed as a man or woman in the everyday life of those who would have worked in the cloth trade of Frome. Museum.

Tickets: £10.

Over 16. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

SATURDAY 20 MAY – FROME MUSEUM EXHIBITION – ‘LOCAL HISTORY DAY’ AT FROME LIBRARY (10.00-15.00) – today will see the culmination of the Festival, the ‘Local History Day’.

This will include a Frome Museum stand.

Museum accessibility: Please note that Frome Museum is located in a listed building on a restricted site and it has not been possible to make it fully accessible. There is a small set of steps at the entrance and another to the room we will be using for the workshop. There will be toilets available, however they are not fully accessible.

Under 18s: Workshop events are open to over 16s. Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Frome Timeline – now available to buy as a map

You may have seen the 8-metre Frome Timeline on the walls of the Museum, showing the major events that have taken place in and around Frome from its founding in 685 to the present day.

Now you can buy a copy for yourself from the Museum for just £12, in a handy format to read and study at home.

Please visit the Museum during opening hours to purchase your Timeline Map.

Frome Museum is extremely grateful to to the principals and staff of Dennis Maps who printed the Timeline Map for us. Dennis Maps is a preferred supplier to Ordnance Survey, who of course require the very highest standards of production. We are honoured to have had the same quality of print work applied to our Timeline Map.

Dennis Maps is based in Frome, on the Marston Trading Estate, Unit 2, Grove Lane, BA11 4AT.

JW Singer GCSE Photography project with Frome College

As part of the Museum’s continuing work to digitise the JS Singer photography collection, last year one of our volunteers, Sheila Gore, set up a digitisation project with Emma Knibbs, the Head of Art at Frome College, for Emma’s GCSE Photography students.

The Museum provided the College with a selection of scans taken from the original, very fragile, glass negatives in the Singer collection, and these were used specifically for the project. To practise the digitisation skills they had learned as part of their course, the students erased marks and scratches to ‘clean up’ the images. They were also encouraged to to add new and creative perspectives by applying modern techniques such as colour filters.

Emma Knibbs said, “I love this project and working with [the Museum] is such a joy. It’s really useful and important work for the students to be involved with.”

Below are just a few examples of the students’ work.