Latest News

** All the Heritage Open Days events are now sold out **

A new Chair of Trustees for the Museum

Frome Heritage Museum has appointed Michael Maggs as the new Chair of its Board of Trustees.

Michael takes over from Bob Cuzner, who has decided to step down after 4 years as Chair, though he will be continuing as a museum trustee.

Michael was born and raised in Yeovil, and has a close early connection with both Frome and the museum. He is the grandson of Norman and Lilian Maggs, formerly of Gentle Street, with whom he stayed frequently as a child. Norman was a well-known pharmacist in Bath Street for almost 40 years, as well as being a local councillor and a founding trustee of both the Frome Society for Local Study and Frome Heritage Museum.  Lilian was a primary school and music teacher.

Michael has previous charitable experience, having served as past Chair of Wikimedia UK, the UK national charity that supports Wikipedia and other open knowledge projects.

After a professional career as a patent attorney in London, he has retired to Frome along with his wife Frances, who is a volunteer with Fair Frome.

Michael says, “I’ve already had the opportunity to work in the museum on a day-to-day basis, mostly as a photographer, and to make use of some of my knowledge of copyright law, which I’ve greatly enjoyed. Now, as a new unpaid trustee, I’m looking forward to grappling with some of the more
strategic issues along with my fellow volunteers, as well as further developing the museum’s connections with Frome’s many heritage organisations and the wider community.”

‘Feeling Dressed’ workshop with Dr Lucy Gundry on 30 September – 2.00pm-3.30pm


As part of this year’s Frome Sustainable Fashion Week, Dr Lucy Gundry will be running a free workshop based on items of clothing in the Museum’s collection.

Spaces are strictly limited! Find out more and book your place.

Pioneering MP Mavis Tate’s scrapbooks donated to the Museum

Mavis Tate was a noted MP and activist, winning her first Parliamentary seat in Willesden in 1931. She was the Conservative MP for Frome for 10 years from 1935 until she was defeated in the Labour landslide of 1945.

A set of her scrapbooks have been generously donated to the Museum by the family of Arthur Joynt, who was the her political agent while she represented Frome. They cover the period between 1931 and 1945 and are therefore of considerable local and national interest.
Mavis Tate led a rich and varied life. A tireless campaigner for women’s rights and equal pay for all – she went down a coal mine in Paulton to see the poor working conditions first hand (see the image below) – by 1938 she was an outspoken critic of the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews in Germany.
In April 1945, just before the end of the war, she was the only woman in a group of nine MPs who visited Buchenwald concentration camp to observe the atrocities committed there.
The experience affected her deeply – she said on a British Pathe Newsreel narration at the time, “Do believe me when I tell you that the reality was indescribably worse than these pictures” – and is widely considered to have prompted the ill health that caused her to take her own life in 1947, at the age of 56.
Excerpts from the scrapbooks can be viewed on the Museum’s online catalogue, and viewed by appointment.

Object of the Month

Our September Object of the Month is a set of Victorian flat irons.