KINGSWOOD HERITAGE MUSUEM
School on a tea plate
A NEW exhibition will open at Kingswood Heritage Museum from the end of August, featuring the work of Jack Grunwell. Now in his nineties, Jack spent much of his leisure time recording the sights of Kingswood and Bristol in the form of miniatures, both paintings and three dimensional models.
The centrepiece of the exhibition will be the model of the 1852 built Kingswood Reformatory School, where Jack was employed for many years as a school nurse.
His painting of the school on a tea plate is shown in the photograph. Some of his miniatures will be available for purchase in the form of laminated bookmarks.
Treasure hunt is a hoot
A FAMILY owl treasure hunt is being organised South Gloucestershire Council Community Learning team during the summer school holidays.
Knitted owls, like those in the photo, will be distributed throughout Kingswood, in stores and other locations. Children will be challenged to seek out the complete set, and the lucky ones could win one of the owls.
Many of the owls have been knitted by Kingswood Heritage Museum's own “Knitters and Natters” group, which meets every Monday at the Museum, and is always ready to welcome new members. Contact the Museum for more details.
Beagle 2 replica - don't miss it!
ONE of Kingswood Heritage Museum's popular exhibitions must finish its journey at the end of the 2019 season, when its centrepiece, the replica of the Mars lander Beagle 2 (pictured), completes its two year loan to the museum.
Many local people will remember the excitement in 2003 when the original was sent on its way to Mars. The lander was named Beagle 2 after the ship HMS Beagle on which Charles Darwin voyaged, and the project was conceived and led by Professor Colin Pillinger.
Colin had started his science studies at Kingswood Grammar School (now Kings Oak Academy), but by 1997 was the Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Open University. He saw the chance to fly a landing craft to Mars as part of a rocket launch then being planned by the European Space Agency to put a satellite into orbit around the Red Planet. Beagle 2 would take samples of the soil and rocks that made up the planet, analyse them and transmit the data back to the scientists on Earth. These would help to understand whether Mars was capable of hosting life.
The museum has been proud to present a major exhibition about this exciting project, to commemorate its launch in June 2003. Visitors can find out the whole story, and see the Museum's visualisation of Beagle 2 on Mars. But the exhibition must end soon, so now's the time to visit!
The Cock Road gang
THE Cock Road gang was notorious in the eighteenth century. It was a loose knit group of robbers, burglars and even highwaymen, centred on the Caines family. They kept the local law enforcement officers in steady work: a judge was recorded as saying in a trial in 1786 that he was surprised to see that there were any members of the Gang left, since he'd hanged ten in the previous three years!
The full story is described an a display at Kingswood Heritage Museum, where some recent visitors are seen learning about the gang.
Frenchay's hidden history
The next talk in the Museum’s 2019 season will be given by Alan Freke, from Frenchay Village Museum. The subject will be Frenchay Hospital’s Hidden History, and Alan will tell the story of Frenchay Park from its days as a country estate to the demise of the well loved local hospital founded after World War ll. The photo shows Frenchay Park House in its heyday.
But Alan promises that he won’t just be relating the history of the buildings, but also introducing some of the quirky local characters associated with Frenchay Park, like the man born and raised on the estate who went on to appear in over 100 Hollywood films, and an owner of the estate who trained the 1883 Grand National winner.
The talk takes place on 12 August, commencing at 7.30pm. Seating reservations are advisable, so people wanting to attend should contact the Museum in advance, by telephoning 0117 960 5664, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The small entry fee of £3 includes light refreshments.
The Museum is located in the former Champion Brass Works at Tower Lane, Warmley, Bristol BS30 8XT, just off Avon Ring Road (Cadbury Heath exit).