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Unusual and interesting

Perfect visit for finding out more about how work and life used to be. Fortunately recorded and... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
ladyscribe
,
Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom
The best thing I've done in Bath!

I absolutely LOVED my visit to this museum. If you like Victorian social history and engineering... read more

Reviewed 27 September 2018
farwriter
,
London, United Kingdom
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All reviews fizzy drinks real tennis court industrial history machine shop engineering works charles rennie mackintosh belt driven bedroom furniture working machinery soda water fascinating insight victorian times amazing collection step back in time ticket office worth a visit on display
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Reviewed 18 June 2018

We loved this museum: it was packed to the rafters with interesting bits and pieces - we particularly liked the bottles and stuff from the pop factory. If you have children they will love that they can see machines working and have a good poke around - lots to do and see.

Thank robsonmccabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2018

The museum is a little out of the centre of Bath, not far from the Crescent, but within easy walking distance.It contains principally a collection from a local engineer and wholesaler known as the J B Bowler collection. His firm was in operation for almost 100 years before it closed in 1969. The curator is very knowledgeable and showed me various items, often of brass, some of which I could not identify- such as a sink plug unit. There is a good selection of old lathes and the like that still has belt drives and operates at the touch of a button. An atmosphere of work in the 19th century is created effectively. In addition J B Bowler produced and sold fizzy drinks and the equipment used to make the carbon dioxide and add this to water and flavouring is on display. Also masses of old bottles with glass stoppers and ceramic bottles is on show. There are other exhibits showing cabinet making, quarrying Bath stone, a self winding clock and a light car made in the area. Free audio guides are available and there are refreshments. I spent an interesting hour on the premises and recommend the experience

Thank EastLondonEjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2018

This museum has kept all the engineering and work that JB Bowler, Horstmann Car Company, Stothert & Pitt and other works that occured on Bath. Includes lathes, tools, bottling, architecture, a large model of Bath

Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2018

Located in an old indoor tennis court (apparently tennis was originally an indoor game) near the Assembly Rooms, this gives a fascinating insight in to the commerce and industry of Bath since Roman times, or even slightly earlier in some cases. The guy at the ticket office was very helpful and gave us a detailed oversight of the museum as well as other interesting facts, and seemed keen to find some way of reducing our already reasonable entrance fee. We’re not BANES residents, but in the end the fact that we’d used a rail ticket to get there earned us a pound off!

Much of this floor is given over to the reconstruction of a factory that produced carbonated soft drinks and was originally located opposite the current bus station. Prior to it’s closure everything was meticulously documented and the contents saved before being reconstructed here. It includes everything from the actual bottling line to offices, workshops, test kitchen/laboratory and even the vessels that were used to generate the carbon dioxide gas. Unusually, besides making soft drinks, the company was also something of an engineering outfit, and there are also numerous wood and metal working workshops.

Elsewhere on other floors are a car that was produced in Bath back in the 1920’s (one of about 500 that the company made which was new to me, I never realised Bath had a car manufacturer), photographs and exhibits of much of the history of Bath’s commerce (I also didn’t realise that Jolly’s was as old as it is) and in the basement the reconstruction of a Bath stone quarry. This isn’t a museum that’s going to take you hours and hours to go round (although it could if you study everything in minute detail) but it is nonetheless something a bit different and a little quirky. Clearly run by some real enthusiasts, I’d say it was well worth a visit.

Thank Blackth0rn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2018

This 4 story museum intriguingly tells the story of Bath in Victorian times by expanding on a local family firm, that of a Mr. Bowler, who did it all in his multifaceted factory. When his firm closed in 1969, the interiors of the firm & all its contents were reconstructed here. The centerpiece is his Victorian soft drinks factory, with all the elements it required. Guided by a lively audioguide, included in the 5£ admission price, it elucidated the industrial revolution, on a very personal level. By telling the story of one man and his family, one neighborhood and city, it displays the inventiveness and advances of our society. Thus we gained perspective on daily Victorian life, as well as our own modern times. One example: we never thought about the invention of carbonated drinks, which was reserved at first for the wealthier class, or the challenges and dangers involved in their production. Today, we all pop a can or bottle of soda with giving it much thought. Thus, we came away with a subtle appreciation into society’s evolution. The two older docents present were charming, and greeted us with a wonderful introduction to the museum, as well as sharing a lively discussion on Britain’s change in coinage they’ve seen during their lifetimes. An accompanying art exhibit, skillfully curated, had each piece beautifully coordinated with the displayed machines, thus further enhancing the experience. It was fascinating to see and read about the Bath carts, used by many of the ill and afflicted visitors to the Roman Baths, allowing them access to the healing waters. Remember to bring earplugs for the audioguides, as none are provided. Don’t miss this unique experience in time travel.

Thank Adenine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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