It is with great sorrow that the Trustees, Volunteers and Manager of Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum announce the passing of their Chairman, Dr Nicolas Hall. Nick, as he preferred to be called, died peacefully at home on Tuesday 15th June 2021 after a short illness.
Nick volunteered at Radstock Museum as a steward before becoming a Trustee in 2012 and Chairman in 2014. He was a very popular Chairman with all the volunteers; he was always good humoured, a great listener, a keen supporter of new ideas and a superb leader of the Museum team.
When he took over as Chair the world outside the Museum was changing with many of the original Museum founders and former coal miners moving on or passing away. New technologies and ideas were helping to keep other local and national museums relevant for the next generation. Nick realised the Museum needed a refresh and a rebrand so that it would remain attractive to returning and traditional visitors, whilst becoming a destination for a wider, all-inclusive, and ever-changing audience.
His achievements include: a body of work which led to the museum becoming accredited with the Arts Council, the re-branding of the museum to ‘Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum’, a name which intended to paint a clearer picture of what visitors might expect from their visit, (that being, the way of life both of the miners and the mining community within the coalfield), the development of more interactive, ‘hands-on’ displays, the modernisation of the exhibition area, community events such as the very successful annual Victorian Christmas festival day for families and the community cafes including a cafe for people living with memory loss and their carers.
He will be greatly missed by everyone at the museum.
BIAS has always seen the Radstock Museum as an important part of the local industrial history story, and we acknowledge the role that Dr Hall played in the achievements of the Museum. He will be much missed.