The iconic volcano shaped spoil heap at Paulton, is a perfect example of history in our local landscape. 

Whether you are new to the area or born here, it is likely that on sighting the spoil heap, for the first time, you asked the questions, “ What is it?” and “Why is it there?” Most of you reading this will have found out the answer and know that this landmark is locally known as a batch and is the spoil from the former Old Mills Colliery.

For walker Larry Cunningham, a keen interest in the history of this area was sparked by asking those same questions as he encountered features such as spoil heaps, ruins and derelict buildings in the local landscape when out walking with friends Sue Fraser and Peter Bradshaw.

The friends would go on to research and discover interesting information about the features they saw on their walks using various methods including: looking at the Bath and North East Somerset Historic Environment website studying Ordinance Survey and Tythe maps and visiting Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum, where they found sources of information and often old photographs. Several local circular history walks books by the three friends resulted from all this walking and researching.

On Tuesday, 3rd October Larry will give an illustrated talk revealing some of the fascinating history behind some intriguing features in the local landscape. He will also explain how he went about discovering the stories of these landmarks from our past. The talk has been organised by the Radstock Museum “Bygone Days Talks” volunteers in aid of Radstock Museum charity no: 1151573. It will take place at the Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton at 7:30pm. 

For all the details please visit        

Lucy Tudor