In November 2022, the Museum was contacted regarding an opportunity to appear on the BBC’s popular series Antiques Road Trip as their experts journeyed through Somerset in search of treasures for auction.
The plan was for the Road Trip’s presenter Ockuko Ojiri to present an aside during the episode - which would be broadcast to a viewership of several million - where he would learn some of the intriguing history behind “the honey-coloured stone” that build Bath. We were of course delighted to accept this exciting proposal and welcomed the production team at the Museum a few weeks later.
CE Miranda and Collections Manager Imogen welcomed Ochuko and a small team with filming equipment with a cup of tea and an introduction to the Museum space and story. After getting the cameras ‘rolling’, Miranda and Ochuko enjoyed enlightening conversations about many of the themes and stories covered in the Museum’s interpretation including geology, archaeology, Ralph Allen and the rich history of Combe Down’s underground quarries as well as the trailblazing Stabilisation Scheme.
Miranda and Imogen were overjoyed by the BBC production team’s positive reaction and inquiring approach to Combe Down’s important contribution to Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage Status. They were also wonderfully accommodating and amenable during filming at the Museum and beyond, helping Miranda feel confident sharing her expertise in front of the cameras.
The programme’s team returned to Combe Down for a visit to the Firs Field, the important centre of Ralph Allen’s quarrying landscape and focal point for the village’s industrial heritage. Once the team were pleased with the footage captured, we were informed that the episode would be aired in the new year and were left to wait excitedly for the broadcast day.
The Museum of Bath Stone features in BBC’s Antiques Road Trip Series 26: Episode 5 which you can watch on BBC iPlayer here: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b00xgqvf/antiques-road-trip.