THE harsh reality of 18th century life is portrayed in a new DVD that will hopefully boost interest in a Christchurch museum facing cuts.

The documentary about the Red House was filmed over two years and the celebratory launch was held with director Eric Montague on Saturday.

The museum, next to Christchurch Priory, faces losing four part-time staff from its team of seven, as Hampshire County Council looks to save money.

Visitor services assistant Catherine Donne said: “The launch of the DVD comes at rather a strange time but hopefully it will let more people know we are here because we are a bit out of the way.”

The Red House was built in 1764 as the parish workhouse and its exhibitions include artefacts from the days when children worked from dawn until dusk making watch parts.

It was donated to the town by former owner Herbert Druitt and became a public art gallery and museum in 1951.

The DVD is around 75 minutes long and it tells the story of the building’s history and explains the present day mix of exhibitions, events and workshops.

Mr Montague funded the project with some assistance from the Friends of the Red House and did the work through his company Netfora.

He said: “I see it as a celebration of the Red House, which is a very special place, and if it can bring some publicity for it that is the main thing, especially because they are going through a second round of cuts.”

Experts from the Hampshire Museum Service shed light on the permanent exhibitions, including the fabulous dresses from 1903 to 1939, and give an insight into the stories behind the artefacts.

It details the sections on subjects like Saxon Burial and historic furniture, and also the herb garden. The DVD is called The Red House – Where The Past Meets The Present and it is available for £5 from the museum shop.