Bookmark this page to keep up-to-date with what's happening at Watford Museum. We'll also include information about other interesting local and historical events.
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16.12.2013: Tales of the Vicarage
Watford Museum is the exclusive seller of a new book about Watford Football Club. 'Tales of the Vicarage 2' is a collection of original writings about the Hornets and at £10.99 will make the perfect Christmas gift for any Watford fan! Volume 1 is also available for £9.99 in the museum shop. We've got lots of other gift ideas including books on the history of Watford and stocking fillers for children.
14.12.2013: Staff Excellence Award for Museum Collections Officer
The Watford Museum team were delighted that Luke Clark was awarded a prestigious Watford Borough Council 'SEA' Award at a recent celebration. Luke won the award for innovation - including introducing improvements to the museums collections management and in particular his volunteer development programme!
12.12.2013: Christmas opening
Watford Museum will open as usual until 5pm on 21 December 2013 and will be the perfect place to escape the Christmas rush or pick up a last minute gift. The museum will then close for the festive period, reopening on Thursday 2 January 2014. The Watford Museum team would like to thank you for your support in 2013 and wish you a very happy holiday!
10.12.2013: Dark Heart Forever
Join us for a night of intimate acoustic music performed by local musicians on Saturday 18 January from 6.30pm. The event is a fundraiser for Watford Hospital Radio, to help proceeds towards a new live studio. This studio will be used to enable local artists to perform and go out live on air to Watford listeners. Please join us at Watford Museum for a drink and chance to listen to fantastic local talent!
08.12.2013: Space2 gallery - New Acquisitions from the Watford Museum Collection
A new exhibition exploring the museum's wonderful art collection opens in the museum's Space2 gallery on 9 January. The exhibition will focus on art which has been added to the collection in the last five years, many of which will be displayed to the public for the first time.
22.11.2013: Crafty Christmas fun
Please join us for free family workshops with a festive theme on Saturday 30 November 2013 from 11am-3pm. Places are free and booking is essential!
21.11.2013: Space2 workshops
Join artist Charlie Coffey on Saturday 23 November between 2 and 4pm and create your own perfect cityscape inspired by artist Andy Owen's paintings in The Long Way Here. Use collage, paint, glitter and acetate to make your image stand out like a sci-fi dream! Booking essential. Suitable for Children aged 8-12 years.
15.11.2013: Christmas Cheer at Watford Museum
Join us for our annual mix of refreshments, entertainment and crafts sales, all organised with festive sparkle in partnership with the Little Gallery Tearoom. From 11am until 4pm on Saturday 7th December 2013.
14.11.2013: Festive Handbell Ringing
Join the Friends of Watford Museum for their Christmas event with festive music supplied by the Trefoil Handbell Ringers. The event takes place on Saturday 14 December and admission is free for Friends of Watford Museum or £3 for visitors
31.10.2013: Watford's Bronze Age Hoard
The next talk for the Friends of Watford Museum will be a talk by Laurie Elvin on the Bronze Age Hoard that is the star exhibit in the museum's archaeology gallery. The talk will take place at 2pm on Thursday 14 November. Places are £3 or free for Friends of Watford Museum and booking is advised.
30.10.2013: The Long Way Here
A new exhibition of paintings by Andy Owen opens at Watford Museum on Thursday 31 October. Andy's work captures fleeting details of the suburban landscape, and explores our contemporary environment and the disconnected engagement we have with these everyday surroundings. The exhibition will be on display until 21 December 2013 and admission is free.
29.10.2013: Tomb Number 5: The Dyson Family
A talk and walk by John Bright will look at this significant local brewing family and their impact on pubs and brewing in Watford.
Starting at St Mary's Church this event will take in the Dyson Tomb in the graveyard, a number of sites in the lower end of the High Street where pubs do or did once stand, finishing at Watford Museum to hear about the links this building holds to Watford brewing and a look at the brewing exhibit. Tea and Coffee will be available at the Museum.
Meet at St Mary's Church Hall. This is a free event, but booking is essential. Please contact Watford Museum on 01923 232297 or email email@example.com
28.10.2013: Children's Workshops
Watford Museum presents two workshops inspired by St Mary's Churchyard and the mysterious tale of the Fig Tree Tomb: "A Tomb, a Fig and a Tall Tale" and "Tomb Raiders and Renovators".
Please join us for these creative workshops for children in November. Places are free but booking essential. The workshops are part of the HLF-funded St Mary's Tomb Restoration Project.
For more information, see the leaflet or the activities page.
25.10.2013: New Local History Book Launch
Nearly 60 people attended the launch of Ted Parrish's 'Echoes of Old Watford, Bushey and Oxhey', including Mayor Dorothy Thornhill and three former Mayors of Watford at Watford Museum. Ted was a well-known and well-respected local historian and filmmaker who wrote a series of 96 local history articles entitled 'Ted Parrish Remembers' in the early 1980s for the Watford edition of the 'Evening Post-Echo'. The nostalgic articles covered many aspects of life in the area, including entertainment, transportation, education, VIP and Royal visits, housing, policing, politics and the coming of war.
Ted's daughter, Lesley Dunlop, has published the complete series of articles in 'Echoes of Old Watford, Bushey and Oxhey', adding maps, readers' letters and footnotes. The book has well in excess of 200 illustrations, many of which are appearing in print for the first time. It is now on sale at Watford Museum. Priced at £12.99, it will be a sentimental journey for those old enough to remember the people, the places and the events of earlier decades, and a true eye-opener for younger readers.
18.10.2013: Watford Film House
"Watford Filmhouse is showing another night of archive films in November for those who couldn't make it to the Oxhey Fayre (and also for those who couldn't get inside our packed marquee to see the show). Yes, the past may be a foreign country - but you don't need a passport to get there, just get yourself down to Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church on Friday 15th November.
It seems our friends and neighbours in Oxhey can't get enough local archive film shows and we are more than pleased to oblige. So, hold onto your hats as we whisk you back to a bygone Oxhey with another look at footage of the Oxhey Fayre and the Jubilee Beacon - don't forget to keep an eye out for your friends and family! Plus there will be another chance to see 'Roll Out The Barrel, the British pub on film from 1944 - 1982', plus a particularly nostalgic look, in this day of mobile phones, at some switchboard girls hard at work in 'Love Letters and Live Wires' from the GPO unit (1936). And of course, we have been working with our partners, The University of Hertfordshire, to source some 'new' old material and we hope to have a few new surprises for you in this, our fourth show.
This is a rare opportunity to see some really wonderful footage of people and scenes of bygone Oxhey and one that we think will interest you whatever your age.
AT: Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church, 77 Chalk Hill, WD19 4DA (at the corner of Chalk Hill and King Edward Road)
ON: Friday 15th November at 7.30pm
TICKETS: £4 which includes tea and one of our famous home made cakes. It's first come first served, as our cakes go like err, hot cakes!"
15.10.2013: Adventure playgrounds
Children and young people aged from 5 to 15 are invited to come along and play at Watford's two adventure playgrounds from November to March 2014 for the chance to win a great prize, including a family ticket to Warner Bros studio tour - The making of Harry Potter!
Attendees should pick up a 'Play Passport' on their first visit and make sure they bring it with them and ask a member of staff to enter a stamp each time they visit either Adventure Playground. The person with the most stamps by 30 March 2014, including one from a visit to Watford Museum to complete the set, will win a prize.
Harebreaks Adventure Playground is located at 80 Leggatts Way, WD24 5TD. It's open during term times Tuesday and Thursday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm and weekends, 11.30am to 4pm. During school holidays it is open Tuesday and Thursday, 12.30pm to 3pm and weekends, 11.30am to 4pm.
Harwoods Adventure Playground is located at 209 Vicarage Road, WD18 0GD. It's open during term times Wednesday and Friday, 3.20pm to 5.30pm and weekends, 11.30am to 4pm. During school holidays it is open Wednesday and Friday, 12.30pm to 3pm and weekends, 11.30am to 4pm.
For more information on both Adventure Playgrounds visit www.watford.gov.uk/play.
The Adventure Playgrounds operate an 'open access' principle meaning that children are free to come and go as they please.
Parents are asked to fill out a registration form for their child. You can download a form from our website or fill one out on site on their first day of attendance. For more information visit www.watford.gov.uk/play.
Submission closes 12.00 noon Friday 8th November. Email completed applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any queries before submitting your application please contact: Sophie Cady on email@example.com.
We look forward to your application!
11.10.2013: Little Gallery Tearoom
Each month the museum is transformed to create a welcoming tearoom and pop up gallery, with artisan crafts and delicious refreshments and homemade cakes. The next tearoom will take place on Saturday 26 October 2013, when Kath McMahon will be exhibiting a selection of her gorgeous quilts as well as running informal workshops. Kath McMahon is a Watford lady who has been quilting for many years & she will have quilting kits for sale & small hand sewn items, too.
10.10.2013: The History of St Mary's Church
The next event for the Friends of Watford Museum will be a talk on the history of St Mary's Church by Colin Bullimore on Thursday 17 October at 2pm. The talk will explore the history of Watford's Grade I listed parish church and places cost £3 or are free for Friends of Watford Museum. Booking via Watford Museum is advised.
09.10.2013: Leavesden Hospital History Association
The Leavesden Hospital History Association (LHHA) was started in 2008 by local historian and Abbots Langley Parish Councillor Martin Brooks who served as Three Rivers District Council's first Park Ranger assigned to Leavesden Country Park which he discovered was the former site of the Leavesden Asylum/Hospital (1870-1994), St. Pancras Orphanage (1870-1932), Canadian Hospital (1939-1946) and the Abbots Langley Hospital (1946-1994).
The mission of the LHHA is to ensure that the memories of the nurses, staff and residents of all these institutions are not forgotten. You can find out more by visiting the website: http://www.leavesdenhospital.org
08.10.2013: Sharing Watford's history across the world
We were delighted to welcome Colin Rogers and his family to Watford Museum on his recent visit from South Africa. Colin's ancestors were an important Watford family and he kindly presented a book of the family's fascinating history to the museum.
07.10.2013: Hertfordshire Heritage Fund Grant
Visitors to Watford Museum can now view two perfectly preserved gold and enamel medals awarded to a former Watford FC director, George Timberlake.
George Timberlake was a significant figure, not only in the history of Watford Football Club, but also as a borough councillor, playing a prominent role in the civic development of Watford during the early 20th Century.
Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "The medals represent a significant individual and are illustrative of the role he played in Watford's history and the heritage of the area. We are thrilled they are now part of our Museum's collection, and available for the public to enjoy."
The two 9ct. gold and enamel medals awarded to George Timberlake in the 1920s - a Southern Football League Medal, and a Long Service Medal - cost £300. The Museum received funding from the Hertfordshire Heritage Fund (HHF) to purchase the medals. The HHF was launched in 1988 to support museums and archives in Hertfordshire and enable them to purchase items relating to the county's past and make them accessible to the public.
The medals have gone on display with other sports-related recent additions to the collection including a Watford Football Club medal awarded to George Badenoch donated by Paul Barrie, Watford Cheetahs American Football shirt and helmet donated by Shane Wilden and Watford Cycling Club Trophies donated by David Cure.
The photo shows Dorothy Abel-Smith of the HHF presenting the medals to Mayor Dorothy Thornhill and Museum Collections Officer Luke Clark.
04.10.2013: Watford in the 20th Century - Volume III
Watford Museum was delighted to host the launch of the 3rd volume of the Watford Observer's hugely successful 'Watford in the 20th Century'. The book is now on sale at the museum for £12.99.
03.10.2013: Poetic Galaxy Exhibition
A 'Poetic Galaxy' of poems has gone on display in the foyer of Watford Museum. The collection was developed from workshops as part of Learning Through The Arts led by Creative Director, Ademola Adenjii. The exhibition will be on display from 3 to 24 October 2013.
02.10.2013: Football medal donated from Canada
A 9ct gold medal presented to George Badenoch when Watford FC won the Southern League Division II Championship in 1903-4 has been donated to the museum by Avril Barrie and Rob Bartholomew of Ontario, Canada.
Badenoch played for Watford for three seasons between 1903-1906 and later went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town. He emigrated to Canada but was killed during the First World War while serving with the 1st Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment).
The medal was brought back to Watford by Hornet fan Paul Barrie who was told about the medal on a recent visit to family in Canada.
Submission closes 12.00 noon Friday 8th November. Email completed applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any queries before submitting your application please contact: Sophie Cady on email@example.com.
We look forward to your application!
25.09.2013: Halloween Dance Workshop
Learn a dance sequence inspired by the residents of a spooky house and create your own scary dance moves!
This free workshop will take place at Watford Museum on Saturday 19th October from 11am to 12 noon. It's suitable for 5-11 year olds and booking essential! And don't forget to wear comfy clothes!
17.09.2013: St Mary's Churchyard Tombs Restoration Project events
Two more talks have been organised as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore the tombs in St Mary's Churchyard.
On 24 September at 2.30pm meeting at St Mary's Church Hall, Mary Forsyth will talk on the Churchyard Tombs looking at the people buried there. On Saturday 12 October at 2pm at Watford Museum, Katherine Eustace, Editor of the Sculpture Journal will give a talk on Watford's Tombs - the Gap Between Life and Death.
Both talks are free but booking is essential. You can find out more about the project at the project website.
16.09.2013: Day of the Dead at Watford Museum
This year's Halloween event at Watford Museum will have a Mexican inspired 'Day of the Dead' theme. Every year this colourful event takes place in Mexico where all ages dress up and celebrate their ancestors.
There will be free workshops and activities for families plus the opportunity to find out more about the Heritage Lottery Funded St Mary's Churchyard Tombs Restoration project. The event will take place on Saturday 26 October and booking for workshops is essential.
06.09.2013: St Mary's Churchyard Tombs Restoration Project
Watford Borough Council has been awarded a grant of £80,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a project to help restore a number of tombs in St Mary's Churchyard.
The project includes repairs to 13 locally and nationally listed tombs of key people who helped shape the development of Watford during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Find out more about the project on the Watford Junction website.
05.09.2013: Current Conflicts
The next exhibition in the museum's Space2 gallery sees six artists working with photography approach the subject of contemporary war. Featuring the work of Matthew Andrew, Christopher Down, Les Monaghan, Richard Monje, Jamie Simonds and Olivia Robinson, the exhibition will go on display from Friday 6 September to Saturday 26 October 2013.
There will also be an Artists' Talk on Saturday 7 September at 1pm. Admission is free for the talk but booking recommended.
30.08.2013: Heritage Open Days update
There are Heritage Open Days events throughout the town from 12 to 15 September. St Mary's Church will be open from 10 until 4 each day and spaces are still available on free workshops at the library.
Although Little Cassiobury cannot be part of the Heritage Open Days because insurance does not cover anyone other than contractors/surveyors etc. entering the building, an Art Sale is being held in the garden of the house on 14th September from 11am until 3pm Anyone coming along to that will be able to look around the outside of the property; there will also be information about the house if people wish to find out more.
19.08.2013: Heritage Open Days
We are pleased to launch the programme for this year's Heritage Open Days in Watford - and participation in this national celebration of heritage looks to be our biggest ever!
From 12 to 15 September 2013 there will be events across the town including tours, open house events, workshops and more. Discover behind the scenes at local landmarks, uncover your own heritage or see the model used in the development of the Bouncing Bomb.
The museum will be hosting a special event by the Watford Folk Club, with traditional folk music, shanties, storytelling and workshops on Saturday 14 September.
16.08.2013: The Little Gallery Tearoom
The Little Gallery Tearoom on Saturday 24 August will feature the prints of Sheila de Rosa. Sheila's exhibition will run through from the Tearoom day on Saturday 28 August to Friday 28 September, so there's plenty of time to pop in and have a look.
Sheila will display at Watford Museum a selection of Solar Plate prints based on rare archival photographs of Historical Watford, and a few of the local towns of Tring and Berkhamsted.
Christine will be serving her cakes and teas, as always, of course.
Do join us!
12.08.2013: Folk Day
Watford Folk Club is proud to team up with friend and neighbour, Watford Museum, to take you back in time through stories and song in a Folk Day on Saturday 14 September 2013. Join us for songs that are from the past and about the past but still resonate with us all today. From ordinary folk, to lords and ladies, from the hearth to the harbour, come along and enjoy an afternoon of workshops and song. Light refreshments will be available and you can find out more about your local folk club, just down the road at The Pump House. The event takes place from 11am to 3pm and is free. No book necessary!
The event is part of Heritage Open Days weekend activities in Watford. Look out for more information coming soon.
05.08.2013: St Mary's Tombs Conservation
If you have walked through St Mary's Churchyard recently you will have noticed the restoration work currently taking place on the 12 chest tombs. This is part of a Watford Museum and Watford Borough Council Planning Department Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore the tombs and to explore the heritage of the key eighteenth and nineteenth Watford residents to whom the tombs belong.
The team carrying out the restoration work are from Sally Strachey Historic Conservation, experts in the conservation of historic buildings, monuments and sculpture. If you would like to find out more about the project and the specialist stone conservation works taking place, members of the team will be talking through some of the treatments they are completing on site at the churchyard.
The events will take place on Monday 5 August 2013 at 12.15pm and Tuesday 20 August 2013 at 6pm. The events are free to attend, please meet at the spiral sculpture in the churchyard 5 minutes before. For more information please contact Victoria or Sarah at Watford Museum on 01923 232297
24.07.2013: Watford Museum Family Fun Day
Join us for a free summer event with lots of fun for families, all with a Watford heritage theme! Part of the Heritage Lottery Funded St Mary's Tomb Project, the celebration will take place between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 3 August 2013. Workshops are free but booking is essential.
03.07.2013: You told me you loved me...
"You Told Me You Loved Me...And Then I Was Trapped", an exhibition of sculpture and photography by Erin Veness, opens on 5th July 2013 in the museum's Space2 gallery.
Two origami workshops will take place on 9th and 10th August between 10.00am and 12.00pm. The workshops are suitable for children aged 8 to 12. Spaces are free but limited. Please call Watford Museum to book your place.
21.06.2013: New Connections
Come along and join the friendly creative dance group for the over 50s at Watford Museum. New Connections is led by Laura Horn, Dance Development Artist for DanceDigital. Sessions run every Wednesday, from 10.30 - 11.30am and cost £3 per class.
This class explores gentle and fluid movement sequences that gradually increase joint mobility and muscular strength. Each exercise can be easily adapted to suit each individual's physical ability. All movements can be performed standing, seated or supported.
The creative elements give participants the opportunity to work together and develop their own movements in response to tasks and group ideas. This provides a stimulating workout for the brain, which enhances everyday brain functions such as memory.
More importantly! Tea and Coffee is provided after the session, giving time to unwind and socialise.
For more information and to book your place please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call DanceDigital on 01277 362362 or call 01277 362362
19.06.2013: Something out of nothing
dancedigital, Watford Museum and 30 local community performers invite you to join them in an interactive live dance and technology performance as part of Watford Live! on Saturday 29 June 2013, 2pm and 3:30pm at the Watford Museum. It's free and there's no need to book!
The performance will be a celebration of the process of a community dance project that has been taking place at the Watford Museum across May and June. This unique promenade performance will include dance, drumming, film and animation. A group of exciting young composers from The Purcell School have created music especially for the event.
The cross-generational performance event has been brought together by a collaboration between DanceDigital, Watford Museum, Hertfordshire Music Service, Quirky Pictures, Watford Community Housing Trust, and The Purcell School and is supported by Watford Borough Council and the Royal Opera House Bridge.
06.06.2013: Pop In To The Pop-Up!
Once again, Watford Filmhouse will have a presence at the Oxhey Fair and this year will be arriving with a much bigger, better tent and yes, even more fascinating archive films! They have been busy with their partners from the University of Hertfordshire ferreting out more fascinating archive films and think they have come up with some corkers!
The fun starts at 1pm with a rolling programme that will continue until 5pm featuring golden oldies such as the mysterious Oxhey chasm of 1927, some fascinating footage from the GPO film unit called, 'Love Letters and Live Wires' which dates from 1936 and then there's, 'Roll Out The Barrel - the British Pub on Film' from 1944 to 1982. Going even further back, they have 'Fairy Tales', which features very early colour stencil films from 1901.
Add to this, archive memories of Hertfordshire and some newly acquired archive footage of Oxhey, all mixed in with some newer footage of the Oxhey Fayre from 2000 and also the 2002 Golden Jubilee Beacon, and there's a very special afternoon in store for you.
The free pop up cinema will be showing archive films of Oxhey and Hertfordshire at the Oxhey Fayre on June 15th from 1 - 5pm.
05.06.2013: Introduction to acting
An 'Introduction to Acting' workshop at the Museum on Saturday 8th June from midday until 1pm will give you a taste of the techniques and exercises used by professional actors. From improvisation to actioning, voice coaching to states of tension - not only will this workshop provide a fun and creative insight into the acting profession but many of the exercises can be useful for other professions and in everyday life.
This is a free event as part of Watford Live! and is suitable for over eighteens.
To book please contact Samantha Ng: email@example.com
04.06.2013: Sketchbook Project and Degree Show
Local artist Julie Liebling was inspired by some of the Museum's glass bottles and stone jars to create a series of watercolours for "The Sketchbook Project 2013".
This international project, organized by the Art House Co-op, Brooklyn Art Library, New York, invites creative people from all over the world to participate in a variety of art projects. Julie's sketchbook called "At Watford Museum, Hertfordshire" will reside permanently at Brooklyn Art Library. However, it is currently touring North America, in a mobile library - with all of the participating sketchbooks!
To find out more about this fascinating project, to see photographs of "The Sketchbook Project 2013" tour or to access Julie's sketchbook on line please visit the website.
Julie will also be is exhibiting a series of abstract paintings at the 'Headlines' Degree Show. This will take place at the School of Creative Arts, College Lane Campus, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, June 6th - 12th (closed Sun. 9th) from 10.00 a.m. - 4.00p.m. The Private View is 6-10 p.m. on Wednesday 5th June and all are welcome to attend this event.
31.05.2013: The Little Gallery Tearoom for Watford Live!
The next Little Gallery Tearoom event will be a 'Showtime' tearoom at Watford Museum for the Watford Live! Festival on Saturday 22 June. As well as delicious refreshments there will be live music, dance demonstrations and a 'pop-up' shop of work from local artisans.
30.05.2013: Friends of Frogmore House
The Watford Museum is to host an event in collaboration with The Temple Trust to mark the official launch of the 'Friends of Frogmore House' on Saturday 13 July at 2pm.
The Temple Trust has been encouraged by the overwhelming local response to a very successful series of talks on Frogmore House held at the Museum over the last five months. They hope anyone interested in Frogmore House will come and support the event and celebrate with tea and cake.
29.05.2013: Landmark for the Nascot Residents Association
The museum hosted a recent celebration by the Nascot Residents Association of the 60th edition of the Nascot News. The Mayor Dorothy Thornhill was on hand to cut the cake with members of the association.
28.05.2013: St Mary's Tombs Restoration Project
With funding secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund, work begins this summer on a project to restore and celebrate the tombs around St Mary's Church.
All ages will be able to get involved with activities including family events, tours, art activities and adult workshops.
For more information contact Sarah Priestley at the museum. The first event is an Introduction to Archaeological Photography on Saturday 19th 2013. See the activities page for more information.
24.05.2013: Come on you 'Orns!
Watford Museum is proud to wear colours in support of Watford FC's trip to Wembley for the Championship Playoff Final. Come on you 'Orns!
24.05.2013: Watford Area Art Forum Exhibition for Watford Live!
The annual art exhibition organised by the WAAF for Watford Live returns with an exciting new theme - Paint a Poem. For more information, visit the WAAF website.
23.05.2013: Echoes of Old Watford, Bushey and Oxhey
The launch of a new book will take place at Watford Museum in October, based on the local history newspaper articles written by Ted Parrish for the Evening Post-Echo newspaper in the early 1980s.
In addition to his incredible recollections of life in the area through the decades, the book will include footnotes, maps, a selection of readers' letters and more than 200 illustrations, a significant number of which will be appearing in print for the first time.
For more information please visit the website at www.pastdayspublishing.com.
02.05.2013: Foyer exhibition
An exhibition of photography and screen-printing has gone on display in the museum's foyer until 25th May, by local artists John and Beverley Crook who are father and daughter.
30.04.2013: Paintings by Paul Crook
An exhibition of paintings by Paul Crook opens on 2nd May 2013 in the museum's Space2 gallery and continues until 29th June.
Paul was born in Wigan Lancashire. He studied a BA(Hons) Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, Cornwall and an MA in Fine Art at Birmingham Polytechnic. He is now based in Leamington Spa, where he has a studio and works as a lecturer in fine art at Warwickshire School of Art. Since graduating from university his paintings have been selected for exhibition in the UK and internationally. Recently he has been awarded two national art prizes and a number of his paintings are included in private collections.
Paul's current collection of paintings deals with the essential properties of painting, such as the manipulation of materials and the production process; at the same time they question the way we understand and engage with the urban landscape that surrounds us.
29.04.2013: Museums at Night at Watford Museum
Join us for a spectacular night of music, history and art on Saturday 18 May 2013. The evening will feature acoustic music from Minnie Birch, Emma Wilson and Tom Craven, and an incredible 'Drawing Theatre' by the London Drawing Company fusing theatre and drawing. General admission is free from 6-9pm. Participation in the Drawing Theatre is �3 and booking is advised.
25.04.2013: Little Gallery Tearoom
This months tearoom at Watford Museum is on Saturday April 27th, 10.30am 'til 4pm.
We are delighted to have the talented local artisan Caroline Davis as our exhibitor this month. Caroline lives in Croxley Green and is a stained glass artist. She exhibits and sells her work under the name of Aspen Stained Glass. Her website is www.aspenstainedglass.co.uk.
Christine (the tearoom proprietor) met Caroline at the big Christmas Artisans Fair at Watford Colosseum in December. Christine had never seen bunting made from stained glass before and had to buy some on the spot! We are sure you will enjoy Caroline's gorgeous range of work, too, and want to fill you homes and gardens with her beautiful reflective colours!
Caroline will be exhibiting a variety of work for both the home and garden, including tealight holders, bunting, garden panels and tree decorations, as well as undertaking talks and demonstrations at 11.30am and 2.30pm.
Caroline also takes commissions for one-off pieces and stained glass windows, and she will display the delightful photos of her previous commissions, at the tearoom.
Christine will be serving her freshly homemade cakes as always, with fresh brews of tea and coffee always on the go.
We do hope you can join us.
22.04.2013: Family Fun and Have Your Say Day in Cassiobury Park
On Saturday 18 May there will be a free event in Cassiobury Park as part of the Heritage Lottery Funding bid improvements for the park. Activities include displays and fun for all ages, including heritage and wildlife walks.
21.04.2013: The Work of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust
The next talk for the Friends of Watford Museum will be an introduction to the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust by Kate Harwood on Thursday 9 May at 2pm. Admission is free for Friends of Watford Museum or £3 for visitors. Booking is advised.
19.04.2013: Celebrating the heritage of Watford
A new heritage guide to Watford has been produced which celebrates the architectural and social history of the town.
Created by Watford Museum in collaboration with the Friends of Watford Museum, the small picture book includes references to the town's print and brewing industries, the railway and highlights 41 historically notable sights. With over 90 nationally listed and 240 locally listed buildings, there is a lot to discover in Watford!
The printing of the book was paid for with a grant from the Mayor's Community Fund, which offers grants of up to �2000 to community groups who wish to celebrate the town's history or diversity. Copies of the guide are on sale at Watford Museum for £3.
09.04.2013: Dance Digital
People of all ages are invited to join DanceDigital to take part in a performance event at Watford Museum as part of Watford Live. The project will bring your stories to life with dance, music, animation and technology. Come along to take part as a family or as an individual; there will be something for everyone!
Rehearsals take place on 11th, 30th and 31st May, 1st and 15th June between 10am and 4pm. The final performance is on 29th June.
08.04.2013: Designing the Extraordinary
An exhibition of fashion by designers at West Herts College is now on display at Watford Museum. This display of cutting edge textiles and fashion continues until 25 April.
28.03.2013: Archive Film
In collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire, Watford Filmhouse presents a rare opportunity to see some fascinating archive footage of the people and scenes of bygone Oxhey and Hertfordshire.
The event takes place at Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church on Friday 26th April at 7.30pm. Entry is free and there's no need to book.
21.03.2013: Andy Taylor - A Waterways Chaplain
The next talk for the Friends of Watford Museum will be a talk by Andy Taylor, Watford's Waterways Chaplain, on Thursday 18 April at 2013. Talks are Free for Friends of Watford Museum, or �3 for members of the public.
20.03.2013: Hertfordshire Association of Museums Small Grant
Watford Museum has been awarded a grant by the Hertfordshire Association of Museums to purchase a new digital camera and tripod to enable us to better photograph and document our wonderful collections.
19.03.2013: Paint a Poem for Watford Live
Poetic painters, photographers, printmakers and collage creators are invited to stretch their imagination beyond the obvious for this year's Watford Live! Art Competition organised by Watford Area Arts Forum. The title, Paint a Poem, may need a little mulling over before artists set about creating a work to wow the visitors to the exhibition at Watford Museum, from June 1 to June 21. For once, the sky really is the limit - as long as the works of art do not exceed one metre square in size.
For details and entry forms, visit the Watford Area Arts Forum website.
18.03.2013: Art Skills Workshops
Learning Through the Arts will be providing weekly creative workshops for adults in March on Fridays from 10am to 12 noon. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07577 273597.
15.03.2013: The Crafty Sew and Sews workshops
As part of the Little Gallery Tearoom on 23 March, the Craft Sew and Sews will be on hand with advice for crafters and free drop-in workshops to try your hand at crafts.
Please see the activities page for more information.
14.03.2013: The Little Gallery Tearoom
Every month a pop-up tearoom and gallery takes place at Watford Museum, showcasing the work of local artists and crafters as well as delicious cakes and refreshments. The next tearoom takes place on Saturday 23 March and will feature West Watford Community Centre's Crafty Sew and Sews!
13.03.2013: Kelly Jenkins exhibition
An exhibition of Kelly Jenkins' 'Paint With Thread' will take place in our Space2 gallery between 7 March and 27 April 2013. This will be the first time many of these works will be on display to the public.
There will also be a 'Paint With Thread' workshop on 6 April 2013. This will comprise and artist's talk followed by an introduction to freestyle machine embroidery, with limited places. Suitable for adults, admission free.
12.03.2013: Easter Fun at Watford Museum
Please join us for Easter fun at Watford Museum on Saturday 30th March. Free holiday activities for families include an Easter Egg hunt and workshops by Pumpkin Crafts. Booking for workshops is essential!
Please see the activities page for more information.
11.03.2013: Listed Tombs Restoration - Successful Bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund
Watford Borough Council's Planning Policy Team and Watford Museum have been awarded a grant of £80,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a project to help restore a number of chest tombs in St Mary's Churchyard.
The memorial structures include a range of locally and nationally listed tombs that reflect key people who helped shape the development of Watford during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The project includes repairs to the 12 memorial structures in St Mary's Conservation Area, as well as other improvements that will make their history more accessible.
Wider plans include a series of educational talks, workshops, leaflets, an animated film and new signage. The project will also provide practical work experience for a group of students from West Herts College. As well as ensuring that the tombs are no longer at risk of further degradation, the project will help to enhance the popular green space that sits in the heart of the town centre.
This is a collaborative project involving Watford Borough Council, St Mary's Church, Watford Museum, Watford Central Library, West Herts College, Watford and District Industrial History Society and the South West Herts Archaeological and Historical Society. Staff from the museum provided significant input into the application process and will be managing the various educational activities planned for later this year. Enhancement works will take place during the summer.
11.02.2013: Lynda Sargent Photography Talk
Free talks by Lynda Sargent about her exhibition - a unique photographic journey around the world. Part of the Little Gallery Tearoom - no booking necessary. 11.30am and 2.30pm, Saturday 23 February 2013
08.02.2013: Neil McCarty exhibition
Photographer Neil McCarty has spent the last few years photographing local bands and musicians performing in Watford and throughout Hertfordshire. He now presents a collection of this work at Watford Museum. His work is very original and musicians are always thrilled to be snapped by him! The foyer exhibition continues to 22 February 2013.
23.01.2013: Music Making Workshop
To coincide with the music-themed workshop, the museum is hosting a Music Making Workshop by Will Embliss from 1-3pm on Saturday 26 January. Places are suitable for ages 8+ and free but booking is essential!
18.01.2013: Early closing due to severe weather
Due to severe weather conditions the museum is closing at 2pm today.
18.01.2013: Cassiobury Art Exhibition
An exhibition of watercolours from Watford Museum's Cassiobury art collection is now on display in the Space2 gallery. The exhibition explores the history of Cassiobury through works by artists including JMW Turner, Thomas Girtin and an even an Earl of Essex. The exhibition will be on display from until 23 February and admission is free.
An introduction to how Cassiobury has been interpreted through watercolour, Annette Kendall will be giving short talks in the gallery about the exhibition on 26 January, 2 February and 9 February. Talks start at 11am and are free but booking is advisable.
17.01.2013: The Royal Parks
The next Friends of Watford Museum talk will be about the Royal Parks by Jim Buttress, royal gardener. The talk will take place on Friday 8th February at 2pm. Admission is �3 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.
16.01.2013: The Little Gallery Tearoom
Every month Christine holds a pop-up tearoom and gallery at Watford Museum. The next tearoom on Saturday 26 January will have a music theme, featuring work by photographer Neil McCarty who has spent the last few years photographing local bands and musicians in Watford and the local area. The event will be complimented by a Music Making Workshop by Will Embliss and a music themed tearoom would not be complete without music! So there will be live performances throughout the day from Minnie Birch, Joe Bernie, Skopje, Sam Neale, Broken Boat and Ménage a Trois.
The tearoom will be complimented by a Music Instrument Making Workshop by Will Embliss for ages 8+ from 1-3pm. Places are free but booking essential!
Neil McCarty's exhibition is at the Museum from January 26th until February 22nd. The Music Tearoom is on January 26th from 10.30am 'til 4pm.
15.01.2013: The Foggiest Ideal workshop
MewLab in collaboration with Watford Live, West Herts College, Watford Borough Council and the residents of Watford are creating 'The Foggiest Ideal', a hand-crafted short animation film. On Saturday 19 January from 10.30am to 4.30pm they will be working on the film at the museum. No need to book - just turn up and be a part of something unique and beautiful!
14.01.2013: It's a mystery...
The Watford Observer's Facebook page regularly posts a popular 'mystery photograph' for people to identity. Last week's photograph looked particularly familiar - a close up of the museum's Grade II listed railings! Thank you very much to the Watford Observer for the wonderful photograph and letting us share it.
10.01.2013: Hertfordshire Fire Museum
Just across the road from Watford Museum on the Lower High Street is the Hertfordshire Fire Museum, based at Watford Fire Station.
The museum's open days for 2013 will take place on the following Saturdays from 1pm-4pm, 20th April, 18th May, 15th June, 13th July, 10th August, 31st August (Fire Station Open Day).
For more information visit their page at http://fire.watfordmuseum.org.uk.
21.12.2012: Happy Christmas
Everyone at Watford Museum wishes you a very happy Christmas and New Year! We are closed after Saturday 22nd December until Thursday 3rd January, so we look forward to seeing you all in 2013!
20.12.2012: New Year and Spring Traditions
The Friends of Watford Museum will host a talk on New Year and Spring Traditions by Janet Dineen on Friday 11 January at 2pm. Admission is �3 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.
19.12.2012: Frogmore House - An amazing past and a bright future
Due to incredible demand, Suzannah Fleming of the Temple Trust will return again to the museum to give talk on Frogmore House on Saturday 12 January 2012 at 2pm. The house is one of Watford's Grade II* listed buildings and booking for the talk is essential.
18.12.2012: The Little Gallery Tearoom
The last tearoom of 2012 on Saturday 22 December between 10.30am and 4pm will be an oasis away from all the Christmas shopping and planning. Join Christine for festive refreshments including hot chocolate and Christmassy snacks.
13.12.2012: Christmas Craft Shop at Watford Museum
The Little Gallery Tearoom has organised a beautiful artisans' shop with gorgeous locally made goodies. Perfect for unique gifts and lovely stocking-fillers. The shop will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm until 21 December 2012.
13.12.2012: Happy 75th Birthday to North Watford Library!
North Watford Library is celebrating 75 years on Tuesday with a free event from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday 18 December.
04.12.2012: Christmas and New Year
The museum will close at 5pm on Saturday 22 December 2012 and reopen at 10am on Thursday 3 January 2012.
27.11.2012: Audentior Award for Museum Volunteer
Congratulations to Mary Forsyth on her Special Achievement Award at Watford Borough Council's Audentior Awards. Mayor Dorothy Thornhill presented the award and presented a summary of some of Mary's achievements:
Mary has been the Chair of the Friends of Watford Museum since its creation in 1998. Its very being owes much to her passion and drive to preserve the history of Watford.
She devotes many hours of her time to research and is often to be found at the museum providing answers to members of the public. Her knowledge of Watford's buildings and their histories is vast and her help is often sought by council officers and press alike.
Her work with the council's planning department includes raising attention to neglected problems, checking draft documents and providing detailed research to aid projects.
Mary's commitment to recording the history of Watford is something that benefits the wider community.
22.11.2012: The Foggiest Ideal workshop
MewLab in collaboration with Watford Live, West Herts College and the residents of Watford are creating 'The Foggiest Ideal', a hand-crafted short animated film. Join them for a free workshop at Watford Museum, 10.30am - 4.30pm, on Saturday 19th January 2013. No booking necessary.
21.11.2012: Little Gallery Tearoom
It's time for the November Little Gallery Tearoom! On Saturday 24th November 2012, at the Museum from 10.30 'til 4pm the Tearoom is going to be all dressed up!
This month we have a sewing theme, with a vintage twist. Emma from 'Oh Sew Vintage' and Jax from 'Mrs Bee Vintage' are holding little mini sewing workshops (how to jazz up a cardigan with covered buttons and vintage style edging and how to make fabric roses for brooches and hair slides). They will also be show~casing their beautiful vintage dresses, taking orders, selling gorgeous sewing wares and much, much more... There'll also be vintage sewing patterns and books for sale as well as sewing themed cakes to enjoy.
13.11.2012: Wellspring Cafe
Congratulations to our neighbours, Watford Community Church, on the official opening of the Wellspring Cafe by Mayor Dorothy Thornhill!
12.11.2012: Over 50s Dance Group
Free taster sessions of dance for over 50s will be taking place on Tuesdays at Watford Museum from 20 November! For more information contact: email@example.com
01.11.2012: Christmas Cheer at Watford Museum!
Join us for free festive fun on Saturday 8th December 2012 from 11am to 4pm.
Activities include a special Dial Up Christmas Knees Up, refreshments by Christine of the Little Gallery Tearoom, Christmas craft workshops and a pop-up shop of crafts and gifts. Workshops are free and suitable for all ages but booking is essential!
27.10.2012: Marie Mackay - Lens-based Painting
A new exhibition in the Space2 Gallery at Watford Museum opens on Thursday 1 November. Marie Mackay's 'lens based paintings' will be on display until Saturday 22 December. She will also be leading a workshop for adults introducing them to some photo montage techniques, Saturday 10 November, 1-4pm. Use materials provided or bring your own! Places are free but please book in advance.
26.10.2012: The Dancing Woman is welcomed to her new home
Representatives from Watford Museum were there to see the sculpture known as the Dancing Woman officially unveiled at its new home at Cheslyn House and Gardens in Nascot Wood Road.
For many years the sculpture had formed part of a water feature opposite the Town Hall, but after vandalism it was decided to move and restore the sculpture, with assistance from Museum Officer Victoria Jones.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill said: "In December 2011 we made the decision to repair and restore the sculpture and relocate it to Cheslyn House. This wonderful piece of art has received a magnificent replacement hand and thorough repair and I am sure you agree it looks better than new!"
The sculpture was donated to the town in 1962 by the prominent London solicitor, William Percy King who lived in Nascot Wood Road. King was a long standing resident with a passion for Watford, describing the town as "marvellously well run...very few towns have all the amenities we have and I'm very grateful."
24.10.2012: Arts Skills Project
Watford Museum will be hosting skills workshops in November and December that have been organised by Learning Through The Arts. The sessions are free and suitable for adults aged 18+. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
23.10.2012: Frogmore House - an amazing past and a bright future
Due to so much interest, Suzannah Fleming of the Temple Trust has agreed to present her talk on Frogmore House on Wednesday 12 December at 6pm. The talk is free but booking is essential.
16.10.2012: Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision
Sir Peter Lely was England's leading painter from the period of the Civil War to the reign of Charles II. Watford Museum boasts two of his works on permanent display in our Cassiobury Gallery, of Arthur Capel, 1st Earl of Essex, and his wife Lady Elizabeth Percy.
His work is now the focus of a major exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, on display until 13 January 2013. This exhibition examines a remarkable but forgotten group of his early paintings, depicting a sensuous world of shepherds, nymphs and musicians.
For more information, visit the Courtauld Gallery website.
15.10.2012: October's Little Gallery Tearoom
Every month Christine holds a pop-up tearoom and gallery at Watford Museum, and in October it is the turn of local artist Ruby Lewis to exhibit her work. Ruby is from Kings Langley and combines colour and texture in her abstract landscape paintings, exploring the spiritual quality of colour. And of course Christine will be providing a delicious array of cakes and refreshments!
The tearoom will be open from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday 27 October 2012.
09.10.2012: SW Herts Archaeological and Historical Society Lecture Programme
The society provides a varied programme of lectures and outings and visitors are welcome. Please download their 2012/3 leaflet for more information.
08.10.2012: Gallery submissions for 2013
Space2 Gallery at Watford Museum is looking to provide artists with a chance to exhibit their work and encourage Watford people to enjoy the visual arts by calling for submissions of exciting art work of all forms during 2013.
This is an amazing opportunity for artists to use the Space2 Gallery. The gallery has 25 metres of rail and space for 3D artwork. We are looking for new and innovative art work created in the last two years, to really show off artists' talent.
The deadline for submission of artwork for exhibiting at Space2 during 2013 is on Wednesday 24 October 2012. There is no charge for use of the Gallery but a commission of 30% of sales will be charged to meet the costs of promoting and hosting the exhibition. Artists are also asked to take part in talks, events and educational sessions.
Arts Development Officer
Watford Borough Council
Watford Town Hall
or email to email@example.com
05.10.2012: Watford Observer Book Launch
The museum was proud to host the launch of the Watford Observer's new book, Watford in the 20th Century Volume 2 by Oliver Phillips. The book, which covers the period from 1939 to 1959 in the Watford area, is on sale at Watford Museum at £12.99.
28.09.2012: Workshop cancellation
Due to circumstances outside our control the Space2 Trash to Treasure Workshop on Saturday 29 September has had to be cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
24.09.2012: Frogmore House: An Amazing Past and Bright Future
Due to the incredible interest in the talk on Frogmore House at Watford Museum in October, Suzannah Fleming of the Temple Trust has agreed to return on Saturday 17th November at 2pm. Booking is essential!
21.09.2012: Halloween fun at Watford Museum!
We'll be hosting a free Halloween Craft Workshop making your own spooky spiders and ghastly ghosts. The sessions are suitable for kids and adults and will take place from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 27 August 2012. The workshop is free but we advise people to book places in advance on 01923 232297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And brave older children and adults can join us for a Ghosts and Legends High Street Trail. This walking tour of Watford's spooky history will introduce you to some of the local ghosts and villains and is suitable for ages 8 and above. The trail is £4 per person and booking in advance is essential.
20.09.2012: Martin Knight Ceramic Exhibition
An exhibition and sale of handmade ceramics goes on display in the foyer of Watford Museum on 22 September 2012. Over 50 unique glazed ceramic milk bottles feature in the display which continues until 26 October 2012.
19.09.2012: Heritage Open Days
Thank you to all the venues who opened their doors to make Watford's event such a great success! Free events, exhibitions and tours enjoyed by visitors to Watford's churches, library, hospice, charities, business and private residences.
18.09.2012: Little Gallery Tearoom
Once a month Christine transforms the foyer of Watford Museum into a cosy tearoom with the added bonus of showing the work of local artisans, for her customers to enjoy and make purchases. All her cakes and biscuits are freshly home baked and she serves a variety of teas and coffees.
For the September tearoom she is planning on lavender cake, lemon drizzle cake, caraway muffins and Queen Mothers favourite cake amongst others.
This month Martin Knight is exhibiting. Local man Martin has come up with a fabulous idea of making ceramic milk bottles. They are made using the original products as moulds. They make gorgeous and very original vases, ornaments and milk jugs. Each is glazed differently from the next and Christine will definitely be making a purchase and serving the tearoom milk from one!
The September Tearoom is on Saturday 22nd, between 10.30am and 4pm.
17.09.2012: Frogmore House
The museum will host a talk on the history of Frogmore House and plans for its future by Suzannah Fleming of the Temple Trust on 6 October 2012 at 2pm. This Grade II* building is one of Watford's gems and booking is essential.
05.09.2012: Space2 events
The exhibiting artists from the 'Recycle, Reuse, Renew' exhibition in the Space2 gallery are running two free workshops on Saturday 29th September and Saturday 6th October. Please see the activities page for more details.
03.09.2012: Recycle, Reuse, Renew
A new exhibition has opened in the Space2 gallery. Recycle, Reuse, Renew by Vanda Campbell, Tanya St. Leger and Davina Thomas will be on display until 27 October 2012.
15.08.2012: Heritage Open Days in Watford
This year's programme of special openings and activities in venues across Watford is bigger than ever before.
Watford 'gems' including Holy Rood and St Mary's Churches and Free School will all be taking part again this year alongside new venues including Callowlands and Sudgen House - the latter our most recently nationally listed building.
Events take place from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September and booking through the museum is required for some tours.
10.08.2012: Storybook Dads Art Auction
An Art Auction is being held at Watford Central Library for Storybook Dads, a project that recently appeared at the Little Gallery Tearoom at Watford Museum. For more information about this event, please email email@example.com
04.08.2012: The Little Gallery Tearoom
Christine's monthly mix of cakes, crafts and chat will return on Saturday 25 August from 10.30am to 4pm. This month the tearoom welcomes Smithy's Painted Furniture - unique handpainted upcycled and vintage furniture which are all one-offs and statement pieces.
03.08.2012: Eid activities at Watford Museum
Watford Museum will be hosting some activities being organised by the Palace Theatre Watford to accompany their exciting Eid celebration event. Please see the activities page for more information.