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.
29.08.2008: Art Appreciation
After the success of his summer talks, Watford Museum's resident artist Martin Smith will be giving a further series of art appreciation lectures. For more information, visit our activities page.
27.08.2008: Hertfordshire Names Online
An invaluable new internet service for family history enthusiasts has just been launched by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies. The new website facility, Hertfordshire Names Online, allows researchers to search the entire index of genealogical material and documents from 1230, all at the click of a mouse. Up to now, these records have only been accessible at Hertfordshire Archives.
As well as allowing researchers to search for records against a given name and date, the website allows requests to be made for copies of documents instead of visiting Hertfordshire Archives to see the originals.
For more information, visit www.hertsdirect.org/hals.
12.08.2008: Fire Museum opens its doors
The Fire Museum at Watford Fire Station will open their doors for a special open day on Saturday 16th August 2008 between 1pm and 4pm.
For more information about this 'hidden gem' of a museum, visit their website.
11.08.2008: St Paul's revealed
Join the Friends of Watford Museum for a fascinating talk on St Paul's Cathedral on Thursday 14th August 2008 at 2pm. The talk will be given by Jo and John Brewster and is free for Friends or £2 for visitors.
Details of other forthcoming Friends talks are on the activities page.
08.08.2008: 'Share' an exhibition at Space 2
Watford Museum's Space 2 gallery is hosting an exhibition of photography by Jeannot Posso; 'Share' will be on show until 6th September 2008. For more information, visit the Space 2 page.
08.08.2008: Art Appreciation
Martin Smith, artist in residence at the Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting, will be giving an art appreciation lecture this Saturday, 9th August 2008 at 11am. Admission to 'Paintings of England' is £5 and includes coffee afterwards.
30.07.2008: Summer fun!
There's lots going in and around Watford town centre this August.
25.07.2008: Love & Life
An exhibition by Julia Nash has just opened at the Space 2 galleries at Watford Museum and the Town Hall Customer Service Centre.
Julia and her family have been featured on BBC1 Breakfast, ITV GMTV and SKY Real Lives fighting to save husband Pete's life and this has been a huge success. Julia is now selling her artwork and donating all profits to Petesfund which will help Pete recover and reach out to help save the lives of others. For more info, visit www.petesfund.co.uk.
As part of Julia Nash's exhibition Sarah Cronin-Stanley will present her unique photography examining the trials of life around the world, with donations to Petesfund.
22.07.2008: Watford Museum's fine art online
Not only has Watford Museum got a world-renowned collection of fine art, but you can now view oil paintings from the collection on-line. Only a small selection of the fine art collection is on display at the museum at one time, but all of our oil paintings can be viewed in detail on this website, along with fascinating information about the artists and subjects.
The collection can be found at http://www.watfordmuseum.org.uk/fineart.
21.07.2008: Wild about Watford!
Summer is the perfect time to discover some of our green spaces in Watford and Watford Borough Council's Conservation and Development Officer has arranged a busy programme of activities from bulb planting to bat watching!
For more information, click here or call 01923 278333.
15.07.2008: Wonderful willow
The Friends of Watford Museum will be hosting a talk and demonstration on the subject of willow and basket by Sandra Baker. 'The Wonderful World of Willow' takes place on Thursday 17th July at 2pm. Entry is free to Friends of Watford Museum, or £2 for visitors.
12.06.2008: Summer fun at Watford Museum
Throughout August, Watford Museum is running a programme of arts and crafts workshops which promises to banish boredom for 8-12 year olds. Activities range from creating an acrylic masterpiece inspired by Picasso to making a mechanical snail.
For more information, including how to book your place, head over to the activities page.
11.06.2008: Fire Museum Open Day
The Fire Museum will be welcoming visitors to an open day on Saturday 14th June 2008, between 1pm and 4pm. Find out more about the museum, including the dates of other open days over the summer, at www.watfordmuseum.org.uk/firemuseum.
19.05.2008: Adult Learners Week at Watford Central Library
Watford Central Library have got lots of activities lined up for Adult Learners week including the following events:
- Sunday 18th May 2008, 2.00 - 4.00pm:
Tracing Your Family History Using the Internet
- Tuesday 20th May 2008, 7.30 - 9.30pm:
Love for Learners, Romance for Readers - a RaW Book Group Event
- Thursday 22nd May 2008, 2.00 - 4.00pm:
Tracing Your Family History Using the Internet
- Friday 23rd May 2008, 10.30 - 11.30am:
Unlocking the History of Your House
- Friday 23rd May 2008, 2.00 - 4.00pm:
Family History on Ancestry.com
For more information, please call the Library on 01923 471333.
14.05.2008: Drums of Afrika - African Drumming Workshops
Grab an opportunity to experience the magical Drums of Africa with Butshilo. Organised by Herts Mind Network, the workshops are free and take place at 1.30pm on Tuesdays at Watford Museum from 27th May to 17th June 2008. For more information or to book, please call Anabel on 01442 215117.
13.05.2008: Art appreciation
Martin Smith, the tutor of the Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting, is giving two lectures on art appreciation over the coming months.
The first, on Saturday 5th July, covers portraits, landscapes and figures over four centuries; the second, on Saturday 9th August, looks at English artists from Hogarth to Lowry.
For more information on both these lectures and the School of Drawing and Painting, head over to the activities page.
12.05.2008: High Street trails return
Now that summer's arrived, we have dates for our immensely popular walking tour of Watford's town centre heritage with Sarah Priestley, Heritage Officer at Watford Museum. These are: Saturday 7th June, Saturday 12th July and Saturday 2nd August.
Trails start at 11.00am and cost £3 per person. You can book your place by calling Watford Museum on 01923 232297 or emailing email@example.com. Be quick, though!
09.05.2008: Forthcoming Friends talks
On our activities page, you can find details of Friends of Watford Museum talks taking place over the coming months. The subjects of the talks range from willow basket-making to news reporting, and, as always, entry is free for Friends of Watford Museum, or £2 for members of the public.
08.05.2008: Making space for student artwork
The heat is on for Art, Design and Media students at West Herts College as they prepare to spend the summer months exhibiting a range of their work at Watford Museum.
For two months over the summer, exhibition room within Space2 at Watford Museum will be given over to displaying the work of students from West Herts College.
A whole host of art and design work will be on display, including work from students studying on the College’s Creative Enterprise Degree programme, run in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire. Also on display will be work from students studying photography, 3D design, illustration, graphic design, fashion and media production, as well as a range of ceramics and prints.
West Herts College will be exhibiting at Space2 galleries at Watford Museum, Lower High Street, Watford and the Customer Service Centre, Town Hall, Watford, from Thursday 22 May through to Saturday 19 July. Opening times are Thursday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm. For more information, see our dedicated Space2 website.
For more information about Art, Design and Media courses offered at West Herts College, telephone 01923 812345 or visit www.westherts.ac.uk.
07.05.2008: Half-term fun
Details of half-term workshops at Watford Museum can now be found on our activities page. The workshops are always very popular, so make sure that you book early!
06.05.2008: Lots on at the Library!
Our friends at Watford Central Library have lots planned for this month:
On Thursday 22nd May between 19.00 and 21.30pm, the RaW Book Group will meet at Watford Central Library. Toby Friedner of Three Counties Radio will host an evening of lively debate with entertaining speakers. There will be light refreshments available, followed by a discussion on this month's book, "Raw Voices: True Stories of Hardship and Hope", edited by Vanessa Feltz. All are welcome to this free event; please phone 01923 471333 or call into Watford Central Library to find out more details and book your place.
On Friday 23rd May between 10.30 and 11.30am, Vicki Hynes from Hertfordshire Archives will be giving an illustrated talk on "Unlocking the history of your house". Books and documents on the subject will be on display and she will be available for advice afterwards. Entry is free, so please come along to the library or phone us on 01923 471 333 to reserve a ticket.
As part of National History Month and National Year of Reading, Watford Central Library will have two displays worth a visit in May. In the upstairs local history gallery you will find an exhibition entitled “Body Snatchers”, which tells the gruesome story of two notorious men that dug up bodies in Watford to sell in London. Downstairs, there will be an opportunity to add your memories of Watford to our Memory Tree. We are particularly interested in any memories of the old Watford Swimming Baths for an exhibition in August.
18.04.2008: Yoga for better mental health
Are you suffering from stress, anxiety or depression? Herts Mind Network are running a thirteen-week yoga course at Watford Museum, starting on Wednesday 7th May, from 11.00am to 12.15pm. For further information or to book a place, please call 08444 772212.
14.04.2008: Visit the Memory Store
The John Lewis Partnership has recently embarked on a new project, the Trewins Memory Store, which encourages the people of Watford and the local area to record the history of their local shops.
The website is run by volunteers who are creating a community archive website. As the site grows it will record the memories of people with an interest in their local history. It provides both a written and visual record of Trewins and other shops in Watford which are associated with the John Lewis Partnership including Waitrose North Watford, Kinghams and Findlater Mackie Todd the wine merchant.
Both customers and staff can enter their memories on to the site or the team of volunteers can help by recording memories or copying photographs. There is no charge and the site is totally independent of the business, providing a local resource which can be accessed by anyone researching their family tree, their neighbourhood, undertaking a school project or even helping those who can benefit from reminiscence therapy.
You can visit the Memory Store at http://trewins.memorystore.org.uk.
11.04.2008: Wild About Watford
The parks and open spaces around Watford are home to a wide variety of wildlife and Watford Borough Council's Nature Conservation Programme will help you discover them this Spring.
For more about free activities from bluebell walks to litter picks, see this leaflet or contact the Conservation and Development Officer on 01923 278333.
10.04.2008: Scrabble Club
Want to improve your word score? Join our friendly Scrabble Club for a game at 2pm on Friday afternoons at the museum. Each session costs just £1.45.
28.03.2008: Arty activities
Our friends at NYSA have launched a shiny new website to showcase their arty activities in the Watford area. Click on www.nysa.co.uk for more details.
25.03.08: Family crests on display
Works of art by children from Central Primary School's Arts and Crafts Club are now on display at the museum. Taking the theme of family, the children decorated their crests with images of what is important to them and their families.
20.03.08: The Bucket Men arrive...
An exhibition of vibrant, provocative paintings by Jui-Pin Chang has opened at Watford Museum. "The Bucket Men" runs from 20th March to 17th May in the Space2 galleries at Watford Museum, with a collection of her other work on display at the Customer Service Centre at the Town Hall.
Jui-Pin, who was born in Taiwan, took a degree in Art, mastering traditional Chinese calligraphy, brush drawing, and many western techniques. For more information, visit the Space 2 pages.
19.03.08: Forthcoming Friends talks
On our activities page, you can find details of Friends of Watford Museum talks taking place over the next couple of months.
On Thursday 24th April at 7.30pm, the history of Aylett Nurseries will be the subject for Adam Wigglesworth, then, on Thursday 29th May at 2.00pm, Valerie Edwards will talk about the history of Chenies Manor and Gardens.
As ever, entry to the talks is free for Friends of Watford Museum, or £2 for members of the public.
18.03.08: Utter Rap!
A brand new inclusive club night is being launched at The Horn in St Albans on Thursday March 27. A collective of young DJ's have been honing their skills under the tutorship of international DJ Wooze, and will be demonstrating their talents and hoping to set the dancefloor alight at the popular St Albans venue. As well as learning DJ skills, the group have been learning about flyer and poster design and basic marketing skills. The group hope that the night – Utter Rap – will become a regular addition to the St Albans clubbing diary.
The night will run from 8.30 to midnight and entry is just £3. Over 18s only! As well as www.leisureinstalbans.co.uk, details can be found at the www.myspace.com/saasharts site, where you can find out more about other art projects in the area.
12.03.08: Easter Fun at Watford Museum
Details of an all-new series of Easter workshops at Watford Museum can now be found on our activities page.
The workshops offer children aged between eight and twelve years old the chance to make everything from huge hats to mechanical models. They're bound to be popular, so make sure that you book early!
26.02.08: New Space2 exhibitions
On our Space2 pages, you can find details of two new exhibitions. 'On Watford's Wild Side' runs at the Town Hall Customer Service Centre until 15th March, and features work by Walter and Myrtle Paterson. At the same time, Watford Museum plays host to 'Inspirations', an exhibition by three local artists – Joy Thomson, David Waterman and Kathy Foster.
21.12.07: Happy Christmas!
Everyone at Watford Museum would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
05.12.07: Oil Paintings from the Watford Museum Collection of Fine Art
Watford Museum is delighted to announce a very exciting new addition to our website: a gallery of oil paintings from our fine art collection.
These paintings form part of a superb collection of drawings, paintings and sculptures that reflect both the urban and rural landscapes of Watford. More than 150 paintings are included within the online gallery, and you can enlarge each one to see it in greater detail.
We hope you'll enjoy browsing the gallery. Please note that it's available from every page of the Watford Museum website; just click on "Fine Art" on the right-hand menu.
29.11.07: The Diary of Lady Adele Capel
We've got a special book launch at the Museum on 10th December 2007: 'A Victorian Teenagers Diary: The Diary of Lady Adele Capel of Cassiobury 1841-1842'. This will include a very special talk from editor Marian Strachen.
For more information, have a look at the activities page.
28.11.07: More at Space2
On our Space2 pages, you can find details of another new exhibition. 'Step by Step' runs at the Town Hall Customer Service Centre until 19th January, and features artwork by Members of DRUM, the Disability Recreation Unity Movement.
24.10.07: New Space2 exhibitions
On our Space2 pages, you can find details of two brand new exhibitions.
The first - 'Watford - Through our eyes' - runs at the Town Hall Customer Service Centre until mid-November, and features the work of the Guideposts and Watford Museum Photography Project. This group photography and creative writing project has also contributed to our own Watford Junction website recently.
The second exhibition showcases the artwork of the Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting, our very own artists in residence, and can be seen at Watford Museum until Christmas.
03.10.07: Watford - Through our eyes
Our Watford Junction website is dedicated to the town's many lifestyles and cultures, and offers the opportunity to add your own story alongside those of other residents.
One new addition to the site is the 'Watford - Through our eyes' project, a group photography and creative writing project, looking at historical and present day Watford.
A group of people from Guideposts Trust in Watford worked with Watford Museum on a funded project, resulting in group and individual photography throughout the area. This serves as an insight into our lives in Watford, an area of many contrasts one of which is the diversity between the historical and modern buildings and surrounding green spaces.
We hope you enjoy looking at the results!
07.09.07: The Haunted Museum
Join us for a night of spooky Halloween fun as the museum is transformed by the I Can't Believe We're Not Better Theatre Company on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October 2007!
For more information on these family events, including details of how to book your tickets, head over to the activities page.
10.09.07: World Mental Health Day
On Wednesday 10rd October, Watford Museum, Mind, the Guideposts Trust and Viewpoint are hosting a day of free activities on the theme of mental well-being and cultural diversity, including taster sessions and arts and music workshops.
There will also be a World Mental Health Day Art Exhibition on display at Watford Museum from Thursday 4th to Saturday 27th October 2007.
For more information, please see the activities page.
07.09.07: Parallel Visions and Frances Geraghty
Venues across Watford will be hosting an exhibition inspired by Watford's Twin Towns, and at Watford Museum this will be complemented by work by the local artist, Frances Geraghty. For more information, visit the Space 2 information page.
30.08.07: Art at the Summerhouse
The Summerhouse at Chorleywood House Estate will be opening its doors in September, as part of Herts Open Studios 2007.
Artists Carole Hawkins, George Meliniotis and Wendy Bird will be exhibiting their work and there will be printmaking demonstrations throughout the day. For more information, download the poster.
29.08.07: Accreditation celebration!
Watford Museum celebrated the award of Full Accreditation from the Museums Libraries Archives Council with a party attended by over eighty supporters.
Guests included representatives from the MLA, many of the Friends of Watford Museum, museum volunteers, the Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, the Chairman Cllr Tony Poole and many of the community organisations the museum works in partnership with. You can see lots of photos from the evening on this site.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Watford Museum in achieving this important award.
13.08.07: Visitors from Argentina
Watford Museum was pleased to welcome a visit in July by a group of five young Argentineans as part of a Rotary New Generation Youth Exchange programme. They were from Rotary District 4790 in northern Argentina, near the border with Paraguay and Brazil, and were being hosted by Rotary District 1260 in Hertfordshire.
The Argentinean group were especially interested to see the Museum's collection of paintings of the Earls of Essex, the exhibition to commemorate the Abolition of Slavery and, of course, the gallery devoted to Watford Football Club.
08.08.07: Local and family history open day
Watford Central Library will be opening the doors to their wonderful new Local and Family History Room for a free open day on Thursday 6th September, from 10.30am to 7.00pm.
Do you need advice on researching your family history? Would you like to know more about Watford? Do you like looking at old photos newspapers and maps?
For further information, including a full programme of events throughout the day, have a look at the activities page.
07.08.07: Family fun day in aid of flood victims
Local people have come together to organise an amazing fun day in aid of flood victims around the UK. The event will take place at King George V Playing Fields and Holywell Community Centre, on Saturday 11th August between 1pm and 6pm.
There will be something for all ages with activities including fun fair rides, face painting, bbq, hair and beauty treatments, stalls, arts and craft workshops and much more! For more information, contact Syeda Shah on 01923 234768.
31.07.07: Capturing Cameron
Work from the Watford Grammar School for Girls Gifted and Talented Arts Summer School is currently on display at Watford Museum. 'Capturing Cameron' will be on display until 1st September 2007.
24.07.07: Summer fun at the Guideposts shop
Pimms and strawberries will be on offer to shoppers visiting the Guideposts Shop on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July.
The high quality gift shop specialises in unusual ideas for presents, cards, and homeware, at the same time providing training for people with mental health issues. Based at 1 Market Street, Watford, the shop opens from 9.30am to 5.30pm.
23.07.07: 'A Journey in History' launch
We've justed added photos from the launch of the 'A Journey In History – Slavery And Its Abolition' exhibition, commemorating the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. The exhibition, which is presented by Watford African Caribbean Society, continues at Watford Museum's Space2 gallery until 31st August 2007.
19.07.07: iDance American Performing Summer School
Our friends at iDance are planning another sizzling summer of dance in Watford, for ages from seven years old to adults. Led by international experts, the courses will focus on street jazz and hip hop; you can read about them in the Summer School programme (PDF, 574k).
16.07.07: Visit by local history society
Watford Museum welcomed a visit by members of the Hemel Hempstead Local History and Museum Society in June. For more information on the society, visit their website.
06.07.07: Watford Museum plays host to town's unique theatre company
Members of the wonderful "I Can't Believe We're Not Better" theatre company will perform their abridged version of the classic modern play "Our Country's Good" at Watford Museum on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July.
The company have previously worked with the museum on sell-out successes "Cassiobury Ghost Walk" and "Wonder of Watford". Please see the activities page for further details, including booking information.
05.07.07: Summer fun at Watford Museum
Details of a new series of summer arts and crafts workshops at Watford Museum are now on the activities page.
The workshops offer children aged between eight and twelve years old the chance to express themselves in wonderfully imaginative ways, from mask making to animal sculpture. They're bound to be popular, so make sure that you book early!