News
News

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.

31.05.2011: Where is Ai Weiwei?

A new exhibition of work by students at West Herts College opens in the Space2 gallery on 9th June 2011. 'Where is Ai Weiwei?' will be on display until 23rd July 2011.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during June 2011

30.05.2011: What's On in Watford

Discover what's happening around the town in June, from the Museum's Poppy Party to the Palace Theatre's Imagine Watford festival. For more information, see the leaflet.

25.05.2011: Marion's adventure in Mozambique

Photo of Marion Duffin in Mozambique

Watford Museum's Curator Marion Duffin left in February to volunteer in Mozambique. She promised to keep us updated on her new life and has shared some wonderful photographs, which you can see here.

23.05.2011: Museums at Night

Below, you can see the original animation by Mew Lab with sound by Hutch Demouilpied, created for the Museums at Night event. It was projected onto the front of museum's 18th Century facade by Platinum Projections.

A leaflet containing information about Poppy Party on Saturday 11 June 2011

19.05.2011: Poppy Party

Join us on Saturday 11th June between 11am and 4pm when Watford Museum will be hosting a free Poppy Party. The event is part of a national weekend of activities celebrating the 90th Birthday of the Royal British Legion.

Our event will have a Wartime Watford theme, with entertainment by Karen Kennedy, poppy-themed art activities and the chance to handle WW2 objects from the museum's collections.

17.05.2011: Museums at Night 2011

Photo of Museums at Night

Thank you very much to everyone who made Museums at Night at Watford Museum such a success! A great turn out, music from Minnie Birch, retro theming from Joy of Vintage and art exhibitions by West Herts College students and Graham Boyd made for a wonderful night. The evening was brought to an incredible close with an original animation by Mew Lab with sound by Hutch Demouilpied projected onto the front of museum's 18th Century facade by Platinum Projections.

Photographer Dave Parker was on hand to capture the occasion and you can view his album at www.daveparker.org/museum/.

Look out for video clips soon!

11.05.2011: Museums at Night at Watford Museum

Photo of Watford band Minnie Birch
Photo of The Joy of Vintage
Don't miss our special late night opening for Museums at Night. Between 5pm and 9pm on Saturday 14th May join us for live music provided by wonderful local band Minnie Birch, enjoy a drink at our licensed bar, meet The Joy of Vintage and view our current exhibitions - abstract art by Graham Boyd and an art installation by students of West Herts College.

Logo for MewLab digital animationThe night will culminate with the premiere of digital animation by MewLab commissioned by Watford Museum and Arts Team. In a first for Watford, this will be projected onto the front of the museum building by Platinum Project and sound by Hutch Demouilpied.

Entry is free and no booking is required. See you on Saturday!

05.05.2011: Guideposts photography

The men's group from Guideposts have donated a collection of original photographs and art to Watford Museum. The group, who meet at Henry Smith House, took the photographs of Watford as part of a photography project and exhibition that has recently been on display here. In addition, one of the group also donated an original pen and ink picture of Watford.

Photo of Guideposts Photography

Here Peter Wesson and Howard Sartin of Guideposts are shown presenting the work to Sarah Priestley, the museum's Heritage Officer.

04.05.2011: Workhouse bell returns to Watford

Photo of Watford's Workhouse bell

A 189 year old bell that used to toll in Watford's Workhouse on Harwoods Road has returned to Watford Museum, after 50 years at St Oswald's Church in Croxley Green.

The bell is thought to have come to the church in 1962 when the old chapel of the workhouse was demolished. However some of the original workhouse can still be seen on Vicarage Road between the football stadium and hospital. It was originally the Union Workhouse for the parishes of Watford, Abbots Langley, Aldenham, Bushey, Rickmansworth and Sarratt. The Workhouse had its own infirmary and chapel on Harwoods Road and replaced the old workhouse in Church Street, Watford, which closed in 1838.

Photo of Watford's Workhouse bell

St Alban's Diocese recently agreed that the bell can be transferred to Watford Museum. Thank you to the Diocese and to the wonderful team who arranged the transfer and moved the bell, here shown with Lindsay Hayward our Museum Officer.

A leaflet containing information about Watford Museum's High Street Trails

03.05.2011: High Street Trails return!

Watford Museum's popular High Street Trails return for 2011 with the opportunity to discover the town's heritage in themed trails on Victorian Watford, 20th Century Watford, Ghosts and Legends, plus the original trail.

Trails cost £3 per person and booking is essential. For dates, see the leaflet or the activities page.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

29.04.2011: History of Sun Printers

The next Friends of Watford Museum talk will be a History of the Sun Printers by Brian Reynolds, back by popular demand after a full house on his last visit! The talk will be at 2pm on Thursday 12th May. Entry is £2 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.

A leaflet containing information about Museums at Night on Saturday 14th May 2011

28.04.2011: Museums at Night

Please join us for Watford Museum's event for Museums at Night on Saturday 14th May. This free evening is part of Europe-wide activities and will feature live music from Minnie Birch, a licensed bar and a spectacular finale of a digital animation by MewLab projected onto the facade of the museum!

This will be a first for not only Watford but for Museums at Night across the UK and another celebration of Watford Museum's 30th Birthday year.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during May 2011

21.04.2011: What's On in Watford

There's lots happening in Watford in May. Not least the return of Museums at Night at Watford Museum! For more information, see the leaflet.

20.04.2011: Bank Holiday closures

Watford Museum will be closed on the Bank Holidays for Good Friday on 22nd April and the Royal Wedding on 29th April. Otherwise the museum is open as usual from Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Don't forget to join us for a free Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday 23rd April 2011!

09.04.2011: "A lovely community event"

Photo of Watford Museum's 30th Birthday Tea Party

Colourful bunting hung from walls as more than 200 people celebrated at Watford Museum's 30th Birthday Tea Party.

Students from West Herts College Catering Department served teas and made the cakes that were decorated by the College's Cake Decorating class. Each cupcake represented a different aspect of the museum. Particular thanks to Andy Wakeford and Jean Ballentyne of West Herts College and their students for an incredible job!

The museum was transformed into a tea room with decorations and dresses for the museum staff provided by Julie O'Keeffe and Christine Clifford from The Joy of Vintage. Crockery for the tea party was also provided by Beechen Grove Baptist Church.

Photo of Watford Museum's 30th Birthday Tea Party

Councillor Lindsey Scudder, the vice-chairman of Watford Borough Council, said: "It's wonderful. We should really be proud of having something like this in our small town. "They do the most amazing things. It's terrific. This is a really lovely community event."

Sarah Priestley, Heritage Officer at Watford Museum, said: "All the people invited have been part of what we do year in, year out. So many of the groups are all here - local charities, organisations and Friends Of the museum. It's a real team effort. The staff and volunteers have all worked really hard."

You can see more of the celebrations by visiting the photo gallery.

08.04.2011: 30th Birthday photo revealed

Photo of Watford Museum by Dave Parker

Watford Museum commissioned local photographer Dave Parker to come up with a new photograph of the museum. Dave was up at 5am to get this stunning image of the museum at sunrise!

More information about the 'Hope' exhibition at Beechen Grove Baptist Church

07.04.2011: Hope exhibition

Beechen Grove Baptist Church is hosting an exhibition of work by local artists and community groups. 'Hope' will be on display from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd April. For more information, see the leaflet.

05.04.2011: Herts Memories

The Herts Memories website was launched in 2009 to celebrate life in Hertfordshire, collecting new memories, photos, knowledge and opinions about the County - as it is today and as it was in the past. The site is developed and edited by volunteers, with contributions from visitors welcomed.

The project now includes eight partner sites for communities within the county: Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Oxhey, Broxbourne, Letchworth, Stevenage, Dacorum (still to be launched, but encompassing Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Chipperfield, Flamstead, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley, Markyate and Tring) and Hertford and Ware.

14.03.2011: Happy Birthday!

Happy 30th Birthday to Watford Museum

03.03.2011: Living Is Easy

A new exhibition of photographic collage by Ryan Dunn opens at Watford Museum's Space2 gallery on 4 March. For more information, see the Space 2 page.

24.02.2011: Hertfordshire County Art Collection exhibition ends soon!

Photo of Hertfordshire County Art Collection exhibition

Don't miss this wonderful exhibition in our Space2 gallery which ends on Saturday 26 February! Showcasing some of the wonderful art available to schools across the county, this exhibition is great for adults or for families looking to explore Watford Museum during Half Term.

17.02.2011: Watford For You Favourite Places Campaign

Photo of Watford Museum being awarded 'Favourite Historical Spot'

Watford Museum was pleased to be awarded "Favourite Historical Spot" in this 2010 campaign to celebrate the best of Watford. The museum team are shown with the award - Sarah Priestley (Heritage Officer), Sonia Sagoo (Museum Reception and Administration Officer), Lindsay Hayward (Museum Officer), Gary Oliver (Community Services Section Head) and Naina Vadgama (Museum Reception and Administration Officer).

More information about Laurie Elvin's talk on the origins of Cassiobury

16.02.2011: "Finding Cassio"

Local historian Laurie Elvin will be giving a talk on the origins of Cassiobury for the West Watford Local History Group.

The talk will take place at 7.30pm, Thursday 10 March at the The Centre, 15 Harwoods Road. For more information, see the leaflet.

10.02.2011: Seeking artists

Working in partnership with the New Hope Trust, a charity based in Watford and Tucker French Bathrooms, Watford Borough Council Arts Team is seeking submissions to fill the walls of their pop up art gallery space for 4 weeks.

We are looking for new and exciting art work to display. We are accepting painting, sculpture, drawing prints, photography and applied arts.

For more detailed information and an application form, please download the leaflet.

03.02.2011: Marion's Mozambique Adventure

Photo of Watford Museum Curator Marion Duffin; copyright Watford Observer

Watford Museum's Curator Marion Duffin has left us for a two year career break to become a volunteer in Mozambique.

Photo of Watford Museum Curator Marion Duffin; copyright Watford Observer

We're going to miss Marion very much whilst she is away, but she has promised to keep in contact. You can see more information on the work she will be doing for the VSO at http://www.justgiving.com/Marion-Duffin and read the Watford Observer's article about her here.

We have added a gallery of some of Marion's museum moments. Watch out for news of Marion's work and our fundraising on her behalf on our news page.

A big thank you to Marion for all of her amazing work at the museum and for the arts in Watford.

Photos copyright Watford Observer

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during February 2011

02.02.2011: What's On in Watford

Keep warm and active this February with lots of events and things to do around the town. For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about Hertfordshire Fire Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

01.02.2011: Hertfordshire Fire Museum

Our friends at the wonderful Fire Museum will open their doors for open days from March 2011. For more information, visit the web page.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

31.01.2011: Nature Conservation in Watford and the Colne Valley

The Friends of Watford Museum's next talk will be given by Rob Hopkins of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

The talk will take place at 2pm on Friday 18th February. Admission is £2 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.

28.01.2011: Hope Exhibition at Beechen Grove Baptist Church

Beechen Grove Baptist Church are holding an art exhibition over Easter titled 'Hope' which will be open between Tuesday 19th and Good Friday 22nd April at the Church.

They are looking to showcase a wide variety of work including photography, paintings (of all mediums), installations, sketches, short films and sculpture. If you would like to exhibit your work, please contact the Church.

A leaflet containing information about the Guideposts Photography Project

27.01.2011: Guideposts Photography Project

Watford Museum's foyer is host to an exhibition of photographs of Watford by the Men's Group at Guideposts Trust. 'Happy Snappers Horizons' continues until 26th February 2011.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during January 2011

04.01.2011: What's on in January

There's going to be lots to do in Watford in 2011. For more information on events and activities in January, see the leaflet.

23.12.2010: Festive opening times

Christmas Card from Watford Museum

Weather permitting, the museum will be open Friday 24th December from 10am to 4pm. The museum will then close for the festive season, reopening on 6th January 2011.

Everyone at Watford Museum would like to wish you a very happy holiday.

16.12.2010: Snowy scene of Watford Museum wins Mayor's Christmas card competition

Carol Rogers and Mayor Dorothy Thornhill

We are delighted that Watford's Mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, has chosen a festive view of Watford Museum for her Christmas Card this year.

The Mayor said: "Every year I use sponsorship of my Christmas card as a way to raise money for a local charity. This year it's raised £2025 for The Recovery In-sight Social Enterprise (RISE) - a truly local not for profit organisation run by mental health service users to enable people in their recovery. Local artist Carol Rogers won the competition to paint the Christmas card. Her Watford Museum in the snow design was outstanding - it was a warm and friendly image of a well-known local landmark."

14.12.2010: Winter weather

Our staff will be working hard to keep the museum open during the current cold spells by clearing and gritting paths, as well as offering a warm welcome to intrepid visitors. If you are planning a visit, please call ahead on 01923 232297 to confirm that we're open.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

29.11.2010: Chocolate Tales and Tasting

The Friends of Watford Museum will host a talk on the history of chocolate with some tasting included! Watford had links to the confectionery manufacture as the home of Dr Tibble's Vi-Cocoa and Delectaland.

The talk by Gill Farrington with take place on Thursday 9th December at 2pm. Admission is £2 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during December 2010

27.11.2010: What's On in December

There's lots of Christmas activities in Watford this coming month, but also lots to occupy those trying to make an escape from the festive fun! For more information, see the leaflet.

Cassiobury House painting by JMW Turner at Watford Museum

26.11.2010: Full House for Cassiobury Study Day

After the success of last year's Introduction to Archaeology Day, a Local History Study Day was held at Watford Museum on Saturday 20 November. It was organised by SW Herts Archaeological and Historical Society and Watford Museum, with support from the Friends of Watford Museum.

40 people heard talks from 6 speakers about the history of Cassiobury, from the very first use of the name Cęgesho in 793, through to the present day. It was owned by the Abbot of St.Albans but after the dissolution, Henry VIII sold it to Richard Morison. It passed down his family until it was taken from them during the Civil War. Charles II restored it to the family, by then the Capels, the Earls of Essex. The house was modernised in the 1670s and then around 1800 but fell out of use and was demolished in 1927.

A large part of the Essex estate remains much as it was in the form of the public park and Whippendell Woods. Despite extensive housing built on the rest of the estate in the late 1920s and early 30s, delegates heard about the surprising number of buildings and features surviving from the Essex estate.

The Museum mounted a special exhibition of images and artefacts from Cassiobury, including the painting by J M W Turner and the family photograph album.

Similar events are planned for the future. Contact the museum if you are interested.

A leaflet containing information about Watford Christmas Tree Lights, Bells and Carols: click to enlarge (jpg file, 395Kb)

19.11.2010: Watford Christmas Tree Lights, Bells and Carols

Get in the festive mood with the turning of the town's Christmas tree in St Mary's Square. From 5.30pm onwards on Thursday 25th November 2010. For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about West Watford Local History Group: click to enlarge (DOC file, 395Kb)

18.11.2010: West Watford Local History Group

There was a great turn out for the first meeting of this new local history group and the next meeting is planning for 9th December 2010, at 7.30pm at the West Watford Community Centre. For more information, see the poster.

15.11.2010: DIY Fashion and customising workshops

DIY Fashion and customising workshops every Saturday 12.30pm-3.30pm, 20 November-18 December in our pop up gallery and shop at the former Tucker French Bathrooms, 60-62 Queens Road.

Artist Selena Francis Bryden will be running the workshops every Saturday, adjusting and customising clothes, furniture and making accessorises. Open to all ages.

Pop into the shop at 60-62 Queens Road, Watford to book your place, call 01923 278150 or email sophie.ronson@watford.gov.uk. First come, first served!

Minimum workshop donation £2.00; all proceeds go to the New Hope Trust

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

04.11.2010: The History of Beechen Grove Baptist Church

The Friends of Watford Museum will be hosting a talk on the history of this fascinating Grade II listed church on 20th November at 2pm. The talk will be given by Matt Penny, the church's Manager of House & Community. Admission is £2 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.

03.11.2010: Enjoy the Game!

'Enjoy the Game' by Lionel Birnie

A new book is now available celebrating a golden decade of Watford Football Club. The 1980s saw Watford's rise to top flight and European football, and Lionel Birnie's book captures it all with exclusive interviews.

For more information visit www.lionelbirnie.com.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during November 2010

02.11.2010: What's On in November

November starts with a bang with the Christmas Light Switch On at the Harlequin and Fireworks in Cassiobury Park. For more information, see the leaflet.

29.10.2010: West Watford Local History Group

The first open meeting of the West Watford Local History Group will take place on Thursday November 4th at 7.30pm at WWCA, 15 Harwoods Road. All are welcome.

For further information, please ring 01923 235488 or email info@westwatford.org.uk

'Jockeys' by Terry Challis

27.10.2010: The unknown Terry Challis

An exhibition of much-loved Watford Observer cartoonist Terry Challis's art will be on show at Watford Museum from 4th to 27th November.

A selection of the paintings and drawings left behind after Terry passed away last year are to go on display in an exhibition entitled "The Unknown Terry Challis".

Alongside these paintings will be a selection of the many cartoons he had published, for fans to re-acquaint themselves with his humour and sideways take on the world of footie and the 90 minutes of joy or despair that he had witnessed and recorded that Saturday with his close friend, the journalist, Oli Phillips from the press box at Vicarage Road.

What visitors to this exhibition will see is a range of paintings from a prolific and naturally talented artist, with some pieces that will be known and familiar to many, ranged along side new and surprising works that have not been exhibited before. Terry Challis left an extensive body of work as his legacy from a lifetime of observing and capturing the world around him on paper, canvas and board and his love of humanity and ordinary people pursing their lives with humour and everyday drama is reflected in this show that will surprise and please his fans and visitors old and new.

A poster for the New Hope Trust pop-up art gallery in Queens Road, Watford during November and December 2010

25.10.2010: Pop-up art gallery

Watford Borough Council's Arts Team are working in partnership with the New Hope Trust to launch a pop-up art gallery and workshop venue at the former Tucker French Bathrooms, 60-62 Queens Road.

The gallery space will have local, regional and national textile based artists showing their work. Artist in residence Fiona Hughes will be working with the space on the theme of homelessness. Published author Selena Francis Bryden will be running workshops and signing copies of her book 'DIY Fashion: Customise And Personalise'. The New Hope Trust will have 8 themed outlets stocked with quality second hand goods to purchase.

The new pop up gallery will be open from Saturday 6th November to Saturday 18th December, please do come and visit and show your support!

A leaflet containing information about Local History Study Day at Watford Museum in October 2010: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

07.10.2010: Local History Study Day - Cassiobury

This year, the SW Herts Archaeological and Historical Society's Local History Study Day is on the subject of Cassiobury. The event, which takes place on Saturday 20th November at Watford Museum, will explore the rich and varied heritage of the former seat of the Earls of Essex and now much loved local park.

Places are limited and will cost £10 per person. For more information, see the leaflet.

26.09.2010: Heritage Open Days Weekend

A demonstration of Watford Museum's Columbian Press by Ron Banks and Ron Ford

This year's weekend of events in Watford was even better than before with events at venues across the town, and a popular printing showcase in the town centre.

Continuing the printing theme, there was a demonstration of the museum's Columbian Press by Ron Banks and Ron Ford. Thanks to their hard work, and materials from Hill Garwood Printing, the press is back to full working order. The press is one of our most popular exhibits, dating from 1820 and used to print the first copy of the Watford Observer.

24.09.2010: North Watford History Group

After a very successful history trail during Heritage Open Day Weekend, the North Watford History Group have got lots of activities planned for the autumn, including:

  • An Exhibition in the foyer of North Watford Library throughout November on the theme of North Watford Schools through the Years, which can be seen during normal library opening hours.
  • A Reminiscence Morning, also focused on North Watford Schools, to take place on Sat 20th November, 10am to 12 noon, in the lounge of Leavesden Road Baptist Church (entrance on Garfield Street).

For more information, visit the website at www.north-watford-history.org.uk.

A leaflet containing information about The Haunted Museum at Watford Museum in October 2010: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

23.09.2010: The Haunted Museum

The Haunted Museum returns in the run up to Halloween at Watford Museum. I Can't Believe We're Not Better Theatre Company will weave local legends into a night of spooky fun. Places are limited so booking is essential! See the leaflet for more details.

17.09.2010: Fire Museum and Station Open Day

The new Watford Fire Station on the Lower High Street will be opening the doors for the first open day, from 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday 25th September. The Hertfordshire Fire Museum that shares the site will also be open.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during September 2010

03.09.2010: What's On in September

There's lots to do in Watford this month, including Heritage Open Day Weekend, events, exhibitions and a Continental Market. For more information, see the leaflet.

30.08.2010: Listed buildings in Watford

Former Clements department store, The Parade

Watford Borough Council have reviewed the town's record of Locally and Nationally Listed Buildings and have produced two new documents detailing those buildings that make a significant contribution to the architectural heritage of the town.

The new documents have a page of information on each of the Listed Buildings in the town and also include additional information on the implications of Local or National Listing.

A 6 week consultation period on the documents starts on Tuesday 31st August and runs until Tuesday 12th October. Comments regarding the detail of the documents are welcome.

Paper copies of the documents can be viewed at the Town Hall and both the Central and North Watford Libraries. The documents can also be downloaded as PDFs from http://www.watford.gov.uk/listedbuildings

Further information on this process can be obtained by phoning the Planning Policy team on 01923 278263 or by e-mailing Justin.webber@watford.gov.uk

27.08.2010: Children get animated about Watford Museum!

Holiday workshops have been a big success this summer, with lots of arty activities from weaving to digital animation. Below, you can see movies created in some of the workshops with Quirky Pictures:

26.08.2010: Herts Open Studios at Watford Museum

A new exhibition of work by local artists will open on 2nd September in the Space 2 gallery. Artists from the Watford Area Arts Forum and Hertfordshire Visual Arts Forum will be displaying their work as part of Herts Open Studios events across the county.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

23.08.2010: The Clocks of Windsor Castle

The Queen's Timekeeper will be giving a talk for the Friends of Watford Museum on Saturday 17th September at 2pm. Admission is £2 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.

A leaflet containing information about Heritage Open Days in Watford in September 2010: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

18.08.2010: Heritage Open Days

Come and celebrate Watford's history and architecture with tours, events, exhibitions and special openings in venues across Watford including a showcase celebrating Watford's printing industry. For more information, see the leaflet.

23.07.2010: Archaeology comes to life!

Julian Richards visits Watford Museum for Archaeology Day 2010

Watford Museum's Archaeology Day on 17th July was a great success. Around a hundred aspiring archaeologists of all ages enjoyed activities provided by the museum and the South West Herts Archaeological and Historical Society.

Julian Richards visits Watford Museum for Archaeology Day 2010

Julian Richards from TV's "Meet the Ancestors" provided the highlight of the day, recreating a Bronze Age round house in the museum! The event was organised as part of the Festival of British Archaeology and Watford Live.

Julian Richards visits Watford Museum for Archaeology Day 2010

A leaflet containing information about art appreciation lectures at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

20.07.2010: Art appreciation lectures

Martin Smith's popular lectures return with new dates this autumn and winter. Talks start at 10.30am and places are £5 per person including tea or coffee. For more information, see the activities page.

08.07.2010: Watford LIVE!

As part of the Watford LIVE! community arts festival, Watford Borough Council are organising a range of free workshops for all the family to celebrate the diversity of artists and performers in Watford.

Three of these workshops will place at the museum on 15th and 16th July. For more information, see the activities page.

07.07.2010: Victorian Watford Trail

There was so much interest in our High Street Trail on Victorian Watford that we've decided to organise another trail on Saturday 21st August. The trail starts at 10am from Watford Museum and places are £3. Booking in advance is essential as the trails are very popular!

06.07.2010: Italian Cinema comes to Watford Museum

A night of Italian cinema and wine at Watford Museum

Members of Watford Film Society recently met at the museum for a night of Italian cinema and wine. The society arranges special events for members as well as regular film showings at the Clarendon Muse.

For more information click: www.watfordfilmsociety.org

A leaflet containing information about Space 2 Pop Up Gallery in August 2010

05.07.2010: Space 2 Pop Up Gallery

Photographers in Hertfordshire and north London no longer have to work in the dark thanks to a new pop-up photography and digital media gallery situated in a previously vacant shop unit in Watford town centre.

The Pop Up Gallery is at Unit 4, Charter Place shopping centre, open from 11am on Thursday, July 1 and then Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm until Saturday, July 31. Details: 01923 278333, www.watford.gov.uk

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during July 2010

02.07.2010: What's On in Watford

There's lots to do around Watford in July with the Watford LIVE! Festival taking centre stage. For more information, see the leaflet.

02.07.2010: Space 2

A new exhibition of work by students at West Herts College has opened at the museum. The Fashion and Textiles students have used the theme of armour to create work that will be on display in Space 2 until 24th July.

A leaflet containing information about summer workshops in August 2010

22.06.2010: Summer workshops

There's an amazing range of art and creative activities for 8 to 12 years this summer at the museum. Workshops on Thursdays and Fridays during August will give children a chance to try skills from weaving to mosaics, digital animation to shadow puppets.

For more information, see the leaflet or the activities page.

A leaflet containing information about Archaeology Day at Watford Museum in July 2010

21.06.2010: Archaeology Day

Watford Museum will be participating in the Festival of British Archaeology with this free event for all ages.

Get up close to local archaeology with hands on activities including recreating a round house with Julian Richards, archaeologist from "Meet the Ancestors". The event will take place on Saturday 17th July between 11am and 4pm, and is also part of the Watford LIVE! festival.

For more information, see the leaflet.

09.06.2010: New Space2 exhibitions

Two exciting artists will be displaying their works at Watford's Space2 galleries this June. For more information, visit the Space2 website.

04.06.2010: Watford Film Society

After a successful first season, Watford Film Society have put together an exciting new programme for 2010/11. It's not too late to catch a film before they break for the summer. Visit the website at www.watfordfilmsociety.org.

03.06.2010: Watford LIVE!

Plans for an exciting arts festival in July are gathering pace: Watford Museum will be participating in Watford LIVE! with special events including an Archaeology Day and special High Street Trail. You can see the website at www.watfordlive.org

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during June 2010

02.06.2010: What's on in June

There's lots to do in Watford in June, from heritage trails to World Environment Day activities. For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about World Environment Day

28.05.2010: World Environment Day

Discover how easy it is to do your bit for our environment at World Environment Day activities in Watford on 5th June. For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about half-term workshops in May/June 2010

21.05.2010: Half-term workshops

Get in a summery mood with our creepy crawly themed workshops! Make your own spectacular bugs and butterflies out of recycled materials or build an insect home for the creatures in your garden.

For more information, click on the leaflet or visit the activities page.

A leaflet containing information about Starlight Walk Arts and Craft Workshop

04.05.2010: Starlight Walk Arts and Craft Workshop

Join us on Wednesday 19th May between 11am and 2pm to create a glowing 'thank you' sign for those taking part in this year's Starlight Walk for the Peace Hospice. The workshop is free and part of Adult Learners Week activities across Watford. For more information, click on the leaflet.

20.04.2010: High Street Trails

Our friends at I Can't Believe We're Not Better... have unveiled a new website. The website showcases some of the theatre company's wonderful work, including the Haunted Museum at Watford Museum. For more information, visit www.cantbelievetheatre.co.uk.

A leaflet containing information about Watford Museum's High Street Trails

15.04.2010: High Street Trails

Watford Museum's incredibly popular walking trail returns this year - with a twist! Each walk will concentrate on a different theme, including Victorian Watford, Public Art and Architecture, 20th Century Watford and Ghosts and Legends.

Tickets are £3 per person and booking is essential. For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about Museums at Night in May 2010

13.04.2010: Museums at Night

Watford Museum will be open late for a very special event at part of the Europe-wide 'Museums at Night' festival. Visitors will be able to enjoy evening access to the museum between 5 and 9pm on Saturday 15th May 2010, but that's not all. There will be a licensed bar and entertainment provided by local band Dizzie Voss.

For more information, see the leaflet.

31.03.2010: Easter Opening

Watford Museum is closed on Good Friday but will be open as usual on Easter Saturday with a special Easter trail for younger visitors.

30.03.2010: What's on in April

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during April 2010

Spring has arrived and there's lots to do during the Easter break in the Watford area. For more details, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about Easter Workshops in April 2010

29.03.2010: Easter Workshops at Watford Museum

Spring has arrived with our holiday workshops for children with activities including willow weaving and periscopes. Workshops are suitable for ages 8 to 12, cost £6 per child per session and are very popular so booking is essential.

For more information, see the activities page.

15.03.2010: VisitEngland award for Watford Museum

Prospective visitors to Watford Museum can now be assured of a great visit following a resounding "thumbs up" from VisitEngland. The museum has just been awarded VisitEngland's Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) accreditation.

VisitEngland award for Watford Museum

The VAQAS scheme is VisitEngland's quality assessment service for all types of visitor attractions throughout the country. An assessor carries out an unannounced visit and judges the quality of the visitor's experience in context to similar venues. In all assessments specific attention is given to cleanliness and customer service, as staff are the vital ingredient in making an attraction a success.

Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: "I'm delighted that Watford Museum can enjoy the same status as national attractions such as the London Eye and Imperial War Museum. This is an official endorsement of our standards and a great boost for both the museum and should help tourism in Watford.

"It is especially satisfying that one of the main areas that the museum passed with flying colours was the friendly and knowledgeable service provided by our staff. Through their hard work we are now able to display the VisitEngland red rose with pride."

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during March 2010

02.03.2010: What's on in March

Another busy month is on the way with everything from Fairtrade to film packed into activities around Watford. For more information, click here.

01.03.2010: CAMRA auction

Our friends at the Watford Campaign for Real Ale are hosting an auction of breweriana on 4th March 2010. The auction will take place at West Herts Sports Club at 8pm with viewing from 7pm. For more information, see the leaflet.

02.02.2010: Space 2 exhibitions

A new Space 2 exhibition will open in the Town Hall Customer Service in February. From My Travels is an exhibition of fine art by Elaine Kelly and will be on display from 4th to 26th February 2010.

An exhibition of fine art from the collections at the museum has been extended. The Blackley Bequest will continue until 27th February 2010. For more"http://space2.watfordmuseum.org.uk/index.html" the Space 2 page.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during February 2010

01.02.2010: What's on in February

From Hip Hop to Fairtrade, Children's Workshops to Chopin, there's something for everyone going in Watford in February. For more information, click here.

A leaflet containing information about LGBT History Month at Watford Museum in February 2010

29.01.2010: LGBT History Month

Guideposts Trust are working with Watford Museum and partners across Watford for celebrate Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans History Month.

There will be a display throughout February in the foyer of the museum looking at why LGBT History should be explored and shared. Tony Fenwick, co-founder of LGBT History Month and Schools Out, will be giving a talk at Watford Museum on Wednesday 10th February at 6pm, entitled "Why Do We Need A History?". Doors open at 5pm and admission is free, but booking is advisable. For more information, click on the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about Watford Film Society

22.01.2010: Tell everyone!

Watford Film Society's first season opens on Saturday 6th February in the Clarendon Muse with the award winning French thriller Tell No One.

Watford Film Society is a new community organisation run by a group of local volunteers aimed at widening the cinematic experience for Watford residents and providing a regular forum for talks and discussions about film.

For more information click on the leaflet or visit their website at www.watfordfilmsociety.org.

07.01.2010: Severe weather update

Watford Museum services may be affected by the current severe weather conditions over the next few days. Please phone us on 01923 232297 before your visit. As a precaution, the Friends of Watford Museum talk on Friday 8th December has been postponed and all art classes for this week cancelled.

06.01.2010: Watford at War

An display of facsimile copies of newspapers and photographs from the 1940s will go on display in the gallery at Watford Central Library from 18th January to 7th February 2010. The exhibition will include newspapers reporting the Second World War along with Watford at War photographs from the Greville Collection.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during January 2010

05.01.2010: What's on in January

Start the New Year with lots of activities and events around Watford. For more information, click here.

Self-portrait of Elisabeth Vigée le Brun

04.01.2010: The Blackley Bequest on display

Fine art from Watford Museum's impressive collections is to go on display in January in a new exhibition in the Space 2 gallery.

The Blackley Bequest is a collection of work given to Watford by Armand Blackley. They range from the striking portrait of an unknown man, at one time thought to be the Earl of Bedford, attributed to Sir Pieter Lely, to the self-portrait of Elisabeth Vigée le Brun, court painter to Marie Antoinette"http://space2.watfordmuseum.org.uk/index.html"re information, click on the Space 2 page.

17.12.2009: Festive opening times

Season's greetings from Watford Museum

The museum will be open Thursday 24th December from 10am to 4pm. The museum will then close for the festive season, reopening on 7th January.

Everyone at Watford Museum would like to wish you a very happy holiday!

09.12.2009: Happy Birthday to the Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting!

The Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting is celebrating its fifth birthday this month. The school first opened as an art group for local people who wished to learn how to draw, or to improve on their existing skills. The school has flourished and expanded to include oil painting sessions, opening every Thursday and Friday throughout the year for two classes each day.

Photo of the Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting

The classes are informal and social by nature, and students work at their own pace on subjects of their choice with guidance from the tutor and Watford Museum's resident artist, Martin Smith. Martin says, "Nearly everyone who comes to the school started without any previous experience and they all achieve an excellent standard of work in a very short time."

Photo of the Watford Museum School of Drawing and Painting

The cost is £6 per session or £11 per day, including tea and coffee. As there are no terms, new students are welcome to join at any time with any level of experience. Martin Smith is also giving a series of art appreciation lectures on Saturday mornings from 11am until 12.30pm, hosted at Watford Museum. For more information, see the activities page.

A leaflet containing information about Christmas Arts in Watford during December 2009

03.12.2009: Christmas Arts in Watford

Start your festive season with cost and calorie-free celebrations in the town centre on 5th and 12th December! For more information, click here.

02.12.2009: Screen Break at Space 2

Visitors will have the chance to view photography and paintings by television film-makers in the new exhibition at the Space 2 gallery in Watford Museum. Screen Break will showcase the talents of Andy King-Dabbs and John Martin White, and will be on d"http://space2.watfordmuseum.org.uk/index.html"m from 3rd to 24th December. For more information, visit the Space 2 page.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during December 2009

01.12.2009: What's on in December

There's lots to do in Watford during December, from Christmas events to activities for all ages. For more information, click here.

30.11.2009: Watford Art Space continues

Watford Borough Council's Arts Development Team's transformation of an empty shop in Charter Place Shopping Centre into the town's first art gallery pop-up shop has been a huge success.

The art gallery pop-up shop is occupied by Hertfordshire's Visual Arts Forum, who is exhibiting, discussing and selling their work. After a successful few weeks, with over a hundred people visiting the shop every day and with over £2,000 worth of sales, Watford Art Space is staying open until a permanent tenant can be found.

The shop is open to browse a specially selected range of original and affordable pieces of art created by local artists. The opening hours are: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 11-5.30pm; Thursday 11-8pm and Sunday 11-5pm.

A leaflet containing information about Christmas tree lights, bells and carols in December 2009

20.11.2009: Christmas tree lights, bells and carols

Join in the festive fun with the switching on of Watford's Christmas tree, bells and carol singing. The event starts at 5.30pm in St Mary's Square on Thursday 26th December 2009. For more information, click here.

16.11.2009: Listed buildings and conservation areas

Information on Watford's historic and architecturally important buildings is now available to view on line. The web pages have been produced by Watford Borough Council's Planning Department and can be viewed at:

Watford's Listed Buildings

Watford's Conservation Areas

13.11.2009: Parade to mark Watford's new fire station

The opening of Watford's new fire station is to be marked with a parade through the ages of the service. The procession has been organised by the Hertfordshire Fire Museum, which has shares a site with the Watford Fire Station.

The parade includes a horse drawn engine from 1896, a Leyland engine from 1937 and the three currently operational vehicles. It will start at the Rickmansworth Road fire station at 2pm on Thursday November 19th 2009 and then make its way down to the new station in Lower High Street. Click here for the Hertfordshire Fire Museum page.

06.11.2009: The Big Draw animates Watford

This year's Big Draw activities have been a great success with children enjoying full day workshops in animation and over 250 people joining in the drawing and animation drop in event in the Harlequin Centre. Marks & Spencer even loaned two widescreen televisions so that the animations created could be seen on the day. You can view the three animations here.

The museum is also proud to have examples of the Watford Community Housing Trust's Big Draw activities on display.

02.11.2009: Space 2 galleries

New exhibitions will go on display in the Space 2 galleries at Watford Museum and the Town Hall in November. At the museum, the XRR Photographic Society will be displaying the work of local photographers and in the foyer there will be an exhibition 'Home Grown' about Watford's rich allotment heritage. At the Customer Service Centre in the Town Hall, there will be an exhibition of work by artist Patsy Lowe.

A leaflet containing information about Art Space in Watford during November 2009

30.10.2009: Watford Art Space

A shop displaying the work of local artists is opening in Charter Place on 4th November. Watford Art Space is the idea of Watford Borough Council and the Herts Visual Arts Forum, and the shop will be staffed exclusively by local artists who will be on hand to chat about their work to visitors. For more information, click here.

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during November 2009

26.10.2009: What's on in November

There's lots to do in Watford during November, from Bonfire Night celebrations to the switching on of the town's Christmas tree. For more information, click here.

A leaflet containing information about half-term workshops at Watford Museum in October 2009

22.10.2009: Half-term workshops

Our ever-popular workshops return to Watford Museum during half-term: "Mysterious Mexican Masks" and "Scary Skeletons", both on Thursday 29th October. Click on the leaflet for more details.

Workshops are suitable for children aged 8 to 12 and cost £6 per child or £4 with an Everyone Active card. Places are limited, so booking is essential.

A leaflet containing information about Wild about Watford events in autumn 2009: click to enlarge (PDF file, 260Kb)

19.10.2009: Wild about Watford

Get wild about Watford with Watford Borough Council's Conservation Programme. You can make the most of autumn with a range of outdoor activities and support our local wildlife at the same time. For more information, click on the leaflet.

16.10.2009: Life on the Cut

An exhibition of photography by David Parker is now on display at Watford Museum. 'Life on the Cut' explores canal life on the Grand Union Canal and continues until 31st October 2009. An exhi"http://space2.watfordmuseum.org.uk/index.html"sh-born artist Arna Davis is on display at the Space 2 gallery at the Town Hall. For more information, visit the Space 2 page.

16.10.2009: Guideposts Trust World Mental Health Day exhibition

Explore mental wealth through art work from Guidep"http://space2.watfordmuseum.org.uk/index.html"eum foyer exhibition to celebrate World Mental Health Day. The exhibition continues until Saturday 31st October. For more information, visit the Space 2 page.

02.10.2009: Watford at War

An exhibition has opened at Watford Central Library exploring wartime Watford through newspapers and images from the Greville Collection. The exhibition will be on display at the Library until mid October. For more information and opening times, please visit www.hertsdirect.org

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during October 2009

01.10.2009: What's on in October

Autumn has arrived and there's lots of activities going on around the town, including events for Half Term and Halloween. For more information, click here.

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