Welcome to the Elstree & Borehamwood Museum blog.

This blog is about a few museum items that have caught our attention from events and exhibitions, to new discoveries in the collections, to news and views.

Any comments and items to go here please contact Simon on

Here is a picture of an old telephone ... won't need this to contact us....

Writers In The Wood Meets The Friends

Thursday 23 February 2017

Getting Ready For the Start

Lorraine Reading

Last night The Friends of the Museum gathered for an event organised by the Writers in the Wood group, ably assisted by Matt Caro and Maureen Corman. Lorraine Reed, the guiding light of the WITW, started the proceedings with readings of her children’s times-tables poetry, followed by slightly more scatalogical, but extremely amusing, adult works.  Lorraine had a quick quiz for all of us based round the history of Borehamwood, and Brenda Treacher won the Tesco voucher!

Lorraine also managed to get 11 volunteers to stand to slowly reveal the letters of Borehamwood from her poem, although unfortunately they were back to front!

Madge In Full Flow

Lorraine was followed by Emily ‘Madge’ Payne who read some of her poems to us based on her Poetry Princess character.  Madge has written over 300 poems by now and the audience were enthralled at her words and rhyming from the few she read us.

There then followed a few swift drinks and nibbles and a bit of magic from Magic Mike who confounded us all with his card and dictionary mind-reading trick.  Lastly came Steve J Pemberton who read us one of his science fiction stories specially created for the evening. Drawing us all into his alien worlds with his quiet purposeful voice we could see how Steve has produced such a number of cult classics.

Steve in the Twilight Zone

Finally a couple of poetical Friends read out their poems – the aforementioned Brenda with her ode to The Wood, and Joyce Seward read a poem about her long-lost cat.  Joyce won the initial Friends Poetry Award by a cats whisker.

A hugely enjoyable evening for all students of the iambic pentameter and outer space!

The Writers Gathered Together

The Museum Volunteers Meet Our New Exhibition

Monday 13 February 2017

A couple of weeks ago there was a gathering of the Museum Volunteers and their guests to see and discuss the new Exhibition, From Village To Town.  With a few nibbles and a few tinctures they were able to familiarise themselves with the displays to better aid the many visitors to come.  Matt Caro, the Exhibition Leader and Designer, thanked everyone for their help, as seen above.  And even our photo maestro, Derek Allen, got in one picture :

Teachers Drop In

Friday 10 February 2017

Five teachers from Cowley Hill, Kennilworth and Meryfield schools visited the drop-in event at the Museum, held over three afternoons in February. Teachers had a chance to view the current exhibition and learn about the outreach services that the Museum can provide. The three schools received a free Curriculum Resource Pack, linked to the exhibition From Village To Town: Celebrating A Century of Migration.

Going Down The Village with Vic

Thursday 2 February 2017

Vic Rowntree, author of From Ladbrooke Grove to Borehamwood, gave a presentation on his memories of moving to Borehamwood as a boy in the 1950s. A bygone era of newly built houses on the edge of fields and the countryside beyond, quiet roads in which children could play unattended, and local merchants delivering milk, bread and groceries. The many and varied photographs of the time prompted lots of memories and discussion.

Next meeting: Thursday March 2nd. Topic: Factories

From Village To Town Official Opening

Wednesday 25 January 2017

On Friday 20 January the Mayors of Hertsmere and Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council, and other dignatories, gathered to open the new Exhibition at the Museum.  Dave Armitage, the Museum Manager, gave a short talk about how the Exhibition came about and the work involved.  Mayor Pete Rutledge from Hertsmere thanked everyone involved, and Matt Caro, the Exibition Organiser and driving force, spoke about the many interviewees that had come forward to make it such a comprehensive and compelling trip through the formation of modern Borehamwood.  Tea and other beverages were enjoyed by all as they toured the new descriptive panels and unique listening posts. We hope to see you all here soon!

From Village To Town

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Now open – our new Exhibition.  From Village To Town – Celebrating A Century Of Migration explores the changes to Boreham Wood since the coming of the railways.  Told through your voices, there are listening posts for each significant decade where you can hear these voices of our interviewees through an appropriate phone receiver.  This all builds up to a facinating timeline of the growth of the area as wave after wave of new people settle in the Village and make it a Town. Curated and developed by Matt Caro, this is a must-see Exhibition, whether you have just moved into the area or your family has farming roots going back a century or more.

The Workers Have Arrived

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Our new Exhibition is on the way! Here we see Ruth and John starting the installation of From Village To Town. What are the phones for?  All will be revealed by the end of the week.  Exhibition opens next Tuesday.

Going Down The Village for Christmas Food

Thursday 8 December 2016

With the festive season in mind the Reminiscence meeting this month was based on Christmas shops, food and restaurants​. As well as an interesting discussion about food eaten at Christmases past, the making and baking of pies and puddings, the thought of looking for silver threepence coins inside a pudding brought back memories. The PowerPoint  presentations showed some of the eateries that were once based in the area and also some of the former shops that sold Christmas food. To complement the session tea, coffee, mince pies were handed out.

A Visit From The Local Pack

Monday 5 December 2016

A group of 16 Guides and Brownies from the 5th Borehamwood pack visited the museum on Wednesday 23rd November in the evening. They were very interested in the museum cash register, handling pre-decimal money and weighing out sweets.  Lynda Marshall and Dave Armitage discussed what we were doing at their age, and illustrated this by the use of photographs. The museum tour was conducted ty Lynda Parkin.

Our Monksmead Friends Visit Us

Friday 25 November 2016

In November two classes from Monksmead School visited the museum. Great fun was had by all using the old-fashioned cash register , handling pre-decimal coins and weighing out 2oz of sweets in Hanson and Maud’s sweetshop.

The children explored the museum and both classes took part in a Curious Curator workshop, handling a range of artefacts including a Bakelite telephone and an Edwardian hot-water bottle.

In another workshop, the Year 2 children used maps and photographs to find out just how much Borehamwood had changed in a 100 years.

The younger children in Year 1 handled and played with a range of old-fashioned toys including a Diabolo and a spinning top.

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