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....


Wednesday 28 September 2016

The Friends of the Museum met last night for an entertaining and illuminating talk by Fred Thomas.  Fred ran the Boreham Wood ironmongers in Shenley Road for over 50 years and was a regular fixture in The Village. 

The evening was introduced by the Mayor Clive Butchins and Museum Manager Dave Armitage, and then the event organiser, Maureen Corman, proceeded to prompt Fred’s fascinating journey through his life from Stanmore to Keele to Kenilworth and back to the Boreham Wood shop.  A video shot just before Fred retired and closed the shop in 2000 revealed both his depth of hardware and d-i-y knowledge, and his depth of stock, not to mention his knowldege of the area and his loyal customers.  Now of course we have to buy screws and nails in packs, but then you could buy them by weight, and Fred could help you with whatever your current project needed.

The evening was rounded off with drinks, nibbles, and a raffle, and Friends could visit our Down The Shops Exhibition.  If you would like to join The Friends please visit their page on this website for full details.

Maureen, Fred and Dave

Remembering those post-war years

Tuesday 6 September 2016

After a summer break, Going Down The Village, resumed its monthly reminiscence meetings in September. Our topic this month was post-war development of Borehamwood. The memories ranged from the new houses built by the London County Council and by Elstree Rural District Council, to Princess Margaret laying the foundation stone of St Michael’s Church.

The topic for next month, Thursday October 6th, is Health and Old time Remedies.

Going Down The Village in July

Saturday 9 July 2016

Our theme this month was Homes and Interior Design from the 1920s to the 1980s. Our memories ranged from butler sinks and kitchen ranges to psychedelic wallpaper, lava lamps, Ercol furniture and flying ducks on the wall. One of our regulars remembered making the very ducks!

Our next meeting is on Thursday Sept 8th: 'Post-War Development'. Do you remember the  LCC houses being built in the 1950s? do you still live in one?

Come along and join us, bring your memories and pictures if you have any. All welcome.

A Walk Back In Time

Monday 4 July 2016

Dave Armitage and John Woolston from the Museum lead the intrepid walkers round the east side of Boreham Wood on this years History Walk – the 10th would you believe.  Starting from the Ark, and taking unfamiliar paths and passages, we travelled via Well End, over a suspected Roman road, down and around the MGM studio site to Elstree Way and the large number of industries that have come and gone along this area. At every significant point we could examine old photos of the area which brought the history alive.  Dave pointed out that this end of the town was originally three farms and all the roads that linked them were just paths and tracks. We ended up in Maxwell Park and the Community Centre, via the original drover’s road from the farms to The Village. An excellent walk, and no one complained of aching feet!

How The Wind Blew And Blew

Monday 4 July 2016

The Ladies on the Stand

You don’t expect one of the requirements of being a museum volunteer to include holding up the exhibition stand and gazebo at Families Day, but it was yesterday on Meadow Park! A strong wind threatened to take us, stand and gazebo bowling across the park. A great day though. The rain held off and we managed to introduce the Annual History Walk (which took place today) and the new Exhibition which opens in the museum on Tuesday, Down The Shops. Come along and see Hansons Tea Rooms and Sweet shop…

The Men

Mayor Clive and the Tombola

Many thanks to everyone who donated or bought tickets from Mayor Clive Butchins whose Tombola on the Town Council stand was in aid of the Musuem. He raised some serious money to help us survive! Here he is with a helper grabbing the passers-by.

Flower Festival in All Saints Church

Monday 27 June 2016

Many visitors to the annual Flower Festival in All Saints in Borehamwood will have noticed the striking Museum display.  It’s arranged in a copper tea urn loaned by volunteer Helen Stamp, and represents Sri Lanka. This year's theme is the Commonwealth.  Don’t forget our new Exhibition opening next week is all about the shops of Borehamwood, and features Hanson and Maude that well-known sweet emporium that also served Ceylon Tea among other delights.

Family Fun Day For Fathers

Tuesday 21 June 2016

The Museum joined up with the Library at No. 96 again on Saturday June 18th for another Fun Day. In the Library children were entertained to Story Time with the Library staff, whilst in the Museum they dressed up for a day at the seaside, had their photo taken digitally and framed for them to decorate and take away, and donned their lab coats to discover the process of photography as it used to be. Great fun was had by all, not least by the Museum volunteers – who had a succession of delightful children (and their parents) to work with, as you can see. 

Going Down The Village

Tuesday 21 June 2016

In May the museum’s reminiscence group, which meets monthly, shared memories of the town’s May Parades and the much coveted position of May Queen.

In June we looked at the topic of working lives which resulted in a lively discussion about working conditions, wages, work friendships, early typewriters and much, much more.

The topic in July will be Homes and Interior Design. Remember the wireless, the early televisions or the flying ducks on the wall? Why not come along to our next meeting, bringing your memories and even a photo or two? 

New Plaque On Woodcock Hill

Friday 17 June 2016

A new plaque created by John Woolston, the Resident Museum Graphics Volunteer, was unveiled on Woodcock Hill on Saturday by Elstree & Borehamwood Town Mayor, Cllr. Clive Butchins.  Cllrs Pat Strack and Sandra Parnell were also on hand to show off the new plaque which describes in detail the history of the Beacon on the top of the Hill. Photo by Andrew Grady

Keeping Well In Hertsmere

Saturday 21 May 2016

Hertsmere MP, Oliver Dowden, visited the Museum stall at the Hertsmere Keeping Well drop-in Session at Allum Hall on Friday.  Providing advice, information and activities to help older people keep well, the Session involved many local organisations such as Careline, Crossroads, Age UK and Community Action Hertsmere, etc, to give carers and others ideas.  The Museum had a number of objects on display from the ‘50s and earlier which provoked memories and discussion from visitors, such as the flask and oil bike lamp seen in our photo.  Long-time local resident and Museum volunteer, Betty Chandler, greeted our MP on his way round the Hall.  Later, Museum members attended a Dementia Friends session for more detailed information in recognition of Dementia Awareness Week.

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