Blog

Welcome to the Elstree & Borehamwood Museum blog.

This blog is about all those happenings inside and outside the Museum 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 info@elstree-museum.org.uk

Off The Rails : Open Today

Thursday 20 January 2022

Our new Exhibition exploring the Elstree Extension through the Northern Heights that was suspended during World War 2, and never restarted, opens today.
Our photos can only give a glimpse of the Exhibition.
Come and see the scale model of the Tube line and how it would have looked if it had been completed.
And the trains are running!


OffTheRails- Work-In-Progress Part Three

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Only three days left to complete the Exhibition. Will it be finished in time?
The Panels are up and the Model is coming along :


Off The Rails : Work-In-Progress : Part Two

Friday 14 January 2022

The model is now joined up, but not yet running.  With 5 days to go, let's hope it all comes together.
Progress report on Monday after the display panels arrive.


New Year, New Exhibition - Work-In-Progress Part One

Tuesday 11 January 2022

New Year, New Exhibition - Work-In-Progress Part One

The empty Museum on Monday before the build starts

Let's start the New Year with a New Exhibition - Off The Rails : The Line That Never Was. The full story of the Elstree Extension to the Tube that was stopped by the Second World War, nearly resumed afterwards but cancelled by the end of the 1940s. And we have an 18-foot model of the line as it would have been. The Exhibition opens on Thursday 20th January and here's the start of the work as the model arrives :

Tony starts work assembling his model on Tuesday.


Last Chances

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Just a few days now to Christmas week when our current Holby City Exhibition will be coming to an end. This is your last chance to find out the answers to all those questions about the show you always wanted to ask.

And don't forget that Holby City itself will coming to an end in the new year. So this is another last chance to see behind the scenes and remember all the great characters and situations you've grown to love over the last 20 years.

In addition it's the last chance to get your local Christmas cards. Local scenes, some painted, some photographs - all very Christmassy. So pop into the Museum to get your traditional, non-digital, Christmas cards, support your Museum and only 50 pence each.


We Need Help!

Saturday 13 November 2021

We're looking for volunteers to help us run the Museum.

Any one can do it!

Please pop in for a chat or drop us a line to INFO

See our new video HERE


Another Generous Donation From David

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Our first ever blog post in May 2015 was a big thank you to David Lally for his extremely generous donation to the Museum. And now he has surpassed himself and donated £750 to us this week. Once again we thank you David, and hope to see you in the Museum again! Our photo shows Museum Manager, Dave Armitage, accepting the cheque.


Halloween Ghost Stories : Gate Studios

Tuesday 26 October 2021

The Gate Studios c.1928

Opened in 1928, the studios were in use until the early 1950s, after which the building was occupied by Harkness Screens Ltd for the production of cinema screens, until 2003 when the studios were earmarked to be demolished to make way for 133 new homes.

Protests against the demolition of the studios building came from an unexpected quarter. The ghost of a man wearing 1920s clothing was seen by workers at the studios and looked like he was guarding something.

The figure was described as a smart, tall, bearded man in his forties to fifties, dressed in a white shirt and black trousers. A cold blast of air accompanied his appearance.

He was seen on several occasions, once in a corridor wearing a long jacket where he was described by the witness as ‘just fading away’.

One morning in 2003, a maintenance engineer at the studios saw a shadowy figure out of the corner of his eye.  He was working on the floor, looking up at the cinema screen and saw the figure walk up the gangway and go behind some piles of foam.  When no one emerged, he went to investigate but no one was there.

Perhaps you can tell us more about the ghosts of the former studios and whether they wander the site of the new housing development?

1953 Coronation display by Gate Studios on waste ground in Shenley Road


Halloween Ghost Stories : Stirling Corner

Monday 18 October 2021

Halloween Ghost Stories : Who is the Ghost at Stirling Corner?

Vic Rowntree shared this tale.   He remembers his father returning home from a late shift as a bar steward, very shaken up.  His father worked at the Kings Arms at Stirling Corner.  On this particular night he walked home along his regular route by the service road next to the A1 Barnet by-pass.  When he arrived home, pale and shocked, all he would say is that he had seen a ghost.  That same month, a local newspaper published an article asking if there was a ghost at Stirling Corner.

A resident of one of the nearby cottages reported hearing a strange noise outside his home and on investigation, found a woman standing smiling beside a derelict shed.  He looked around to see if anyone else was nearby and when he turned back, she had vanished.

Perhaps someone out there can tell us more!


Object of the Week : Y is for Yale Key

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.

Object of the Week : Y is for Yale Key

The giant Yale Key hanging up behind the reception desk in the Museum, was donated from Borehamwood Ironmongers. 

This key was located in the doorway of Borehamwood Ironmongers for many years. The shop was known as ‘the Emporium that sold everything’ and was probably the only place in Borehamwood where you could get many different types of key cut. 

Fred Thomas was the man to go to for key cutting and any other questions relating to ironmongery or even screws for those DIY projects. Nails were brought by weight and the Museum holds the weighing scales that were used for this very purpose.

The shop stocked one of almost everything and was used by public and contractors alike. There was usually a queue back to the front door at busy times.

The mechanical till was unique and never wore out. In the times of power cuts during industrial disputes of the 1970s, it was still going when all electrical tills had stopped working.  VAT was always added on to any purchase making things seem a little more expensive than expected. The shop was located between the Crown Inn and Glenhaven  Avenue and lasted for 42 years finally closing in 2002.




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