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 email@example.com
Here is our first poster for our new exhibition opening in May. If you can remember that far back, you must come and see us. If you don’t, now is your chance to find out what all the fuss is about.
On Thursday March 21st, we were delighted to welcome Year 3 from St Theresas Primary. The class explored traditional (pre-games console!) toys, and each pupil had a chance to make their own classic animated flip book. Many thanks for visiting - looking forward to welcoming you again soon.
And on Monday, March 25th, Museum Manager, David Armitage gave a presentation to a class of Yavneh College Sixth Formers. Dave explained the history of Elstree and Borehamwood since the 1930's. Our presentation was very well received, with some excellent questions from a great class. Thank you, Yavneh College, for welcoming us - looking forward to welcoming you to our Museum soon.
Our next Exhibition opening in April will feature Borehamwood in the Sixties, and showcase The Lynx Club and other local hot spots. We are looking for any Sixties items still in your loft or garage that you think we should highlight – clothes, scooters, Chelsea boots, Beatles wigs, and so on. In particular we are looking for a Dansette Auto Changer like the one above to prove that music listening in the Sixties was as easy as streaming is now, as long as you didn’t mind changing your 45s after ten plays! If you have anything to donate or loan us, or any suggestions about Borehamwood in the Sixties, then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
"After all these years I am finally putting the finishing touches to my book on the MGM British Studios. Had a meeting today as we progress towards a professional book editor reviewing the contents and then the all important design stage. It will be a 'coffee table' size book with about 70,000 words and 400-plus photos, plans, etc. The idea is to publish next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the closing of MGM. It will not be an academic tome but a fond look back with anecdotes gathered over the past 50 years from the stars and staff who worked there plus facts and figures.
I have tried to mention every film and tv series shot at the studio to the best of my knowledge. The photos cover the start of building in the 30s, the wartime years, the expansion after the war, aerial photos, behind the scenes photos of stars and studio workers, etc, etc. I have avoided dwelling on such productions as 2001 and The Prisoner as there are far better books on these out there than I could ever write.
The vast majority of the photos will not have been published in a book before nor most of the interviews. This is not a money making venture for me as I will donate the profits to Elstree Screen Heritage and the Borehamwood Museum. The clock is ticking on me, as with us all, so I want to complete this rather than the material ending in a skip as an unfinished project. Wish me luck." Paul Welsh.
This morning, we were delighted to welcome twenty-four Year Twelve students from the local Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School. The boys listened to an excellent presentation by Dave Armitage, Museum Manager, and then had the opportunity to interview some of our local residents about the changes that they have seen during their time in Elstree and Borehamwood. Thank you Haberdashers’, for bringing a fantastic group of students. It was a pleasure to have you, and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.
Although his name is not that well known outside of the film industry, his work is familiar to any film-goer who has seen strange happenings on screen – ghosts, werewolves, aliens – or battle scenes with exploding bodies and carnage. Someone has to create all the special effects, and, if it involves bodies, then you can bet John is involved. He told the Friends at their latest exclusive Evening, that he started as a plasterer 40 years ago and after moving to Borehamwood got a job at Elstree Studios where his talent led him to creating ‘lifecasts’. If an actor had to perform a dangerous stunt, or to loose a limb or head, then he would make a cast of them from life which could be used for any sort of stunt. Once it was all down to silicon on the skin, but now it’s done by laser scanning, which is quicker and cleaner. His latest work is in the medical sphere where he uses silicon to create babies at different stages for teaching, and he passed a “baby” around for us to see his creativity.
A fascinating evening for anyone interested in films – the next time you see Saving Private Ryan you will know that John is in there pumping blood out of his lifecasts. More details can be found on his website, http://lifecast.co.uk/
It has been a good month for the Museum's Outreach programmes. On Wednesday 13th February, our manager David Armitage, spoke to students at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School about changes in Elstree and Borehamwood over the past eighty years.
David's talk was very well received by the enthusiastic and interested class, who challenged us, with some fascinating questions! Thank you to the school! We look forward to returning soon.
The local magazine that raises money for good causes in Borehamwood and Elstree generously presented the Museum with a cheque for £500 this week. Sasha Capocci, on behalf of David Burcombe, is seen here passing on the cheque to Derek Allen, our volunteer and photographer. Many of Derek’s photos of the town over the last fifty years have featured in Tried And Trusted. We will be using the cheque towards updating the lighting in our cabinets to LEDs which is better for the exhibits and better for the environment.
Elaine, Helen, and Clive at the stand
The Museum took part in the quarterly Coffee Morning sessions held at All Saints, on Saturday. Their purpose is to show people in Borehamwood and Elstree some of the many activities, clubs and entertainments they can visit and get involved in. The title for our displays was A Year In Photographs. Hard to choose just a handful from the many photos we collected last year from all the events, but hopefully the selection put across some of the things we have enjoyed! A steady flow of people came in and a couple at least then went up to see the latest Exhibition in the Museum S.O.S. - the story of the successful, eight year campaign to Save our Studios. Not to be missed!
Thanks to Andrew Grady for the photos.
Elaine and Mayor Victor Eni
Hope you read Paul’s column this week in The Borehamwood Times (online-only now), whereby he explains the background to our current Exhibition. Find out the full story in the Museum – how Paul and a few concerned citizens made sure Elstree Studios was rescued to become the success story it is today. Don’t miss it!