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

Elstree Confidential

Thursday 6 June 2024

Now back on our shelves after a short absence is Paul Welsh's memories of 50 years of the film studios in Borehamwood and Elstree. Includes many photos of the stars who have worked here, and, of course, his campaign to save Elstree Studios in the late 80s and 90s. An essential read for anyone interested in the film industry and local history!

The MGM Letters

Monday 27 May 2024

On #MemoriesMonday we have an intriguing story for you. One of the Most Missed buildings in Borehamwood is the MGM Studios and its famous landmark of a tower. And atop this tower were the letters that could be seen far and wide. We've just received photos of a set of these letters and a really good provenance to prove that they still exist, and didn't get destroyed when the tower was demolished. 

You may say that's unlikely, but it is an intriguing story. Somewhere out there is the answer....

Bill O'Neill R I P

Monday 6 May 2024
Bill in the Museum

On #MemoriesMonday we pay tribute to Bill O'Neill who passed away recently at the age of 96. Bill was a great friend to the Museum and we publish his autobiography - still on sale today. Bill was instrumental in setting up our football club Boreham Wood FC - here's a short passage from the tribute on the Club's webpage :

"...the best place is to go back to the summer of 1948 when he led a meeting in the Church Hall of the All Saints Church in Shenley Road, when the two existing local clubs in the town amalgamated and Boreham Wood Football Club was formed. Bill even played in the very first trial match played on a pitch in Theobald Street that had been the Polish Army camp during the war which finished only a few short years beforehand."

Please read his full story on the website HERE, or in his book.  His contribution to football in Boreham Wood cannot be underestimated.

Parkside School Photos

Monday 29 April 2024
Parkside Photos in the Cafe at 96

On #MemoriesMonday we have some new photos of Parkside School from the sixties that we have received. They are so typical of school life back then that we have used the 'School Milk' photo on our poster, and we have blown them up to hang in the Cafe at 96 Shenley Road.  So when having a cuppa you can either reminisce about your schooldays, or give thanks that your time learning was not as serious as these look!  And then visit us on the third floor and find out all about schooldays in Elstree and Borehamwood.

Cookery Class
The Play's The Thing


Spotlight On The Museum

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Communities 1st are featuring the Museum this month with our search for volunteers who love a bit of history and would like to meet others so inclined. If you've ever thought of helping us out, now's the time!  Please check out the roles we are looking for and email us here. Look forward to meeting you.

Hertsmere Is 50

Monday 22 April 2024

This year we celebrate the formation of Hertsmere 50 years ago. As the text above reveals the coming together of a number of local councils started in 1974. When visiting the Museum or Library you will see some items from our collection in the display case in the foyer of 96 Shenley Road. That will bring back some memories if you saw the council offices being built opposite Elstree Studios.


Alf On The Radio

Thursday 18 April 2024

Alf Hunter is a long-time resident of Borehamwood, and was the set decorator on many classic films. He decorated the set for the famous sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark where a large ball rolls after Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. He was interviewed on Three Counties Radio yesterday on the Roberto Peroni show and Andy Collins Breakfast.  He has many anecdotes from his long career involving Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor and directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  Listen to a clip here.

The list of films Alf worked on shows just how many great films were made in this area. Alf worked all over - MGM, ABPC, Shepperton, Ealing, Danziger, and all varying forms of the Elstree studios. Some career!

Alf in Whippendell Woods on the
film Return to Oz


Six Of The Best Opens

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Our new Exhibition Six Of The Best is now open!  If you went to school in Borehamwood and Elstree we're sure you'll want to see the story of your school, find it on our interactive map, find yourself in our photos on the TV and sit at the school desk and write your memories for our website.  The new Our History pages on our website feature all the schools from the map, not just the six of the best. We include all the history, photos and memories we don't have room for in the Museum for you to read at your leisure.

Looking forward to seeing you at Six Of The Best.

More Footbridge Memories

Monday 25 March 2024

The end of the footbridge to Parkfields

On #MemoriesMonday we once again thank Peter Kirby for sending us another of his excellent photos of the long-gone footbridge to Parkfields. Now we can see how it was possible to cross the railway by walking on the bridge rails! Good balance required.

The Footbridge

Freestone Revealed

Monday 11 March 2024

Anyone strolling down Shenley Road from the Post Office towards Theobald Street should glance up before reaching the sorting office. You will see this facia on a closed shop that was once Sam's Chicken. A real #MemoriesMonday treat - here is the original fascia for Bob Freestone's bakery shop which has been exposed and left for all to see. Not sure when this shop closed, but Bob's brother Ernest owned the Dutch Oven and sold it in 1952. Bob used to drive a van around the new estates selling his wares, and was based here. More information always appreciated.

Guess it will soon be covered over and another fast food establishment installed.

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