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

150 Years Later

Monday 16 July 2018

On Monday 13th July 1868, the new Elstree Station opened its doors for the first time.  150 years later, on Sunday 15th July 2018, First Impressions, who have worked in partnership with the Museum on the current and continuing All Change! exhibition, hosted a gala event at the railway station in honour of this prestigious anniversary. Representatives from the Town Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Elstree Screen Heritage, Elstree and Borehamwood Museum and Hertfordshire County Council gathered to celebrate with music from Borehamwood Brass, presentations and a cream tea at Allum Hall. As part of the celebrations, a brand new heritage plaque was unveiled.

Photos courtesy of Clive Butchins

Museum History Walk

Monday 2 July 2018

Yesterday the crowds gathered at the Organ Hall Open Space for the annual Museum History Walk, the last event in the Civic Festival fortnight.  Graced by the Mayor, Victor Eni, we assembled under the watchful eye of Dave Armitage, the Museum Manager, for a two hour, 3.7 mile walk around the north of Borehamwood. 

Heading out of what was the Organ Hall estate, up Theobald Street, past the current Organ Hall farm, the Watersplash and up to Little Organ Hall (now called ‘Fields’), around 20 of us historical walkers were already heating up.  Thankfully the organisers had provided water for us, but it was a very hot afternoon.  Along the way Dave had photos of the significant points of interest, and we stopped to learn more as we went along.  Dave was ably assisted by Teddy’s Trails creator, John Cartledge, whose wealth of local knowledge certainly added to the afternoon.

After a trip under the railway line, down Tykes Water Lane, and towards the Kendall Hall estate, we went back to cross Theobald Street again and up Rossington Avenue. Wending our way back to the start via Haggerston and Aberford Parks, Croxdale Road, the Old Haberdasher’s Sports Ground, and Gateshead Road.

An excellent afternoon excursion into the history and geography of a part of Borehamwood that is rarely discussed, but which has plenty to offer us history hounds.

John, in the brown hat, and Dave, with the photo, explain the history of the Old Habs Sports Ground

Families Day

Sunday 1 July 2018

Our Museum Volunteers were out in force at Families Day yesterday with a bright blue sky and a beaming hot sun.  We had two stalls this year – one featured Tony De Swarte’s amazing model of Elstree Station in 1900 (see elsewhere in the blog for more details), and the other included information about the Museum and the current All Change! Exhibition.

Tony’s model drew much interest, with families all around the display.  We were also handing out tickets for a free steam train ride in Meadow Park.  Built and operated by the St Albans Model Engineering Society it was a real miniature train complete with miniature coal, but real steam. The tickets advertised the Exhibition and a BR hole punch created that “welcome aboard” experience.  Needless to say it was a most successful attraction with hundreds of families queueing up for their ride. 

Three of us dressed up as British Railways operatives to add to the flavour of the day, and the train’s noises and steam whistle completed the picture.

Dave, Helen (who organised the whole day) and Simon try to look the part!

Model Railway Day

Sunday 1 July 2018

Bushey Model Railway Society and First Impressions held a display of railway models at 96 Shenley Road on Sunday 24th.  The detail of these layouts had to be seen to be believed, and were the result of many hours of effort. The day and displays were entirely free and celebrated 150 years of our local railway service.

Also on display was the amazing model of our station in 1900 by Tony De Swarte which has been added to since last shown in 96.  It was soon to feature in Families Day…

Woodlands School Visit

Tuesday 26 June 2018

28 children from Woodlands School (year 5) visited the Museum last Thursday. They participated in a number of activities. These included map reading, and looking at the growth of Borehamwood since the coming of the railway.

They carried out a museum trail which included dressing up as station staff, engine river, fireman or guard.

The railway handling collection was also put to good use. This includes a railway timepiece, a paraffin lamp and guards whistle. Steam turbines were also assembled and tested with a steam generator. A very well behaved class that had a great time at the Museum.

Thanks to Vania, Helen, Linda and Alan for helping out.

Festival Flower Show

Sunday 24 June 2018

Here’s our entry to the Civic Festival Flower Show, now on display in All Saints Church.  Celebrating the 150 Years All Change! Exhibition, the bouquet is based on the colours in the Terence Cuneo railway painting.  Showing vibrant red flowers and green leaves, the displays are available for a few days. Tomorrow, Monday 25th, there is a coffee morning in the church, and all are welcome to view the displays and enjoy a cuppa. Please drop in!

History Walk Reminder

Saturday 9 June 2018

Don’t forget to put our History Walk on Sunday 1 July in your calendar.  The final event of the Civic Festival fortnight, where else can you get exercise, history, and (hopefully) sunny weather to explore North Borehamwood?  Meeting at 2pm at the Co-Op in Organ Hall Road.  Hope to see you there!

The New Railway Trail

Monday 14 May 2018

A hardy band of walkers and railway enthusiasts joined together on Sunday for the inaugral Rail Trail.  The Trail is part of the 150 Years All Change! Exhibition at the Museum, and the Celebration of the arrival of the railway to the area.

Starting at Allum Hall we had an introduction by the Trail instigator, Bob Redman, and a brief history of the railway and the station by Teddy’s Trails supremo, John Cartledge.  Grabbing our set of photos and our water bottles, we followed John and his megaphone as he took us over Allum Lane to the station.  We visited every platform to see where the original photos were taken, and in the process learnt much about the ever-changing face of what is now one of the busiest stations in the country.

Up Theobald Street to Red Road and Robinson’s Bridge, back round to Allum Lane and up Deacon’s Hill Road via the old brickworks’ clay pits to Woodcock Hill, and the old steam train vents in the fields.  Then we ventured through overgrown woods and mud to stand on the top of the tunnels.  Back down to the station, and we fou0nd we had covered so much ground in 3 to 4 hours.

A great success, and Bob is planning more Trails.  Don’t miss out next time!

Model Railway Heaven!

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Our Model Railway Day at 96 Shenley Road was a huge success with over 150 visitors drawn by the model railway layouts, the traditional toy trains, and the amazing Elstree and Borehamwood Station 1900 model.

Created by Tony De Swarte (above) the accurate representation of our station in 1900 complete with station house, signal box, and the famous tunnels, and including sheep on the top of the hill and the long lost trackway from the brick fields, was the highlight.  Tony also modelled the cattle pen, brick works and tower, and much more.  And running through were the trains of course!

And the many other layouts of different guages and ages were also a big attraction for all ages!

Are You Ready For Model Railway Day Tomorrow?

Friday 20 April 2018

John and Dave get their trains up and running for Model Railway Day tomorrow.  See you there with your train set at 96 Shenley Road!

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