Bookmark this page to keep up-to-date with what's happening at Watford Museum. We'll also include information about other interesting local and historical events.
If you'd like to receive news updates by email, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to join our mailing list.
19.04.2016: Fizzing and whizzing BFG Dream Bottles
As part of Watford's Big Word Festival the museum held some wondercrump workshops where children were read the splendiferous Roald Dahl stories then created disgusterous Mr Twit beards and fizzing and whizzing BFG Dream Bottles. The gloriumptious creations are on display at the museum until mid-May and will then be judged and the winner will receive tickets to 'James and the Giant Peach' at Watford Palace Theatre.
Our Dream Cabinet is almost full but we can fit some more in! If you would like to create your own bottle, come to the museum on a Saturday in April to mix your own dream and have a chance at winning the competition.
50p per bottle. Available during museum opening times.
18.03.2016: Roald Dahl parade
Watford Museum took part in the town's first ever literary festival, Big Word Fest, the event was completely free. It began with arts and crafts at Watford Museum and finished at Watford Central Library, where children and families took part in making a huge sculpture of the BFG.
Fourteen of Dahl's best-loved characters - including Willy Wonka, the Oompa Loompas, the witches, the twits and the BFG - led a spectacularly silly parade through the town centre.
The 400 strong troupe snaked its way down the High Street, through the intu centre and up The Parade to the library, with at least 300 more joining in the fun along the way!
Big Word Fest is running until 23 April, with dozens of events planned for adults and children. See more events at www.watford.gov.uk/wordfest
01.02.2016: New Connections visit the Peace Hospice
Watford Arts Development Officer, Laura Horn led a dance session with her New Connections Dance Company at The Watford Peace Hospice on Wednesday 27th January. The dancers were joined with staff , patients and carers: allowing them to try a new form of movement and meet new people. The company will visit the hospice again in March and May.
These sessions are free to members of the public also.For more information contact email@example.com
29.01.2016: May Contain Nuts Theatre Company workshop at Watford Museum
Local independent Theatre Company 'May Contain Nuts' took part in a Drama Workshop by Mark Crane (Artistic Director, Theatre On Wax) at the Museum on Wednesday 27th January. Funded by Watford Borough Council, the actors experienced Theatre Improvisation and physical theatre applying Chekhov, Stanislavski and Brecht techniques to assist in the creation of characters for Theatre, Film and Television. Culminating in a group led improvisational piece inspired by photographs by Diane Arbus.
"A fantastic session of exploration where two hours doesn't feel quite enough time. Wonderfully receptive actors and I look forward to working with them again." - Mark Crane
28.01.2016: New Connections Christmas Performance Event
On 10th December 2015,the Museum's resident dance company, New Connections were invited to share their latest dance piece 'Adrift' with the Regenerations Dance group , based in Chelmsford.The Dancers wowed the audience with their amazing performance, accompanied by live music composed by Elliot Kendall.
02.10.2015: Watford in top 26% of Heritage Districts in the Country
The new Heritage Index compiled by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) reveals Watford in top 26% of local districts across England.
The index has been created to see how a local identity is shaped by its heritage. Blue plaques, volunteering opportunities and heritage have all been used to create the interactive heritage index map.
Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "We work hard in Watford to protect and enhance our heritage, so it's fantastic to be recognised in this way. In the past few years alone, we have refurbished nearly all of our war memorials, we're about to start work restoring Cassiobury Park with help from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Fund, and we have another lottery bid going in soon for our wonderful Watford Museum."
Access the index and find out what local assets and activities are in the area at www.thersa.org/heritage
01.10.2015: Heritage Lottery Fund application
Watford Museum is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for some money to completely refurbish their Grade II listed home.
The former Benskins Brewery Mansion has been transformed over the last few years; housing a series of fantastic events and projects in partnership with an incredible range of partners in the local community.
However, the building is in need of repair and the facilities are in need of modernisation. Since opening in 1981 many of the displays have remained the same. In that time the museum's collections have grown significantly, with new acquisitions arriving every month.
The restoration project will not only improve access and ensure the building is fit for purpose, it will ensure visitors can really engage and interact with the amazing historical and art collections on display. The team are currently putting together the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and will submit this autumn for the first phase of the project.
Watford has a wonderful story to tell, and with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we hope to be able to share it with more people than ever.
11.08.2015: Sensational Summer Crafts kicks off!
Thursday 6 August saw the museum filled with creepy critters, as families made grasshoppers, butterflies and some very impressive Harry the Hornet mascots! Why not join us for our next workshop on Thursday 13 August? We will be making Chinese printing dragon puppets! Workshops take place every Thursday morning in August, 10.30am - 12.30pm. £1 per child, no booking necessary. All ages welcome!
10.08.2015: Party in the Park at Cassiobury
Watford Museum were invited to take part in the Watford and Three Rivers Trust, Five Way Friends 'Party in the Park' in Cassiobury on Thursday 30 July. The event was to celebrate International Friendship day and included a host of events including arts and crafts, music, dancing, food and activities for local older people and carers.
Watford Museum took along handling objects from the 1940s - 60s for reminiscence and a selection of goodies from the shop. Laura Horn, Arts Officer, also organised for her dance group New Connections to perform as part of the celebrations. The group performed effortlessly under sunny skies and received glowing feedback from visitors to the event.
24.07.2015: Museum Learning Officer Post
Ever wanted to pursue a career in museums? Do you have a passion for learning and creating artistic, innovative and educational workshops? Watford Museum are currently looking for a Museum Learning Officer to join their enthusiastic team. For more details on the job post and how to apply visit www.watford.gov.uk.
23.07.2015: Watford Museum Celebrates Archaeology
Watford Museum celebrated the Festival of Archaeology on Saturday 18th July, as visitors discovered what could be found in the Thames - from animal bones to clay pipes with the South West Herts Archaeological Society. A hub of creativity took place in the museum's Space2 Gallery as visitors took part in mosaic making, from the creation of geometric patterns to animal designs, led by the fantastic artistic duo Nicky Metcalf and Julie Liebling. Thank you to everyone that came and Laurie Elvin for his archaeological finds, and Nicky and Julie for the workshop.
22.07.2015: Party in the Park!
Watford Museum will be hosting a stall at Five Way Friends Party in the Park at Cassiobury Park on Thursday 30 July, 11am - 3pm. This event is free for all local older people and carers to celebrate international friendship day. There will be music, dancing, arts & crafts, a food court and activity area. We will be there with objects from the 1940s - 60s and some local history shop memorabilia.
Watford Museum's Dance Groups New Connections will also be performing at 1.30pm as part of the celebrations.
We look forward to seeing you there!
16.07.2015: My Watford Hero Postcard Winner
A big thank you to everyone that took part in this years Watford Live! art postcard competition. The shortlisted postcards were up on the Watford Live! website to allow the public to vote for their favourite, with a deadline of 5 July. The votes have now been counted and the winner is Lydia Dollard with her collage of Harry Williamson also known as 'Wulf Schmidt' a double agent in Watford during and after WW2. Congratulations!
03.07.2015: Museum Explorer Passport comes to Watford!
Looking for somewhere new to explore this summer? Get yourself a Museum Explorer Passport!
Visit museums across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex throughout the summer and pick up a stamp in your passport for each one you visit. Each museum has different workshops and activities going on from crafts to trails, there is something for everyone! There are also special challenges you can complete, with a special certificate to receive if you complete each task.
Watford Museum is running family craft workshops every Thursday morning 10.30am - 12.30pm in August, so why not visit us, pick up a free passport and get your first stamp!
Visit www.museumexplorerpassport.com for more information.
25.06.2015: Local Photographer Dave Parker Captures Museum Scrabble Group
On Friday 19 June, local photographer Dave Parker dropped into the museum and took some fantastic pictures of our weekly Scrabble Group surrounded by the Watford Live! Fairytales exhibition. The scrabble group meet every Friday at 2pm, so why not join in and brush up on your word knowledge! Scrabble is £1.50 per session, no booking required.
View more of Dave Parker's stunning photography at www.daveparker.org.
22.06.2015: Watford Live! Oral History Exhibition Opening
Thank you to everyone that joined us for the Watford Live! exhibition opening and website launch.
The event was opened with a bang from JiveSwing with their fantastic lindyhop and charleston performances, allowing audience members to join in! JiveSwing visited the museum's over 50s dance class New Connections in May, allowing them to join in with the performance at the launch.
It was also great to hear the audio clips from the participants of the oral history project speak about school life, the estates and Grillo's icecream!
The exhibition will remain on display until 4 July. The website with the audio clips and new Roll of Honour listings can be found at www.ourwatfordhistory.org.uk.
15.06.2015: Big Events animation up for an award
An animation that was first shown as part of the Big Events series by Watford Borough Council is up for a prestigious award at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
The seven-minute Homeward Bound feature was projected onto the outside of Jackson Jewellers in The Parade for people to watch for free over the course of four nights in January.
Script-writer Sarah Woolner, who with two others won last year's Best British Short Animation BAFTA for Sleeping with the Fishes, wrote Homeward Bound especially for Watford. She was brought to the town centre by Watford film-makers Shaun Clark and Kim Noce from Mew Lab - themselves nominated for a BAFTA for their past works.
Homeward Bound has been reformatted and renamed The evening her mind jumped out of her head, and will be shown as part of the festival on Wednesday 24 June. It will now go up against other animated British short films competing for the prestigious McLaren Award. The winner will be decided by the audience over the course of two days of screenings.
The film is about a serious woman who lightens up during a train journey when her mind jumps out of her head and goes off to explore the countryside. The exciting and family-friendly animation took about five months to make.