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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.
28.05.2015: Holy Rood Primary Art Exhibition
On the 18th May, Holy Rood Primary School celebrated art week, investigating the theme 'Woodlands' with a focus on Cassiobury Park. The museum team were invited to visit the school exhibition on Friday 22 May, with an art tour led by some year six students. There was a fantastic array of work, from sculptural trees, to Batik, leaf prints and paintings. Aspects of this exhibition will be on display at the museum from 3 - 13 June, with a private view taking place 4 - 6pm on Thursday 4 June.
27.05.2015: West Herts College Future Collections
West Herts College Foundation Art and Design students have taken over the museum, installing artworks around the exhibition spaces in response to the theme of 'Future Collections'. Film, sculpture, costume and paintings investigate themes of sustainability, war and history in individual approaches. The exhibition is on until the 13 June.
26.05.2015: Museums at Night
Thank you to everyone involved in Museums at Night 2015. We had a packed museum, with beautiful music by Tom Craven and Minnie Birch, a constant supply of locally brewed beer by Pope's Yard and some yummy coffee from LP café. Mewlab took visitors on a magical journey of a siblings adventure written by Sarah Woolner through zoetropes, projections and kinetic animations. Not to mention some hypnotic portraits by RunBlackWolf and fantastic zoetrope workshops by Roger Kattenhorn and Quirky Pictures. All welcomed into the museum by Lobby Lud's quirky Human Organ Pipe Organ!
The results of the zoetrope animation workshop can be found in this video produced by Mewlab:
08.05.2015: Watford Live! Art & Literature Competition
Watford Area Arts Forum, Watford Writers and Watford Live! would like to invite you to express your interpretation of Fairytales in words or in pictures in this exciting annual competition. Artworks will be displayed at the museum during June, with prize announcements taking place as part of the Little Gallery Tearoom on Saturday 27 June.
07.05.2015: Woodside Morris Men and the Museum
Watford Museum welcomed in May with a fantastic performance by the Woodside Morris Men. Dancing out the front of the museum, the group entertained museum visitors and captivated passerbys with their leaping, bell ringing moves!
If you want to know more about the Woodside Morris Men, visit www.woodsidemorrismen.com/
06.05.2015: New Hope Trust 'Light in the Darkness' Exhibition
On the 30th April, New Hope Trust hosted a private view of the exhibition 'Light in the Darkness'. This beautiful display showcases art works made by homeless men and women helped by New Hope, reflecting their personal feelings and experiences. The evening was a fantastic chance to find out about the work of this crucial local charity and meet some of the participating artists. The exhibition is on display until the 23rd May.
05.05.2015: Watford Museum's security improved
Watford Council has beefed up security at Watford Museum with the installation of CCTV and alarm systems that are monitored 24/7 from the Council's town centre control room.
The news was welcomed by Herts Constabulary who have made heritage crime a focus with their Heritage Watch. You can sign up to become a member of Heritage Watch via the Constabulary's web pages.
08.04.2015: An evening of music and fundraising!
A big thank you to all that came on Saturday to support Watford Hospital Radio. They raised a fantastic figure of £135 towards the upkeep of their studios. It was a lively night full of brilliant music and a good amount of cheese jokes from lovely Minnie Birch! A big thank you to the radio team for organising such a wonderful line up and for celebrating their 60th year of broadcasting!
27.03.2015: Clap Your Hands Stamp Your Feet
Watford Museum is delighted to be selling the 25th Anniversary Edition of CYHSYF. The Watford Football Club fanzine is back for this special occasion and can be purchased from the museum shop for £2.50.
26.03.2015: Allison Sherburne Art Workshop
On Saturday, Space2 artist Allison Sherburne led an introductory workshop to approaching abstract painting. Participants created some colourful, patterned pieces working from a still life of Victorian objects and decorative textiles.
25.03.2015: Art in the City Exhibition
On Saturday 14 March, participants of artist Alex McIntyre's six week class Art in the City had a mini celebration of the work they produced. Their works are now on display at the museum until early April.
24.03.2015: Ahmadiyya Muslim Women's Association Coffee Morning
Thank you to everyone that attended the coffee morning on 12th March, it was a great opportunity to meet new people, learn more about the Ahmadiyya community and raise money for New Hope Trust by buying delicious cakes!
13.03.2015: New Acquisitions at the Museum!
Aya Hastwell recently displayed her painted portraits of Guideposts clients at the exhibition 'Invisible People' at Watford Museum. Aya has kindly donated all the paintings to the museum, to be encompassed into the collection as a record of the fantastic work within a local charity.
If you would like to read more about Aya's exhibition visit the Herts Visual Arts website.
12.03.2015: Contemporary. Creative. Classical. Music.
Written by Watford-based musician and composer David Silver:
"For a while now I have been struck by how many local performance opportunities there are for musicians and music writers in the world of folk, rock and pop etc. but how few there are for those involved in classical-style music.
This gave me the idea of starting a club for those people, one with no minimum standards and a welcoming and celebratory atmosphere for performers of that style, however experienced or inexperienced.
Watford Museum has been fantastic in helping me get this club off the ground, providing me with their Space2 Gallery with its delightful 'salon' atmosphere. The first event took place in January this year and I couldn't have hoped for a better start. Musicians and singers performed to an appreciative audience in groupings of various sizes on clarinet, recorder, keyboard, voice, accordion and violin. We repeated the event on 7th March. I've received very enthusiastic feedback from both events so CCCM is born! And the next event will be on 6th June 2015.
Now just a few words about what is meant by 'classical' music. It does not just mean Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. There was a Classical Period of around 1730-1820 but classical music is a style, just as folk and jazz are styles. Classical music is being written in the present day. Much of what I write is classical influenced by folk, or perhaps folk influenced by classical. There are many crossovers in the musical world but we have to put labels on musical experiences in order to match the right audience with the right performance. A jazz lover would be most displeased if he found himself unexpectedly listening to heavy metal. A classical violinist would be embarrassed if she unsuspectingly stepped out to perform to an audience expecting Hip Hop. People who come to CCCM will probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect but there could well be performances that test the boundaries of the definition.
Who else would like to come and test the boundaries?"
11.03.2015: The Electric Head: Dress Down Friday
Looking for a different way to spend your Friday night? Join us on Friday 20 March, 7 - 10pm, for a series of live radio recordings from comic act the Electric Head, not to mention stand-up acts, live music and a licensed bar at the museum.
Free entry, no booking necessary!
10.03.2015: New Bags and Mugs on Sale!
Pop down to the museum and purchase one of our new shop items! We have a Watford themed font mug or a Watford map mug for £6. Or learn more about Watford's printing history with our Hessian newspaper bag for £4. Designs by West Herts College students, alongside Watford Borough Council and Watford For You.
18.02.2015: February Little Gallery Tearoom
Our pop up tearoom is back on Saturday 28 February, 10.30am - 4pm, with an array of homemade cakes and Fair Trade drinks. Lydia Nicholson will be exhibiting her unique ceramic figures and jewellery. Daria Kulesh will display her vibrant prints alongside Russian dolls and jewellery boxes.
Ella Robinson will also be running an adult workshop, inviting participants to use driftwood and beach corks in combination with textile media, such as ribbons, wool, wire and lacing to create one-off artworks. £8 per person, 11am - 12.30pm. Booking essential.
06.02.2015: 1984 and all that
BT Sport were at Watford Museum to film our Watford Football Club memorabilia for a feature on the 1984 Cup Final and interview Watford fan Colin Wiggins about his memories of the cup run. Look out for the museum in the programme which is on BT Sport next Thursday at 10.15pm.
05.02.2015: Contemporary. Creative. Classical. Music.
On Saturday 7 March, 2 - 4pm, come along and perform your instrument in Watford Museum's Space2 Gallery, no matter your experience or level! Solo, Duo, Trio, Quartet - all are welcome! Listeners are also welcome. Note: Fetch your own digital piano if you are a keyboard player.
To ensure a 5 minute slot, contact organiser David Silver on firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments available for a small fee at the museum coffee bar.
All ages welcome.
04.02.2015: Invisible People by Aya Hastwell
On display from Thursday 5 February until Saturday 28 February, this exhibition of portraits by Aya Hastwell has been a collaborative project with clients of Guideposts Trust. The Private View will take place Friday 6 February, 4-6pm.
03.02.2015: Graffiti workshop with artist Mark Tanti
Always wanted to learn how to create your own name tag or use spray paints? Become a graffiti artist in this canvas making workshop!
The workshop takes place on Saturday 21 February, 1 - 2.30pm and is suitable for ages 13-19. Free but booking is essential!
05.01.2015: A mysterious object!
A mysterious object from Watford Museum has sparked international interest. The bowl, thought to date from the Bronze Age, has been flown to a museum in Mainz for in-depth analysis. The piece was passed into the care of Watford Museum after being discovered with a hoard of Bronze Age items including arrows and axe heads at Holywell in 1968.
The bowl has always been a popular item in the museum's archaeology collection, but little was known of its origin until a recent investigation by Professor Richard Harrison FSA. As a result, archaeologists and experts at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Watford's Twin Town of Mainz have agreed to undertake a full analysis and attempt to recreate the bowl using methods and materials dating back thousands of years.
Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill visited the museum before the bowl was safely packed for transporting to Germany. Dorothy said: "It is exciting. We tend to forget that there have been settlements around Watford for thousands of years. We tend to think of Watford as a product of the Victorian era, but there was clearly a Bronze Age settlement here. This bowl is clearly very special."
Museum Curator Sarah Priestley said, "We believe the bowl could be Phoenician in origin - if so it is unique and one of the most important discoveries in recent British archaeological history. It is wonderful that it is our colleagues in our Twin Town of Mainz undertaking such fascinating research on our behalf".
The Phoenicians were an ancient people who were based on the coastline of modern-day Lebanon and Syria. Their dominance as maritime traders dates back to around 1,200BC and their main trading routes were along the costs of northern Africa and southern Europe in the Mediterranean Sea.
The bowl was flown to the specialist archaeological museum, RGZM of Mainz, Germany, on Wednesday 17 December, where experts, Raimon Graells, Giacomo Bardelli and Stephen Patscher will now study the bowl and will produce a replica which will return to Watford with the object.
22.12.2014: Watford Museum wishes everyone a Merry Christmas!
Watford Museum is now closed for Christmas and will open again on Friday 2 January, 10am - 5pm.
From all the museum team, we wish you a Happy New Year!
12.12.2014: Space2 Submissions for 2015
Space2 Gallery is located inside Watford Museum and is a fantastic platform for new and innovative visual art, showcasing local and national artists to launch or further their career.
If you are interested in exhibiting in this space please read carefully the specifications below and download the application form. Deadline is Wednesday 17 December.
12.12.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom Call Out for Artists
The Little Gallery Tearoom is a pop up vintage cafe that opens every fourth Saturday of the month at Watford Museum. It is a chance to enjoy homemade cakes and fairtrade hot drinks from our Benskins Bar.
We are now looking for artists to exhibit alongside the tearoom, anything from handmade jewellery to pottery. If you are interested in exhibiting alongside the tearoom, please click this link for more information.
24.11.2014: Christmas Crafts at Watford Museum!
On Saturday 6 December 2014 from 11am to 3pm, join us for some festive family fun!
Have a go at our Winter Trail around the museum and meet our Elves from Watford Colosseum. Make a fairy or Elf for the Christmas tree in this craft workshop at 11am, 1pm or 2.30pm.
Workshops are free, but booking is essential!
03.11.2014: Papermouth presents "Get Your Giggle On"
Join us on Saturday 15 November, from 6.30 to 10pm, for an epic night of stand-up comedy, musical performances and RRRants from the best local talent.
Warning: adult content
31.10.2014: Bristol Encounters Film Festival
'Nest of Stone' - the film commissioned by Watford Museum and Planning Policy as part of the St Mary's Churchyard Project - was shown in an international competition programme at the prestigious Bristol Encounters Film Festival.
The film festival is an official gateway competition for BAFTA and other national awards, and Nest of Stone showcased the history and creativity of Watford alongside work from Canada, Europe and Japan. Sarah Priestley was then asked to speak as Executive Producer for the film at an Industry Forum 'Meet the Filmmaker' session with Q&A, with a panel of British and international filmmakers.
30.10.2014: Watford FC CSE Trust NCS Graduation
Museum officers were delighted to attend a graduation ceremony at Watford Football Club for National Citizen Scheme volunteers.
It was announced that the group of volunteers based at Watford Museum raised over £1,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust! The young people did presentations on their work - the museum-based team presented their experience with us as a rap!
29.10.2014: Creative Hertfordshire Flame Awards
Watford Museum and Watford Borough Council were represented in three categories of the inaugural Creative Hertfordshire Flame Awards.
The museum was nominated for Most Innovative Creative Organisation, Sarah Priestley was nominated for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts (over 25) and the Big Dance: Once Upon a Time in Watford was nominated as Young Cultural Event of the Year.
We were finalists in each of our categories - an incredible accolade in a strong field above established arts organisations and individuals. In addition the museum team has been nominated in three categories for the SEA Awards for Teamwork, Innovation and Community.
28.10.2014: Big Draw: Celebrating Watford's Animal Farm
Watford Museum took the lead to present the biggest, and wettest, Big Draw in Watford's history! Part of the Big Event programme and national Big Draw campaign, the event was a celebration of the work of Watford born animator Joy Batchelor from Halas & Batchelor, and their phenomenal work Animal Farm. Despite atrocious weather on the day, the event was proclaimed a great success by the Palace Theatre, coordinators of the Big Event programme. Over 500 people turned up in their waterproofs and enjoyed animation, printing, drawing and dance workshops delivered by local artists, exchanged pictures and met live animals in our mini farm!
More photos from the day can be found on the Big Event website at www.watfordbigevents.co.uk.
The animations created on the day are below, starting with two from Nana's Farm Animation Workshop: 2D Drawing Animation Workshop
And then another two from the Funky Animals Dance Animation Workshop: Pixilation Dance animation Workshop
27.10.2014: Cassiobury book now on sale!
The first ever book devoted to the history of Cassiobury is now on sale at Watford Museum!
The book has been written by the council's own Paul Rabbitts and Sarah Priestley and is full of interesting detail and history, as well as stunning photographs, many of which are from the museum's own collection and have never been published before.
Signed copies are available at the museum, or you can get your copies with personal dedications at the book's launch on Thursday 13th November!
22.10.2014: Plinth on the Pond
A new sculpture has been unveiled on the plinth in the pond. Devised by Dan Morphy and Alan Smallwood, tutors at West Herts College, "Effervescent Thoughts" is a structure which has been designed in direct response to a brief set by Watford Borough Council to design a sculpture to be situated in the newly redeveloped Watford high street pond during the Big Events, and provide a showcase for young artists' work.
The sculpture visually represents a cluster of thought bubbles and will work to present a constantly changing body of students' work from West Herts College's Art and Design department.
15.10.2014: Creepy Crafts at Watford Museum
Join us on Thursday 30 October for some spooktacular activities at Watford Museum to celebrate Halloween! Hear some ghastly stories about Watford's ghosts at 12pm and 2pm. Take part in our creepy crafts at 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
Everything is free, but booking is essential!
All ages welcome!
14.10.2014: 'It Belongs in a Museum!' Halloween Comedy Night @ Watford Museum
Join us on Thursday 23 October 2014 for a spooky comedy and variety night to get you in the Halloween mood, hosted by Alan Ronald, with music from bone-janglers Fred and Al and featuring some top comedians, interviews, sketches, music and buckets of terror! (yes, buckets!).
Warning that there is possible crude humour and bad language.
No booking necessary, free entry!
01.10.2014: Cassiobury heritage, parks and bandstands!
A new book on the history of Cassiobury by the museum's curator Sarah Priestley and respected parks historian Paul Rabbitts will be on sale soon! In the meantime you can find out about Paul's other publications and discover more about parks and his beloved bandstands at his new website: paulrabbitts.co.uk. The museum team are now helping him track down and photograph every bandstand in Britain!
30.09.2014: The Big Draw: Celebrating Watford's Animal Farm
Print, paint, draw and dance with a team of artists who will show you how to make an animated film, flipbooks, limited edition prints, masks, lino cuts and more! Get stuck into the farmyard theme as we celebrate the work of Watford born animator Joy Batchelor and her iconic film 'Animal Farm'. Activities for everyone, all free!
17.09.2014: Culture Cart Large Lino Print Workshop
On Saturday 20th September between 11am and 2pm, drop into the museum and have a go at drawing an animal to be added to our large scale lino print animal farm! The print will go on display in the town centre on Saturday 4 October for the Big Draw.
All ages welcome!
17.09.2014: WW1 Little Gallery Tearoom
Join us on Saturday 27th September from 10.30am to 4pm for our WW1 inspired tearoom! Watford Folk Club will be hosting a WW1 sing-a-long at 1pm. Jenny Young will be sharing sewing skills in this adult poppy making workshop from 11am - 12.30pm. It is only £8 per person, booking essential! It is also the last day of our WWI exhibition, which can be viewed with a cup of tea and slice of cake.
17.09.2014: Vote for Cassiobury Park
Local people have the chance to vote for Watford's Cassiobury Park in an online poll to find the nation's favourite park.
The Green Flag Award scheme - the national standard for parks and green spaces - is urging everyone to show their support for their local park or green space as voting for the nation's favourite park reaches the final stages.
The People's Choice Award is an annual online vote that gives the public the power to decide which one of the 1,482 parks or green spaces flying the Green Flag Award, should be named Park on the Year in an online vote.
To vote for Cassiobury Park, visit greenflagaward.org to register your vote. Select the 'East of England' region on the right-hand side, type in 'Cassiobury Park' and click the 'vote for this site' button.
Voting for the People's Choice Award winner closes at noon on Tuesday 30 September, and the winner will be announced on 16 October. The last time Cassiobury Park entered in 2011, it was voted the third favourite park in the country!
The Green Flag Award was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the UK's best green spaces. It is the standard for parks and recognises well-managed, high-quality sites that meet the needs of the community.
16.09.2014: Cassiobury history book coming soon!
A new book explores the history of Cassiobury, a fascinating story that has never been told in book-form before!
Using original research and Watford Museum's world renowned art and photographic collections, respected parks historian Paul Rabbitts, and museum curator Sarah Priestley share the story of Cassiobury from monastic lands, to the seat of the Earls of Essex, to the much-loved public park we know today.
This will be the first time the history of Cassiobury has been published in book form so don't miss your copy, available from the museum late October!
15.09.2014: Watford and the Canals
Join the Friends of Watford Museum for a fascinating talk on the canal history of Watford by Fabian Hiscox on Friday 26 September at 2pm. Visitors are welcome - entry is £3. Friends talks are very popular so booking is essential!
02.09.2014: Heritage Open Days
From 11 to 14 September, join us for a weekend of events and openings at heritage sites across Watford. Explore the Mohne Dam, listen to folk music at Watford Museum, learn more about artist Mary Bromet at Central Library and see inside the Town Hall Council chambers.
Download the full guide here.
28.08.2014: Horrible History Day: Rotten Romans
To celebrate the Horrible Histories tour coming to Watford Colosseum, Watford Museum will be hosting a free Horrible History Day at the museum! This Saturday 30th August from 1-3pm, meet our Horrible Histories Roman from the Colosseum, have a go at making your own mosaic and hear Watford's gruesome stories.
Free entry, all ages welcome. Drop in activities, no need to book!
27.08.2014: The Big Draw: Celebrating Watford's Animal Farm
On Saturday 4 October 2014, 11am - 4pm, at the Parade in Watford Town Centre, Watford Museum presents an exploration of Watford animator Joy Batchelor's Animal Farm and a chance to get creative! Have a go at animation, mask making, printing, dancing, chalk paving drawing and much more! Marvel at our harvest stall, spot the hidden animals in local shops and sign your name on the biggest visitor book you have ever seen!
There is something for everyone in this drawing celebration.
11.08.2014: Quirky Pictures Animation Workshop
On Thursday 21 August, from 1-3pm, bring your drawings to life in this animation workshop with Quirky Pictures. You will have the chance to draw and animate a character from animal farm, which will become part of the trailer displayed at the Watford town centre Big Draw event on the 4th October!
Suitable for ages 7-12, booking essential!
08.08.2014: Phones out of action
The museum's phone line is currently out of action and isn't expected to be working until Monday. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
28.07.2014: Ship of Fools
Friday 1 August, 6pm
10 local folk artists playing at Watford Museum including Martin Oylett, Minnie Birch, Ady Shaw, Daria Kulesh, Stiffie Partridge, Skopje, Salwa Azar, Robert Sunday and closing with Chylde Owlet as part of her debut EP Pidgeons.
25.07.2014: The Great War: Watford 1914
From 7 August to 27 September, A Heritage Lottery funded project to mark the centenary of WW1 in Watford. An online memorial website will be launched along with an exhibition which investigates the impact of the war in Watford in 1914. Not to mention, a WW1 sing along and Princess Christmas Box Workshop!
24.07.2014: Get Crafty this Summer with our 2014 workshops!
Are you aged 8-12? Why not have a go at animation, dance and art at the museum's summer workshops! Workshops are taking place every Friday 2-4pm between 25 July - 29 August and cost £2 per person. Booking essential!
24.07.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom
On Saturday 26 July from 10.30am to 4pm, Sophie Cordery will be exhibiting her stunning etchings and there will be lots of yummy summer cakes for sale! Showcase your musical or literary talents at the dial-up event, or just come along to check out Watford's local talent at 2pm. Winners of the Watford Live! postcard competition will also be announced at 2pm.
08.07.2014: Cassiobury Park
Watford Borough Council has received a grant of £4,542,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund for Cassiobury Park. Added to the council's financial commitment, the overall £6.6million project to improve and restore Cassiobury Park includes a new sustainable park hub building with café, community and exhibition room, education facilities, toilets and changing facilities, extending and improving the Cha Cha Cha tea pavilion, revamped and improved pools, returning the historic bandstand to the park, improved entrances to the park, improved management of Whippendell Wood and the Local Nature Reserve, restoration of the historic 18th century Lime Avenue, providing an on site park manager, community park ranger and education officer.
Cassiobury Park is the most significant and most popular green space in Watford, and the landscape is of significant historical interest comprising part of the former Cassiobury Estate, significantly researched by Watford Museum over many years and soon to be captured in a new book called 'Cassiobury - The Ancient Seat of the Earls of Essex' out in October 2014.
For more information on the park, visit: watford.gov.uk/cassioburypark
08.07.2014: Papermouth Comic Con
Join us on Saturday 12 July 2014 for a night of celebrating comics, collectibles and live music!
There will be a merchandise raffle with proceeds to Signpost, comic books from JSP Cosplay Studio, a Sci-lly Sci-Fi Disco and a Krypton Kids section where you can draw your own superheroes!
For more information visit: www.papermouth.co.uk (also on Facebook and Twitter)
The event runs from 5 to 10pm. Entry is £1.
The next Friends of Watford Museum talk will be on Thursday 10th July at 2pm, when Richard Westwood's subject will be astronomy.
Entry to these talks is free for Friends of Watford Museum, or £3 for members of the public. Booking is essential.
27.06.2014: Discover Archaeology
On Saturday 12 July 2014 from 1-3pm, come to Watford Museum to celebrate the national Festival of Archaeology!
Watch flint knapping demonstrations by Richard Wilson, handle flotsam from the Thames, dig from treasure in our sand pit, play on our activity tables and meet the South West Herts Archaeological and Historical Society!
All ages, free entry, no booking necessary.
13.06.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom
Join us on Saturday 28 June 2014 for a needlefelt and stitched postcard workshop by Sew Inspired. The workshop is for people of all abilities, it's about having fun, while Sew Inspired share their skills. £3.50 per person, booking is essential.
Sew Inspired will also be exhibiting and selling their beautiful handmade crafts. Not to mention the Watford Area Arts Forum prize giving for the literature and art challenge cup competitions at 2pm! There is also a chance to buy handmade cakes and fairtrade coffee from our tearoom.
12.06.2014: Watford Football Club's WWI commemorations
In tribute to the 12 Watford FC first-team players who served in World War One, the Hornets' away strip for the 2014/15 season harks back to the colours first worn back in 1914.
One hundred years on from the start of 'The Great War', the club will donate £1 from the sale of each replica black and white striped away shirt to the Royal British Legion.
Watford's players will also wear the away kit on the home fixture scheduled nearest to Remembrance Sunday in early November, with the traditional Royal British Legion bucket collection being held, as well as other special commemorative activities.
The amateur and professional first-team Watford players who served in the First World War were: George Badenoch, Harold Bulling, Jimmy Chalmers, Albert Green, Owen Gregory, Ernie Grimsdell, Bill Hastings, Bill Markland, Robert McGuire, Joe McLauchlan, Alex Stewart and Skilly Williams.
01.06.2014: The Key
Watford Live Festival is delighted to host the Watford screening of The Key - an animated film produced by Mew Lab. Workshops for the film took place at Watford Museum
The event on 29 June at the Pump House is chaired by the Director of the London-International Animation-Festival, Nag Vladermersky. There'll also be a question and answer session.
A free event, but seats must be reserved on email@example.com
30.05.2014: New acquisitions
Our most recent additions to the museum's collections are two printing blocks used to print Watford FC letters in the early 1980s. The purchase of the blocks was funded by Watford Football Club as part of an on-going partnership with the museum.
A book telling the incredible story of Cassiobury House and Park is coming soon. Written by Paul Rabbitts, Watford Borough Council's Head of Parks, and Sarah Priestley, Watford Museum Curator, the book is due out in November and will feature rarely seen images from the museum's collections. Costing £20, the book will be available to buy from Watford Museum.
28.05.2014: Teenage Cancer Trust Takeover Day
National Citizen Service volunteers from the Watford Football Club's Community Sport and Education Trust organised a takeover day at Watford Museum raising £760 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The young people organised all the events themselves and their work was acknowledged with a pitch presentation with museum staff at Watford v Ipswich.
27.05.2014: The China Tearoom
The museum was transformed for a special Chinese themed Little Gallery Tearoom. The event was organised as a fundraiser for the Peace Hospice, to support those walking the Great Wall of China for the Great Walk for Peace 2014. Activities included paper folding workshops and dragon dancing and over £400 was raised for the Peace Hospice!
26.05.2014: High Street Trails 2014
Step back in time with Watford Museum and explore the architectural and social history of Watford's High Street on these walking tours.
High Street Trail
Saturday 14 June and Saturday 2 August, 12 - 1.30pm
Ghosts and Legends
Saturday 5 July and Saturday 16 August, 3 - 4.30pm
Saturday 20 September, 12 - 1.30pm
23.05.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom
This Saturday, have a go at the art of jewellery making with returning jewellery designer Christine Orchard's adult workshop. Learn the basic techniques of working with tools to create stunning bracelet and matching. Classes are suitable for beginners and those with a bit of beading experience. Workshop sessions: 11am - 12.30pm or 1.30 - 3pm. Workshop is £8 per person, booking is essential.
Sarah Lamb will also be exhibiting her stunning glass jewellery, as well as homemade cakes and coffee for sale!
22.05.2014: Past. Present. Future.
An exhibition of works responding to the museum collections by Art and Design students from West Herts College is on display at the museum from 10 May to 7 June 2014.
21.05.2014: Earl of Clarendon Sculpture
Luke was successful in the purchase of a sculpture of Edward Hyde Villiers, 5th Earl of Clarendon at Bonhams auction on 8th April for a hammer price of £800. The bronze is by Mary Bromet, a local sculptor most well known for the Peace Memorial.
The sculpture is an important addition for the Museum collection and was purchased with assistance by the Friends of Watford Museum and the Hertfordshire Heritage fund. It is currently on display in the Museum Foyer.
20.05.2014: Arts Development Officer
A new Arts Development Officer has started work, based at Watford Museum. Laura Horn comes to us from Dance Digital and her priorities include Arts Development, representing Watford Borough Council on the Creative Hertfordshire Forum, artist/ project support and working on the exciting forthcoming Town Centre Big Events! Alongside this, she will also be providing a fortnightly Arts News Bulletin. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
19.05.2014: Luke Perry - River Colne Sculptures
From Thursday 22 to Saturday 31 May, this exhibition in the Watford Museum Foyer explores the creative process behind the new artworks that will be unveiled in Watford along the Colne River Corridor. From work in the community and the historical findings that inspired the artworks to the sparks of the metalwork that made them, the exhibit shows a visual history of the sculptures themselves and how they have been made. See the character behind the newest addition to Watford's rich cultural heritage.
07.05.2014: Young Curators at Watford Museum
On Saturday 21 June 2014 from 1-3pm, join us at Watford Museum to find out more about how you can become part of our new group - the Young Curators. You could have the chance to organise, design and research your very own exhibition on a theme from our collections in Watford Museum's Space2.
Free admission, no booking necessary!
On Saturday 7 June 2014 at 6pm, ten acoustic artists will be performing unplugged at Watford Museum to coincide with Watford Live!
Not to mention a chance to buy a drink from our Benskins Bar! Entry is free!
01.05.2014: Peace Watford Live! Competition
In recognition of the centenary of the First World War, 'Peace' is the joint theme for this year's Watford Area Arts Forum competition.
The two competitions, Art and Literature, are organised for the Watford Live! festival in June by Watford Writers and Watford Area Arts Forum with an exhibition and presentation at Watford Museum.
Entries are free with three cash prices for each competitions.
29.04.2014: Museums at Night
Join us on Saturday 17 May 2014 at 6pm for our late night opening and find out more about the night sky! Performing duo Let's Talk About Space will be guiding families through the solar system using poetry, spoken word, film and animation.
Children's creative dance workshops will take place from 6 - 7pm and explore the unique features of the Planets and Constellations in the Solar System through movement and expression. Suitable for age 7+, booking is essential.
Not to mention a fantastic chance to explore the museum at night, with Central Primary school's space room on display, live music and a chance to buy a drink from our Benskins bar.
24.04.2014: Dance workshops
Join us on Saturday 26 April 2014 at 12.30pm for our children's dance workshops led by our new Arts Officer Laura Horn. These will run alongside our Little Gallery Tearoom Peace Hospice fundraiser.
The workshops are free and are suitable for ages 5+, but booking is essential.
06.04.2014: Teenage Cancer Trust Fundraiser
Save the date: Thursday 17 April!
Young volunteers from the National Citzen Service have only three days to organise and hold a family friendly fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust at the museum. Keep an eye out for more details!
03.04.2014: The China Tearoom Peace Hospice Fundraiser
Join us on Saturday 26 April, from 10.30am to 4pm, for our China styled tearoom to raise money for the Peace Hospice and those involved in the Great Walk for Peace. Delicious handmade cakes and fairtrade coffee will be for sale, as well as a red envelope lucky dip!
Origami workshops by Happygami for families will take place between 11am - 12pm, with an adult origami workshop from 1-2pm. The workshops cost £2 per person and under 8's go free! Booking is essential!
All proceeds from the cakes, lucky dip and workshops will go towards the Peace Hospice.
27.03.2014: Easter workshops
Join us for our family Easter workshops at Watford Museum on Saturday 19th April. Have a go at making Easter wreaths decorated with painted eggs, ribbons, pom poms and fluffy chicks! You can also become a museum explorer on our Easter trail, with a chocolate surprise at the end!
Workshop times: 11am - 12pm, 12-1pm and 2-3pm
All workshops are free, but booking is essential!
21.03.2014: Walking in Cassiobury
An exhibition of photographs by Raffi Katz capturing the atmosphere of the wilder parts of Cassiobury Park and the lesser known outskirts of Watford will be on display at the museum from Saturday 3rd April to Saturday 26th April.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a Friends of Watford Museum talk on Friday 11th April at 2pm. Admission is free for Friends and £3 for members of the public. Booking essential!
20.03.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom
Join us on Saturday 22nd March from 10.30am to 4pm. Mandy Latham will be exhibiting her beautiful handmade shawls, baby gift baskets and knit wear. There will also be scrumptious homemade cakes and fairtrade coffee for sale throughout the day!
20.03.2014: Paper Craft Mobiles for Teeny Tots!
Join us on Saturday 22nd March from 1 to 2.30pm for our Little Gallery Tearoom adult workshop! Victoria Culf will be giving a crash course on the art of paper craft mobiles, involving the techniques of paper mache and decoupage. Go home with your own handmade, brightly coloured mobile and add a carnival twist to any room!
The cost is £8. To book your place please contact 01923 232297 or email email@example.com
19.03.2014: Looking? Good!
An exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptures by members of Guideposts Trust/Henry Smith House Day Centre in Watford is taking place at the museum until 29th March.
The exhibition represents the works of novices and experienced artists, working alongside each other in the day centre's weekly art groups.
14.03.2014: Pop Up Record Shop
On Sunday 23rd March, the British Record Shop Archive will be popping up at the LP Cafe, 173 The Parade from 12 to 4pm to collect archivable items related to record shops in Watford. Dig out your record shop related stuff, celebrate record shop heritage and share your memories with the British Record Shop Archive curator.
It is also a great chance to have your favourite coffee, tea and cakes in your local independent record cafe, accompanied by a soundtrack of crackling pop, rock and jazz vinyl! After all, we don't think there is a better way to hear great music than on a vinyl record!
11.03.2014: Papermouth - Music/Art Event
On Saturday 15th March from 5pm to 10pm, Papermouth will showcase a series of diverse musical and artistic performers quarterly in Watford Museum. Join us for the chance to experience live music, art movies and artistic performers all under one roof!
Featured artist: Carolyn Storey
Music: Tom Craven, Clinton Tavares and Montmartre
Performance Room: The Turner Brothers
Papermouth is a personal, home-grown company, which creates interesting and stimulating music and art events to expose the local music scene.
07.03.2014: 'From Watford, With Love'
Watford Live! in partnership with Watford Museum are holding an art postcard competition for anyone of any age to enter! Create a picturesque, interesting or inspiring image of your favourite place in Watford using any media or art techniques. The picture has to be postcard size (150mm x 105mm) and submitted to the museum by 4pm, Saturday 24th May. All entries will be shown on the Watford Live! website, with the winners put on display at the museum during the festival.
Please note museum opening times: Thurs - Sat, 10am - 5pm to submit entries.
05.03.2014: Views of a Changing Landscape
From Saturday 8th March, the museum's Space2 gallery will host a new exhibition of photographs by Mir Gwilliam Parkes exploring the shifting landscape of King's Cross during its ongoing regeneration.
There'll also be an artist's talk on Saturday 12 April when Mir Gwilliam Parkes will speak about the origins of her exhibition.
For more information, please see our Space2 website.
26.02.2014: Nationally Listed Buildings
The Council has produced a document on all the Nationally Listed Buildings in Watford. This document includes the original building descriptions, from when properties were listed, as well as additional information on the constraints relating to listed building status. Paper copies of the full documents can be viewed at the Town Hall and at both the Central and North Watford Libraries. The documents can also be downloaded for free as a PDF.
A four week consultation runs until Friday 21st March. Comments and suggestions are invited on the draft document, and these will be used to inform the final version.
Further information on this process can be obtained by phoning the Planning Policy team on 01923 278263 or by e-mailing Justin.firstname.lastname@example.org
13.02.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom adult workshop
There will be a fantastic chance to learn the art of jewellery making from professional artist Christine Orchard on Saturday 22 February. This beginners workshop will have you learning the art of threading and knotting. You will be able create a beaded set of earrings, bracelet and necklace in a variety of different colours.
This workshop will also sit alongside our Little Gallery Tearoom, so after your creative session you can buy delicious homemade cakes and coffee, as well as browsing the craft of local artists.
The workshop will take place from 1-3pm at Watford Museum and will cost £5 per person. Contact the museum to book your place.
12.02.2014: Art Postcard Competition Workshops
Join us and have a go at creating your own picture postcard of your favourite scene of Watford out of a variety of different materials. Your design will be entered into a Watford Live! competition, where the chosen winners will be displayed in the museum.
Both workshops are free, but booking is essential
04.02.2014: Clock This
A Wellstones exhibition will be on display at Watford Museum from Thursday 6th February until 28th February.
The exhibition includes work produced by various artists. They share with us their artistic and creative talent through the pieces, by using different clays and glazes. Works created at Wellstones Art and Pottery Workshop.
03.02.2014: Printing in Watford
An exhibition celebrating 100 years of printing education in Watford has gone on display at West Herts College. The exhibition presents some of the printed work produced by staff and students at the Watford School of Printing and the Department of Printing, from the opening decades of the 20th century to the cessation of printing education at the end of the century.
This exhibition continues until 7 February 2014, and also marks the launch of a research project Watford's Printing Past. This project is a collaboration between Watford Museum, Birmingham City University and the Watford University of the Third Age. For more information on the project, please contact Watford Museum.
23.01.2014: The Art of Photography
Join the Friends of Watford Museum for a talk by Bill Cooper on the art of photography. The event takes place at Watford Museum on Saturday 15 February at 2pm. Admission is free for Friends of Watford Museum or £3 for visitors.
23.01.2014: Watford Music Legends
Our friends at the LP Cafe are researching the music history of Watford. You can read more here: http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/watford/community-hub/blog/view/watfords-music-legends-wire-1387297950.4121 http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/watford/community-hub/blog/view/watfords-music-legends-elton-john-1385546814.5111 Look out for more blogs, check out their website at http://thelpcafe.com/ or pop in for speciality coffee, light lunches, cracking cakes and great music!
23.01.2014: Rekindle memories of Watford
Watford Museum has been helping rekindle memories of watford from the 1950s - 2000. We have been providing the fantastic 'thebestof Watford' team, Peter Sutton and Abby Dennis, with photographs of Watford to post on their facebook page. On Memory Lane Mondays you can see all manner of scenes, from postcard views of the pond to 1980s high street images from our collection. Anyone can register and join in by sharing their own memories on the comment boxes: https://www.facebook.com/thebestofwatford
23.01.2014: Little Gallery Tearoom
Join us for the first Little Gallery Tea Room of the year! On 25 January 2014 we have lots of freshly baked cakes and crafts for sale. On 22 February 2014 we celebrate Fairtrade day, so you can warm up with a mug of fairtrade coffee and learn more about fair trading. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!