News
News

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.

26.07.2012: Early closing

Please note that the museum will be closing at 4pm on Saturday 28th July.

A leaflet containing information about summer workshops at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

20.07.2012: Museum Summer Workshops

There's lots to do this summer with our creative workshops for 8 to 12 year olds. Places are limited so to book a space, please download an application form and return it by post or in person with your payment to the museum as soon as you can!

18.07.2012: Commemorative Cup donated to Watford Museum

Photo of a commemorative cup purchased for Watford Museum by Mayor Dorothy Thornhill

A tiny cup with a Watford coat of arms has been purchased for the museum by Mayor Dorothy Thornhill. The cup was discovered by staff at the new Keech Hospice Shop on the Meriden Estate who immediately realised they had found something special. The Mayor stepped in to ensure the cup will go on permanent display at the museum for local residents to enjoy.

You can read the full story on the Watford Observer website.

Photo: Mike Wright, Watford Observer

16.07.2012: Little Gallery Tearoom

The July Little Gallery Tearoom on Saturday 28th July is very much book themed!

Photo of Retro from Scratch products

The main exhibitor is Retro From Scratch, featuring hand made notebooks from damaged and unloved vintage books, board games and beer mats. Plus beautiful decorative bunting from the saved pages - they make ideal gifts with prices ranging from just 3 to 10.

Photo of Retro from Scratch products

Sheelagh Frew will be there too. She collects vintage pieces from around the world to weave history into the fabric of her book necklaces, journals and custom made books and albums for special occasions.

Photo of Retro from Scratch products

Keeping in the 'book' theme will be Emily Jacques and her Storybook Dads project:

"We help to develop bonds between prisoners and their children, by giving fathers a chance to record audio bed time stories to send home to their children. We have recently developed the project to work with the Armed Forces so that soldiers can send a bedtime story home to their children when they are on deployment."

Christine of The Little Gallery Tearoom is keen to promote this very original project and Emily will be on hand to share the stories used by Storybook Dads.

And lastly, Christine will be showing some of her framed vintage book illustrations in the run-up to her 'Pages' exhibition that will run throughout August at the Museum.

07.07.2012: On Watford's Wild Side

Work by Myrtle Paterson

A foyer exhibition is now on display of work by local artist Myrtle Paterson featuring Cassiobury Park and the surrounding countryside. The exhibition, accompanied by the sale of prints, books and cards continues until Saturday 28th July.

06.07.2012: Like Home

'Like Home' by Mario Lautier Vella

An installation 'Like Home' by Mario Lautier Vella opens on Thursday 5th July at Watford Museum. There will be events to accompany the exhibition including artist's talks and workshops. To book places please call Watford Museum on 01923 232297 or email info@watfordmuseum.org.uk.

A leaflet containing information about Little Gallery Tearoom at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

03.07.2012: Retro From Scratch at the Little Gallery Tearoom

The Little Gallery Tearoom on Saturday 28th July will have a book theme. Retro From Scratch's beautiful notebooks and bunting made by hand from vintage books will be on sale, along with a new selection of Christine's cakes! There's always something new each month at the Little Gallery Tearoom.

A leaflet containing information about The Foggiest Idea: click to enlarge (JPG file, 395Kb)

22.06.2012: The Foggiest Idea

Join us between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 7th July 2012 to draw and colour in one of the 5000 frames needed for the first ever 'Collective Animated Film' by the town of Watford.

MewLab in collaboration with Watford Live, West Herts College, Watford Museum and the residents of Watford are creating 'The Foggiest Idea', a hand-crafted short animated film. For more information, see the website at http://afilmmadebyawholetown.wordpress.com.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

20.06.2012: Butterfly World Project

The next talk for the Friends of Watford Museum will be about the Butterfly World Project in Chiswell Green. Find out more about this unique environmental project and visitor attraction on Thursday 12th July at 2pm. Places are 2 or free for Friends and booking is advisable.

A leaflet containing information about Watford 2012: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

15.06.2012: Watford 2012

Watford Community Housing Trust is organising a special event at Knutsford Playing Fields on Saturday 21st July.

14.06.2012: Photos from our Jubilee Jamboree

Following on from the museum's celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, we've added a gallery of photos from the day.

13.06.2012: Watford Observer clock

The Watford Observer clock at the Yellow and Red Lion pub on Vicarage Road

Watford Museum is delighted to see the Watford Observer Clock back on display in the newly opened Yellow and Red Lion pub on Vicarage Road. The clock has been stored at the museum until a suitable permanent home could be found. Congratulations to the pub on a successful launch and for celebrating WFC's wonderful heritage!

30.05.2012: Photos from Museums at Night

Following on from the success of the recent Museums at Night event, we've added a gallery of photos from the evening.

A leaflet containing information about Little Gallery Tearoom at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

28.05.2012: The Little Gallery Tearoom

Join us for the next Little Gallery Tearoom on Saturday 23rd June. Featuring Christine's homemade cakes and crafts. This month's theme is all things tea party!

25.05.2012: Museums at Night

Museums at Night at Watford Museum

Thank you to everyone who made this year's event such an incredible success. A big turn out of visitors enjoyed animations by Mew Lab projected on to, and inspired by objects and displays in the museum, Space2 exhibition by Eleanor Havsteen-Franklin and live music curated by Silencio.

Museums at Night at Watford Museum

See below for the performances by Sam Neale, Chylde Owlett and Cement Matters:

24.05.2012: English Heritage Guide

English Heritage have produced a new guide celebrating local heritage listings using Watford as an example of good work. The document looks at how Locally Listed Buildings can be identified and the ways in which local communities can seek to protect them.

Watford has been featured as the main case study in the document and there are a number of pictures featured of local heritage assets within the town, including the Cemetery Chapel at Vicarage Road and the Water Trough on Queens Road.

The guide can be downloaded from the English Heritage website.

16.05.2012: Museums at Night

Shadows of the Night at Watford Museum

A reminder that Museums at Night takes place this Friday from 6-9pm. There will be one free miniature Mew Lab illustration card for the first 30 people who join us at the Event!

02.05.2012: Leavesden Green 60th Anniversary

Leavesden Green 60th Anniversary

Happy Birthday and a big thank you to Leavesden Green JMI School which celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year. The museum has been helping the school with research and loans for the celebrations and in return, staff were invited to be presented with the school's wonderful archive and coveted Brumas toy at a school assembly this week.

01.05.2012: Space2 exhibitions and events

Eleanor Havsteen-Franklin exhibition at Watford Museum

The next exhibition in the Space2 gallery at Watford Museum will showcase work by Eleanor Havsteen-Franklin. For more information and events, please see the activities page.

30.04.2012: Great art on the go

Passionate about art? The Art Fund has created a free app as the ultimate guide to seeing and experiencing art across the UK. The Art Guide helps you discover world-class exhibitions as well as more than 600 museums, art galleries, castles and historic houses including Watford Museum! Download at www.artfund.org/app

27.04.2012: Easter fun at Watford Museum

Easter fun at Watford Museum

Over 200 people joined us for free Easter activities at Watford Museum with an egg hunt and craft activities provided by Watford Recycling Arts Project!

A leaflet containing information about Memories of Watford: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

27.04.2012: Memories of Watford

Watford Central Library will be hosting an introduction to the Herts Memories website. Bring your photos and memories and enjoy tea and home made cake! From 10am to 1pm on Tuesday 15th May 2012.

A leaflet containing information about the Jubilee Jamboree at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

26.04.2012: Jubilee Jamboree!

Bring out the bunting, we're having a right Royal Tea Party! On Saturday 26th May from 10.30am - 4pm, there'll be Jubilee family fun including bunting-making and crown-creating. The Little Gallery Tearoom will be presenting a parade of cakes fit for a queen and Christine Clifford's patriotic gifts!

A leaflet containing information about Museums at Night: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

25.04.2012: Museums at Night

A free evening with live music and art as part of nationwide celebrations! Music will be provided by Silencio who will be hosting music events at the Pump House from June. Mew Lab, who lit up the museum last year, will return with an original installation of night projections inside the museum "Shadows of the Night". The event will take place from 6 to 9pm on Friday 18th May 2012 and there will be a licensed bar.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

24.04.2012: The History of Garston Manor

Join the Friends of Watford Museum for a talk on the history of Garston Manor on Thursday 17th May at 2pm. Entry is 2 or free for Friends.

A leaflet containing information about Freya Brookman's exhibition at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

23.04.2012: British Summer Time

An exhibition of up-cycled textiles is now on display in the museum foyer. Freya Brookman's eco-chic show continues until Saturday 28th April when she will the featured artist of this month's Little Gallery Tea Room!

02.04.2012: Space2 at Watford Museum

The current exhibition by Sophie Cordery is proving very popular. The exhibition, examining themes of memory and the domestic will be on display until Saturday 28th April. For more information, see the Space2 website.

30.03.2012: Easter opening

Watford Museum will be closed for the Good Friday Bank Holiday on Friday 6th April 2012. We will open as usual on Saturday 7th April with free Easter activities from 11am to 4pm.

A leaflet containing information about Easter fun at Watford Museum: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

23.03.2012: Easter fun

Join us for free family fun at Watford Museum, including arts and crafts and a Easter egg hunt. From 11am to 4pm on Saturday 7th April 2012.

A leaflet containing information about World Fairtrade Day: click to enlarge (DOC file, 395Kb)

22.03.2012: World Fairtrade Day

Watford Museum will be hosting this year's World Fairtrade Day Celebration in Watford on 12 May 2012 from 11am till 4pm.

21.03.2012: Little Gallery Tearoom

The very successful Little Gallery Tearoom returns on 24th March, showcasing the work of potter Alison Bond.

Pottery by Alison Bond

Her spring range is based on spring flowers and complemented with her usual spots and stripes. All her work is hand thrown in her potting shed out in the countryside. The range includes soup bowls and cereal bowls, egg cups and jam pots, jugs and mugs, salad bowls and pasta bowls, plates and coffee cups, etc, etc.

As always, the tearoom will also be featuring a new range of cakes and refreshments!

01.03.2012: Hertfordshire Fire Museum

Did you know there was museum devoted to the history of the Hertfordshire Fire Brigade based here in Watford? The museum will be opening the doors for open days in 2012. Click here for more information.

14.02.2012: Little Gallery Tearoom

'The Little Gallery Tearoom' at Watford Museum will be open again on the last Saturday of February, serving homemade cakes & drinks as well as offering a great creative space to view and buy from local artisans.

There's a different exhibitor and menu each month. On February 25th 2012, the tearoom will be open from 10.30am to 4.30pm, featuring screen prints by Dominic Clifford.

13.02.2012: Football Memories

'Football Memories' is a groundbreaking project set up by Alzheimer Scotland, using our memories of football to improve the life of people with dementia.

The website at www.footballmemories.org.uk aims to collect the favourite memories of fans of clubs throughout the UK. Why not add a memory of supporting Watford here?

06.02.2012: The History of Leavesden Airfield

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

The Friends of Watford Museum will host a talk by Derek Sayell on the history of Leavesden Airfield. The talk will take place at 2pm on Saturday 11th February. Admission is £2 or free for Friends of Watford Museum.

The Little Gallery Tearoom

23.01.2012: The Little Gallery Tearoom

On the last Saturday of every month, 'The Little Gallery Tearoom' will be serving homemade cakes and drinks at Watford Museum, as well as offering a great creative space to view and buy from local artisans.

The tearoom will be open between 10.30am and 4.00pm, and there'll be a different exhibitor and menu each month. On January 28th 2012, the photographic work of Aaron Whitty will be featured.

20.01.2012: Modern Sculpture and the Watford Museum Collection

Annette Kendall will be giving a talk for the Friends of Watford Museum to coincide with the exhibition of the museum's sculpture collection. The talk will take place on Saturday 21st January at 2pm.

20.01.2012: Watford Museum appears on Soccer Am

A visit to Watford Museum by Soccer AM

A spoof roving reporter from Sky Sport's Soccer Am visited the museum as part of his "Away Days" visit to Watford last weekend. 'Frankie Fryer' visited many of the area's most famous landmarks for the piece, including the Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford Colosseum, Harry Potter studio tour and of course Watford Museum!

19.01.2012: Disability Watford

A visit to Watford Museum by Disability Watford

Last week Watford Museum was visited by Disability Watford as part of the community group's training on access auditing. The NRAC certification will enable them to assess and assist venues across Watford to provide better access and service to people with disabilities.

Thanks to the group for choosing Watford Museum for a trial assessment. Shown from left to right: Kumar Moorthy, Margaret Tucker, Leigh Hutchings (kneeling with Arnie the guide dog), Alex Thompson, David Willis and Kim Price.

For more information, visit: www.disabilitywatford.org.uk

17.01.2012: Sculpture exhibition launch

The launch of Watford Museum's sculpture exhibition

Dave Parker, the Watford-based photographer responsible for the photography of our sculpture collection, took these images at the launch of our sculpture exhibition. The exhibition continues until 25th February and is accompanied by a new online sculpture gallery.

The launch of Watford Museum's sculpture exhibition

13.01.2012: Sculpture from the Watford Museum Collection

Passing Crowd by Ronald Pope, on display at Watford Museum

An exhibition of the museum's incredible collection of sculpture has gone on display until 25 February 2012. The collection includes pieces by internationally renowned artists Jacob Epstein and Ronald Pope, and locally based sculptor Mary Bromet.

Funding was secured to professionally photograph the collection for the first time and to produce a catalogue of sculpture in the museum's collection and create an on-line gallery.

A talk for the Friends of Watford Museum and free gallery talks have been organised to coincide with the exhibition. The talks will be given by Annette Kendall on Saturday 28 January, Saturday 11 February and Saturday 25 February 2012, at 11am. Booking is essential.

13.01.2012: The All Clear

A leaflet containing information about The All Clear exhibition at Watford Museum

An exhibition of photography by artist Aaron Whitty will go on show on Saturday 14th January until the end of the month.

You can read more about Aaron's amazing story and photographic work in this Watford Observer article.

15.12.2011: Season's Greetings from Watford Museum

Season's Greetings from Watford Museum

The museum is closing on Saturday 24 December 2011 at 1pm for the festive break and will reopen on Thursday 5 January 2012.

Merry Christmas and a happy 2012 from everyone at Watford Museum!

05.12.2011: The Little Gallery Tearoom

Little Gallery Tearoom

On the last Saturday of every month, The Little Gallery Tearoom will be serving cakes and drinks and offering a great little space for local people to buy from local artisans. Each month there will be a different exhibitor in our Little Gallery and a different selection of seasonal cakes and drinks in our tearoom.

The first is open on Saturday 28 January 2012 from 10am to 4pm. Hope you can join us for this new venture!

25.11.2011: Dial Up Christmas Knees Up

A leaflet containing information about Dial Up Christmas Knees Up at Watford Museum

The museum will be hosting a festive event organised by The Dial Up on Saturday 10th December. Join them for music and refreshments from 1pm to 4pm. Admission free!

14.11.2011: Photo Visions 2011

Photo Visions 2011

An exhibition of photography by the XRR Photographic Society has gone on display in the museum's Space2 gallery. The exhibition continues until 24th December. Come along and vote for your favourite!

11.11.2011: Watford's Architecture in Pen and Ink

A leaflet containing information about Watford's Architecture in Pen and Ink

A new exhibition of pen and ink views by local artist Roger Kattenhorn has opened in the foyer space. The works depict some of the unusual and architecturally interesting buildings that are located within the Borough of Watford. The exhibition will be on display until 16th December.

07.11.2011: A donation from CAMRA

A donation to Watford Museum from the Watford Campaign for Real Ale

Bill Austin and Tony Smith of the Watford Campaign for Real Ale are shown with Watford Beer Festival pint glasses they have donated to Watford Museum.

The 11 glasses date back to the 1st Watford Beer Festival in 1995 and each has a different design based on local historic themes. They are a much welcomed addition to the collections of Watford Museum, which is housed in the former Benskins Brewery Mansion.

You can see the next pint glass 'in action' at the 17th Watford Beer Festival which takes place at West Herts Sports Club from 17th to 19th November 2011. For more information, visit http://www.watfordcamra.org.uk/festival.htm

02.11.2011: A real Bobby Dazzler!

Watford Museum was invited to the filming of Dickinson's Real Deal

Watford Museum was invited to the filming of Dickinson's Real Deal at Watford Leisure Centre Central on Saturday to talk about the history of Watford.

We took along items relating to the history of Cassiobury to illustrate its interesting past and also because of the popularity and affection for the park today. This was for a local interest section of the filming on Watford and no items from the collection were sold!

One of the 'real Bobby Dazzlers' we showed to David was a watercolour of the South West Front of Cassiobury by JMW Turner. Commissioned by the 5th Earl of Essex, the painting shows the Gothic Revival house that had just been remodelled by James Wyatt.

We also took along a wooden casket with two miniatures painted by the first wife of the 5th Earl of Essex, said to contain a handkerchief soaked with royal blood.

The photograph shows the Heritage Officer Sarah Priestley with David Dickinson. Look out for the episode in 2012!

31.10.2011: Watford Museum awarded grant

Watford Museum has been awarded a collection care grant of £2,758.50 from the Renaissance East of England Effective Museums Programme. The grant will pay for materials to be produced to compliment the Museum's exhibition of bronze sculptures and ensure the sculpture collection is widely accessible in the future.

Victoria Jones, Museum Officer, said "We are very pleased to receive this grant from the Effective Museums Programme. People will be able to appreciate our collection on the web long after the exhibition has closed. It will also mean the condition of the sculptures can be more easily recorded and monitored, should there be the need for any conservation in the future."

There will be an exhibition of this significant sculpture collection opening in the Space2Gallery in January 2012, the highlight being five sculptures by Jacob Epstein. To enhance the exhibition and provide continued access to the collection, the Museum will produce a guide to the sculptures on display and make the collection available to the public through an on-line gallery.

The grant will pay for all of the sculptures in the collection to be professionally photographed, for an on-line gallery to be created and added to the Museum website and for an exhibition catalogue to be designed and produced.

The Watford Museum fine art collection is already accessible through a similar web-based gallery and generates over 5,000 visitors per year. The Museum hope the sculpture database will generate an equal level of interest, encouraging visits both to the Museum and the Museum website.

27.10.2011: Haunted Museum - last few tickets available

A leaflet containing information about Watford's 'Haunted Museum' on Friday 28 October 2011

Come and enjoy a night of fun and frights at Watford's "Haunted Museum" on Friday 28 October 2011 with the I Can't Believe We're Not Better Theatre Company.

Performances are at 6pm and 7pm (suitable for ages 6 and above) and 8pm (suitable for ages 10 and above); the last few remaining tickets are available at £7 each, so please call 01923 232297 or email info@watfordmuseum.org.uk without delay!

A leaflet containing information about Watford African Caribbean Association exhibition

17.10.2011: Watford African Caribbean Association exhibition

A new exhibition by the Watford African Caribbean Association has opened at Watford Museum. "Perspectives in History: Africa and the Diaspora" explores themes of Black History and the International Year for People of African Descent. The exhibition will be on display until 4th November.

07.10.2011: Watford group celebrates Amnesty's 50th anniversary

Watford Amnesty had a full house at Watford Museum for an event to celebrate Amnesty's 50th anniversary on Saturday 17th September.

Dan Jones from AIUK helped youngsters to make kites for a campaign for women in Afghanistan, and cut a superb cake with an Amnesty logo, made by Ursula Bartlett with Fairtrade ingredients given by Eleri Davies. Councillor Lindsey Scudder, Watford Borough Council Chairman, lit a candle in the Museum garden. Inside the Museum visitors could study the history of the group in a display set up by Sarah Hagger-Holt.

03.10.2011: Watford Character of Area Study: Consultation

The Council has recently produced a Character of Area Study for the Borough of Watford. The Study sits as both a driver for identifying the location of key growth opportunity areas and as the top layer in a framework of guidance documents on the built heritage assets within the town. This document is a spatial study which follows a structure based on broad historical character types. The breakdown of different character areas across the Borough, as well as green spaces, is detailed through a general map at the start of the document. The study then provides detail on the characteristics of each individual character area in the Borough, while there is an index for locating individual streets.

Paper copies of the full document can be viewed at the Town Hall and at both the Central and North Watford Libraries. The document can also be downloaded as a PDF from http://www.watford.gov.uk/characterofarea

A public consultation runs until Friday 4th November. Comments and suggestions are invited on the draft document, and these will be used to inform the final version. Further details can be provided on request regarding the outcome of the consultation on this Supplementary Planning Document.

30.09.2011: Art collection on new BBC website

Paintings from the Watford Museum collection have been added to a new BBC website - Your Paintings, which aims to upload all 200,000 oil paintings in the national collection by the end of 2012.

Launched by the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation, the Your Paintings website allows users across the world to search these paintings for subjects that interest them. To date, over 77,000 paintings from over 1,100 collections have been uploaded.

Your Paintings will constitute an extraordinary resource for anyone interested in paintings and the subjects depicted. As Nicholas Penny said at the launch of the site at The National Gallery, "Thanks to the initiative of the PCF and the BBC, the concept of a 'national collection' has suddenly altered. They have extended, in an exciting way, our understanding of what art in 'public ownership' is and our access to it."

Visit www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings to see this wonderful resource, which includes paintings from Watford Museum including Elisabeth Vigee le Brun and John Wootton.

The BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation want your help in identifying what can be seen in each painting. The 'Your Paintings Tagger' will lead you on a digital tour of paintings around the country. You will be shown, at random, a sequence of paintings and asked to 'tag' them. All you need to do is to look closely at the painting and report what you see.

Tagging is easy and enormous fun. And don't worry, you don't need to be an art expert to tag - anyone can make a valuable contribution to this important national project. Please have a go!

A leaflet containing information about Watford's 'Haunted Museum' on Friday 28 October 2011

29.09.2011: Haunted Museum

I Can't Believe We're Not Better Theatre Company will be returning for a spooky night of Halloween fun on Friday 28th October!

Ghost stories and legends from Watford's past will be spun into a night of frights for families. Booking is essential for this sure-to-sell out event!

Flier for World Mental Health Day 2011

28.09.2011: World Mental Health Day 2011

Watford Museum is supporting a free event to celebrate World Mental Health Day is being held at the Pump House Theatre on Friday 7th October by I Can't Believe We're Not Better Theatre Company.

The event is free and there will be performances, information stands and refreshments from 12-4pm. Everyone is welcome!

27.09.2011: A successful Heritage Open Days weekend

Watford's doors open for a successful Heritage Open Days weekend in September 2011

Venues across Watford helped to create the biggest and most popular Heritage Open Days ever in the town between 8th and 11th September 2011.

Over 1000 people visited places big and small including the first opening of the Free School to the public in living memory! You can see a gallery of photos from around the town here.

Watford Museum's own 'After Hours' event was a great success and you can view Simon Jacob's photographs of a great evening at http://www.simonjacobs.com/museum/

Flier for Celebrate Amnesty at 50

12.09.2011: Amnesty at 50

Everyone is invited to a family event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International which is being held in Watford Museum on Saturday, 17th September.

This will be a fun day for children from 1pm to 4pm. Dan Jones will be coming from AIUK in London to help the youngsters make paper kites which will be sent to Afghanistan as part of a Human Rights campaign.

At 2pm Councillor Lindsey Scudder, Watford Borough Council Chairman, will light a candle to show support for protecting human rights and quoting the founder of Amnesty, Peter Benenson, who said: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

In advance of the fun day there will be an exhibition in the museum of Watford Amnesty Group's activities since the Group was formed in 1978.

09.09.2011: Vote for Cassiobury Park!

We have wonderful parks in Watford and our most loved and popular is Cassiobury Park. Yet again it has retained Green Flag status but it now has the opportunity of being voted "Britain's favourite park" in a nationwide competition. Please spare a moment to vote for it here.

07.09.2011: Watford Museum regains Visit England tourism award for 2011

Photo of Watford Museum's Visit England's Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) accreditation

Watford Museum has been awarded a Visit England's Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) accreditation for the second year running.

The VAQAS scheme is Visit England's quality assessment service for all types of visitor attractions throughout the country. An assessor carries out an unannounced visit and judges the quality of the visitor's experience in context to similar venues. In all assessments specific attention is given to cleanliness and customer service, as staff are the vital ingredient in making an attraction a success.

Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: "I'm delighted that Watford Museum continues to enjoy the same status as national attractions such as the London Eye and Imperial War Museum.

"It is especially satisfying that one of the main areas that the museum passed with flying colours was the friendly and knowledgeable service provided by our staff."

A leaflet containing information about what's on in Watford during September 2011

02.09.2011: What's on in September

Find out what's on around town with this unmissable guide.

01.09.2011: Watford Museum gets animated

Photo of animation workshop at Watford Museum

Thank you to Quirky Pictures and the young people who attended the museum's summer workshops for creating the most amazing animated films. You can view the work at vimeo.com/channels/quirkypictures.

A leaflet containing information about After Hours at Watford Museum

31.08.2011: After Hours at Watford Museum

Following on from the success of Museums at Night, Watford Museum will be opening the doors for a special evening event for Heritage Open Days weekend.

There will be the opportunity to view the Herts Visual Arts Forum Open Studios Trailer Show, music by Dizzie Voss, performance by I Can't Believe We're Not Better Theatre Company, the Joy of Vintage and a licensed bar!

The event will take place between 6pm and 9pm on Friday 9th September.

A leaflet containing information about Leavesden Hospital Heritage Open Days

30.08.2011: Leavesden Hospital Heritage Open Days

There will be an event and exhibition about the history of Leavesden Hospital in Abbots Langley for Heritage Open Days weekend on 10th September. For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about West Watford Local History Group's heritage walk

22.08.2011: Go West for Heritage Open Days

West Watford Local History Group have organised a heritage walk as part of a range of activities going on for Heritage Open Days in Watford. Walkers will be able to discover the wonderful history of West Watford and the trail is free, but do book in advance with us at the museum as places are limited!

19.08.2011: A good vintage at Watford Museum!

Photo of Joy of Vintage's Pop Up Shop and Tea Room at Watford Museum

The Joy of Vintage's Pop Up Shop and Tea Room has got off to an amazing start! Well over a hundred fans of retro styling and delicious homemade cake flocked to the museum, where they were treated to a performance by Victoria Sponge (aka Karen Kennedy). The shop and tea room will be open again on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August, so hope to see you there!

Photo of Joy of Vintage's Pop Up Shop and Tea Room at Watford Museum

Photo of Joy of Vintage's Pop Up Shop and Tea Room at Watford Museum

A leaflet containing information about Heritage Coffee Morning at Watford Peace Hospice

16.08.2011: Heritage Coffee Morning

We're delighted that our friends at the Peace Hospice will again be getting involved in Heritage Open Days in Watford. Please join them for delicious treats at their coffee morning on Saturday 10th September, where there will also be the opportunity to find out about the history of the building, tour new facilities, purchase gifts and support their wonderful work!

15.08.2011: Getting Animated at Watford Museum

Photo of animation workshop at Watford Museum

The museum's animation workshops are proving extremely popular, and the results of the first workshops are available to view on line. The workshops, by Quirky Pictures, explore different animation techniques and are suitable for 7 to 12 year olds.

Photo of animation workshop at Watford Museum

To view the workshops, click on the following links:

12.08.2011: Joy of Vintage Pop Up Shop and Tea Room

A reminder that Watford Museum we will be hosting a pop-up vintage shop and tea room organised by the Joy of Vintage on 18th, 19th and 20th August. Come along for gorgeous fashions and homewares to buy, plus delicious teas and cakes!

A leaflet containing information about Heritage Open Day 2011

10.08.2011: Heritage Open Day

This year's Heritage Open Day weekend from 8th to 11th September in Watford will be bigger than ever, with new venues this year including the refurbished Colosseum, Watford Football Club, St Michael and All Angel's Church, The Barn, Henry Smith House (Guideposts), West Watford Local History Group, and the Free School - the first time this Grade II* listed building has been open to the public in living memory.

The museum will be participating with an 'After Hours' event on Friday 9th September - building on the success of Museums at Night with an evening of arts and music.

For more information, see the leaflet.

A leaflet containing information about Joy of Vintage Pop Up Shop and Tea Room

20.07.2011: Joy of Vintage Pop Up Shop and Tea Room

Watford Museum we will be hosting a pop-up vintage shop and tea room organised by the Joy of Vintage on 18th, 19th and 20th August. Come along for gorgeous fashions and homewares to buy, plus delicious teas and cakes!

19.07.2011: Museum Garden

Photo of Watford Museum Garden by Kim Noce

Thank you to Kim Noce of Mew Lab for allowing us to share this beautiful photograph of the museum garden, which shows a sculpture by a student at West Herts College and the museum's lovely lavender!

A leaflet containing information about summer workshops in August 2011

18.07.2011: Get animated at Watford Museum!

Quirky Pictures will be returning to Watford Museum for new animation and film workshops for 7-12 year olds this summer. Each workshop costs 7 and booking is essential!

For more information, see the activities page.

A leaflet containing information about Friends of Watford Museum events: click to enlarge (PDF file, 395Kb)

07.07.2011: The Public History of Plague Cottages

The next talk for the Friends of Watford Museum is a talk on Plague Cottages by Alison Wall on Saturday 16th July at 2pm. Admission is £2 for visitors or free for Friends.

06.07.2011: Watford Market captured on camera

Photo of Watford Market by Dave Parker

A display of photography by Dave Parker is currently on show in the museum celebrating the traders and community of Watford Market.

05.07.2011: West Herts College Summer Exhibition

Photo of West Herts College Summer Exhibition

Visitors to Watford Museum will discover beautiful sculpture in the garden as part of the Summer Exhibition of students from West Herts College. The exhibition continues inside the museum in the Space 2 gallery and will be on display until the end of July.

Flier for History of Shakespeare Industrial Estate Exhibition

04.07.2011: History of Shakespeare Industrial Estate

An exhibition of the history of Shakespeare Industrial Estate by the North Watford History Group will be on display in the museum foyer throughout July. For more information on the North Watford History Group, visit their website at north-watford-history.org.uk.

22.06.2011: The Michael Sobell House Vintage Fair

Flier for The Michael Sobell House Vintage Fair

Our friends the Joy of Vintage are supporting the Michael Sobell House Vintage Fair on Sunday 10th July with a vintage fashion show which may feature some familiar faces from the museum! For more information, see the leaflets here and here.

Flier for Field Junior School 120 Year Fair

17.06.2011: Field Junior School Fair

As part of its 120 year celebrations, Field Junior School will be holding a Decade Day Fair on Friday 24th June between 3 and 5pm. See the leaflet for more details of the attractions!

The school is also looking for memories and shared experiences from people with past connections to the school. If you have anything to contribute, please fill in the form and return it to the school office.

Front cover of 'Watford in the 20th Century'

08.06.2011: Watford in the 20th Century

Watford Museum was delighted to be the venue for the launch of the Watford Observer's "Watford in the 20th Century". The book chronicles the early part of the 20th Century in Watford and is on sale in the museum shop for 9.99. Don't delay in getting a copy as they are selling fast!

A leaflet containing information about Joy of Vintage Pop Up Shop and Tea Room

01.06.2011: Joy of Vintage Pop Up Shop and Tea Room

You may have seen the Joy of Vintage at recent events and now visitors to the museum will be able to enjoy the full Joy of Vintage experience!

The Shop and Tea Room will 'Pop Up' from Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th August at Watford Museum. Entry is free and visitors will get the chance to view and buy vintage wares and same delicious old fashioned tea room service!

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