Family Activity volunteers needed!

April 16th, 2014

It’s been another busy week here at the museum and we’ve seen some incredibly creative pieces of junk modelling being made in the Andrews Room- trucks and trains and racing cars and all kinds of vehicles! Plus we’ve been making badges (and there have been some very sparkly looking badges looking beautiful in the sunshine!)

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Our holiday activities are very popular and we try to keep them as low cost as possible because we know holidays can be expensive times but to make sure we can keep running them we rely on our incredible team of family activity volunteers who take turns to look after our visitors (and sometimes make their own models and pictures too!)

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At the moment our team of volunteers is a little smaller than we’d like so we’re looking for new volunteers who think they’d like to come and lend a hand. Volunteering slots are generally only 1.5-2 hours at a time and you can sign up for as many (or as few!) as you feel able to do.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering with us then now is the perfect time to get in touch! Email Eleanor at hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com or call on 01992 582686 for a chat!

Sketches and Photographs

April 9th, 2014

One type of enquiry we receive on a daily basis is from people looking for a photograph or sketch or painting of a place they know- sometimes it’s their house or street and sometimes it’s a well known site in their town or village- and the first place we always direct them is to our Kiosk where it’s possible to browse through hundreds (if not thousands!) of images from our photograph collection and then buy a copy.

View near Braughing, Hertford shire- James Wilcox

View near Braughing, Hertford shire- James Wilcox

But it isn’t only photographs that people are interested in and this month one of our fabulous volunteers has started to scan sketches and paintings in our collection by local arts James Wilcox. Wilcox drew many local churches and houses (and stations!) i the nineteenth century and when they’ve all been scanned and carefully checked they will also be available to browse through and purchase!

Sketch of Stortford Railway Station in the early 1840s- James Wilcox

Sketch of Stortford Railway Station in the early 1840s- James Wilcox

Of course this week there’s art of another kind being made at the museum- our family activities over Easter are all transport themed and you’ve got one more day to visit the museum and make a boat collage or a picture of a penny farthing with a moving wheel! Next week we’ll have new activities for you to try!

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On the Move- new exhibition time!

April 2nd, 2014

We’re in the middle of exhibition changeover week today! We’ve taken down Fizeek, cleared & painted the gallery and are now in the process of putting up On the Move which is an exhibition FULL of all kinds of methods of getting from A to B- from skates to scooters as the poster says!

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Because a lot of our objects are kept offsite in our stores it can be difficult for us to put some of our larger objects on display but when we get stuck the wonderful Hertford Cemetery Team come and lend a hand!

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This week they’ve helped us move a velocipede, part of a barge (!) and our wonderful folding scooter which is VERY heavy for something originally designed to be used by paratroops! We video’d a bit of the move so do take a look!

Thank you to everyone who took part in #MuseumWeek on twitter! We had loads of fun talking to you and also finding out about life behind the scenes at other museums. We’re now only a few people away from 2000 followers on twitter which is amazing!

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#museummastermind answers

March 26th, 2014

If you follow us on twitter you’ll have seen we’re taking part in #MuseumWeek this week and yesterday, for #MuseumMastermind day, we were asking some trivia questions.

For anyone playing along at home here are the answers, let us know on twitter how you did!

It’s #museummastermind day and we’ll start with an easy one after our Wallace exhibition- where is this plaque? pic.twitter.com/8oCcpnyVQG
Answer- St Andrews Street, Wallace House

How about a mystery object- who might have used this tool? #museummastermind pic.twitter.com/fD9t4hg4eo
Answer- it’s a tool used to make carpets

With WW1 centenary approaching do you know who the Victoria Cross in our collection was awarded to? #museummastermind pic.twitter.com/thtcTFb5d0
Answer- Corporal Alfred Alexander Burt, 1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment (you’ll be hearing a lot more about Burt next year as it will be the centenary of him being awarded the VC!)

Here’s another picture question- where can you find this Dolphin in Hertford? #museummastermind pic.twitter.com/BuRgqYSSDb
Answer- it’s over the entrance to Dolphin Yard, off Maidenhead Stree

Time for another mystery object? What do you think this is part of? #museummastermind pic.twitter.com/vtujvPyhrd
Answer- it is part of the engine from a V2 bomb

Museum’s collect modern objects too sometimes- can you name this action figure? #museummastermind pic.twitter.com/gv70FXXfkD
Answer- Lion-O from the Thundercats

What do you think this mystery object is?#museummastermind pic.twitter.com/s8E9lBkoUL
Answer- a spirit lamp

One last #museummastermind question- does anyone know where this picture of Ceres was taken? pic.twitter.com/F3CRIQDIAs
Answer- in the museum garden!

#MuseumWeek and an evening viewing of Fizeek!

March 19th, 2014

Next week Twitter are holding their first ever #MuseumWeek and Hertford Museum are going to be taking part!

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If you’re on twitter then make sure you’re follow @Hertford Museum and also the #MuseumWeek hashtag to take part in all the fun. Each day is going to have a different theme and there are plenty of chances for all our visitors and followers to get involved!

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Monday 24th: #DayInTheLife Assistant Curator Sarah will be tweeting a report of her day- we’re closed on Mondays so expect lots of behind the scenes information!

Tuesday 25th: #MuseumMastermind We’ll be tweeting questions for you to ponder throughout the day including mystery objects and information about our collections! If you get stuck we’ll share the answers the next morning!

Wednesday 26th: #MuseumMemories This is your chance to share your memories of visiting the museum or perhaps let us know what your favourite object or exhibition has been! We want to hear from you so please make sure you tag us (@HertfordMuseum) in your tweets!

Thursday 27th:#BehindTheArt On Thursday we’re going to be sharing some facts, trivia and images from the museum’s history- how much do you know about Hertford Museum.

Friday 28th: #AskTheCurator If you have any questions for our curators (or any of our other staff!) please send them to us before Friday and we’ll answer as many as we can on the day! You can send them to us on twitter or facebook, email them to hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com or even write them down and drop them in if you prefer!

Saturday 29th: #MuseumSelfies Take a picture of yourself in the museum and share it with us! We’ll be sharing some of the staff’s selfies as well!

Sunday 30th: #GetCreative How creative can you get in 140 characters? Using our objects, photographs and building for inspiration can you be creative in a tweet? Or share a creative picture with us using instagram (or even a video using vine if you’re feeling adventurous!)

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Bookmark this page so you know what’s coming each day and while you’re waiting for #MuseumWeek to start why not think of a question to send us for #AskTheCurator day- the sooner you send your questions in the more likely we are to be able to answer them!

This weekend, on Saturday 22nd March we are delighted to invite members of Hertfordshire’s LGBT community to a special evening viewing of Fizeek: the life & times of Ronald Wright.

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The event runs from 7-9pm and as well as the chance to meet Ronald Wright and view the exhibition there will also be a 1950s inspired live music set from acclaimed local band The Goldbacks which you can listen to with a glass of wine (or maybe a 1950s cocktail instead- how do you take your Martini?) The event has been generously supported by Herts County Council Locality Budget Grant scheme and community donations.

Spring Model Railway Day

March 12th, 2014

Spring finally seems to be here and even our knot garden has had a spring clean!

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March also means it’s time for one of our Model Railway Days. If you haven’ visited on a Model Railways Day before make sure you pop in to see a wide variety of model railway layouts, speak to our railways enthusiasts and maybe even have a go at driving a train yourself!

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Finally this week we have a quick warning- we’re having a new phone system installed in the museum this week. Our phone line should remain open throughout however it may need to be switched off for a short period at some stage (we’ll try and warn you on twitter & facebook if that happens). If you have a problem contacting us by phone then either wait 10 minutes and try again or email us at hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com. Thank you for your patience!

Fizeek- the life & times of Ronald Wright

March 5th, 2014

Our newest exhibition, Fizeek: the life and times of Ronald Wright opened on Friday evening with a preview attended by museum supporters, artist and Ronald himself You can read about the preview in the Hertford Mercury this week.

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Fizeek charts his rise from shop assistant to celebrity portrait artist and world renowned illustrator of gay magazines. Imprisoned as a homosexual, Ronald became an artist’s life model on his release and in later life a spiritual healer.

Ronald Wright ketching film star Elizabeth Sellars backstage at the Comedy Theatre in London.

Ronald Wright ketching film star Elizabeth Sellars backstage at the Comedy Theatre in London.

At 85, Ronald continues to work in the arts, collaborating with the new wave of British artists and the exhibition contains drawings from the full span of his career including some of his most recent drawings.

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We are delighted to be celebrating the life and work of such a charming and fascinating son of Hertford. We are really looking forward to sharing his amazing story with our visitors.

In light of the adult themes contained in this exhibition, Hertford Museum recommends that Under 16s should be accompanied by a parent or carer.

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If you’d like to get an idea of what’s included in the exhibition before you come and see it then why not check out this short video from the Hertford Mercury.

Friends of Hertford Museum Quiz Night!

February 26th, 2014

This week we’re waving a sad goodbye to our World of Wallace exhibition which is having a rest before it’s off on a national tour! At the same time we’ve been framing all of the wonderful drawings and artwork ready for Fizeek an exhibition of the life and works of local artist Ronald Wright.

Fizeek opens on Saturday so we’ll be telling you more about it in next week’s blog but this week we’ve got a very special event to talk about- the Friends of Hertford Museum Quiz!

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The FOHM Quiz is an annual event to raise money for the museum whilst having a great evening. This year the quiz is being held on Friday 7th March at 7.00 pm for a 7.30 pm start. The quiz will be at Sele Farm Community Centre and a Ploughman’s supper is included in the cost of the ticket (though there is no bar this year, so please bring along your own drinks and glasses!)

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Tickets cost just £11 per person and you can either book a full table of 8 or just book your own ticket and we’ve got a table reserved for smaller parties. To book your place please pop in to the museum or you can contact the front desk on 01992 582686 or hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com

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If quizzes aren’t your thing then don’t forget this Saturday is a Stay & Play Saturday so there will be toys & games in the Andrews Room along with a simple craft activity!

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Dora the Explorer and the World of Wallace

February 19th, 2014

It doesn’t seem possible but this week is your FINAL chance to see our World of Wallace exhibition! It’s not disappearing though- the exhibition closes on Saturday but it’s going to be going out on tour across the country over the next couple of years!

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To celebrate the last week of the exhibition and Half Term both happening at once we’ve had some very special visitors at the museum this week. On Saturday we were visited by Spirit of the Wild‘s Ben and some rather interesting animals including this baby alligator!

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We’ve also been visited by Dora the Explorer this week!

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All our Half Term activities (which are still on tomorrow (Thursday) from 10.30 – 3.30) are explorer themed so we’ve been making maps and binoculars like those used by Dora, Diego and even Alfred Russel Wallace himself.

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Next week we’ll have more information about our new exhibition and upcoming events but until then we hope you enjoy Half Term and encourage you to make one last visit to the beautiful birds and butterflies in our World of Wallace exhibition!

Escape the weather at Hertford Museum this Half Term!

February 12th, 2014

We hope you’re all staying safe and dry in this horrible weather- to make sure you’re not going completely crazy whilst stuck in doors there’s LOTS to do at the museum over the next couple of weeks. Today our Learning Officer Eleanor has been working with several other local museums on how we can support schools with the new National Curriculum meanwhile staff from Tring Natural History Museum have been visiting us (and helping us identify some mystery birds in our collections!)

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Tomorrow is a Knit & Natter Thursday where anyone can drop in with their knitting (or crocheting!) and joing our friendly group of a cup of tea and a chat. Then on Friday it’s the Hertford Country Market where you can pick up lots of goodies to cheer yourself up.

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Then on Saturday, as a special Half Term treat (and back by popular demand!) we’re having another Spirit of the Wild day as part of our World of Wallace exhibition! The day runs from 10.30am – 3.30pm but there are free timed entry slots which will be allocated on the day on a first come first served basis. Come and wonder at an array of amazing creatures from around the world with Spirit of the Wild, generously supported by Arts Council England.

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Then for Half Term itself the museum is going to become home to Excellent Explorers! From Tuesday 18th – Thursday 20th February there will be family craft activities inspired by intrepid explorers like Dora & Diego (as well as Alfred Russel Wallace himself!). Sessions run from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm and cost £1.50 per child. Dor herself might be making an appearence during the week too so keep an eye out for her!

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