Archive for January, 2013

Alfred Russel Wallace at the Natural History Museum

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Last Thursday our curator Sara and learning officer Eleanor were invited to the Natural History Museum for the unveiling of a new portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace.


Alfred Russel Wallace, who attended Hertford Grammar School as a child, was an explorer, naturalist and intellectual who co-discovered the process of evolution by natural selection with Charles Darwin. This year is the centenary of his death and across the world there are going to be events, exhibitions and projects to commemorate his achievements and to introduce him to members of the general public who have only heard of Darwin.

Alfred Russel Wallace by Beaufort
© The Natural History Museum, London

The portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace by artist J W Beaufort was donated to the Natural History Museum in 1923 and has been re-hung in its original home in the Central Gallery of the museum near a statue of Darwin. Next time you visit the Natural History Museum make sure you look out for him and let us know!

Later this year Hertford Museum will be hosting an exhibition and programme of events as our own contribution to Alfred Russel Wallace’s centenary but while you’re waiting for that why not take a look at this incredible collection of his letters which the Natural History Museum have now put online.

Book Sale at the Museum!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This Saturday, Saturday 26th January from 10.30am- 3.30pm our Andrews Room is going to become a secondhand bookshop for the day!

Don’t worry, we’re not selling off our collections! Our wonderful friends and volunteers have brought in an amazing selection of books of all kinds and they will all be on sale at bargain prices

Whether you’re looking for a novel to help escape the January gloom, something educational to stretch your brain or anything in between we’ve got the book for you AND you can feel a special warm glow knowing that your purchase will help the museum keep running our exhibitions and events!

China in the East

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

When you come behind the scenes at a museum for the first time the huge number of objects in their collections can come as a shock. Most museums only have a small fraction of their full collections on display and so we’re always looking for ways to use or display objects that are normally hidden away.

China in the East is an exhibition that was designed to showcase the beautiful and fascinating Chinese collections of museums across the East of England. The project was part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and it has brought together objects and knowledge from many different museums and used them to create a touring exhibition.

We are hosting this exhibition from today (16th January) until the 16th March so if you’re in Hertford pop in for a chance to see some beautiful objects and learn more about Chinese history and culture as well as listen to the stories of Chinese people who live in the East of England today.

As well as the exhibition itself we will also be celelbrating the Chinese New Year with a day of activities on Saturday 16th February 2013. You can come and celebrate Chinese New Year by taking part in food tasting, crafty activities and museum trails. At intervals during the day there will also be music from Miss Shu Jun who plays an instrument called guqin (a 7 stringed zither).

Then during Half Term our usual craft activities are all going to be around the theme of Chinese Customs so drop in on Tuesday 19th – Thursday 21st February between 10.30 am – 3.30 pm(last entry 3.00 pm).

As always all our activities are listed on our website and we send out reminders and additional information on facebook and twitter!

New Year, New Start (and a request!)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Now that 2013 is well underway it seems like a good moment to let you know about some new (and old) events that take place regularly at Hertford Museum.

Firstly tomorrow is the second meeting of our new Knit and Natter group!

It meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm Come and Share patterns, tips and ideas over tea and coffee.

£1.00 (including refreshments)

Next our Toddler Tuesday events start again next week. They run on Tuesdays from 10.30 – 11.30 am for children aged 2 – 4 and cost £1.50 per child.

These are really popular sessions so you MUST book in advance. The next sessions are:

15th January – Clown Puppets
12th February – Valentine Crafts
19th March – Easter Bunnies
16th April – April Showers

Thirdly don’t forget our Walking Tours! All walks are led on Sundays, starting at 11.00 am and are FREE of charge (although donations to Hertford Museum are welcome).

Booking is essential and we’ll let you know the meeting place when you book. We’ve got three walks coming up this term:

24th March – Victorian Bengeo (led by Philip Sheail)
14th April – Rivers of Hartham (led by Edgar Lake)
12th May – Buildings of Hertford (led by Jean Riddell)

The popular Country Market will be back every Friday from the 18th January. Come and browse their homemade cakes, jams and crafts as well as fresh flowers and seasonal produce from 10.30am-12.30pm.

And new for 2013, we will also be hosting an Arts & Craft Market on the second Saturday of the month (the same day as the Hertford Farmers’ Market)! From 10.30am- 1.30pm you will be able to come and buy some beautiful jewellery and unusual gifts. The first Arts & Craft market will take place next month on Saturday 9th February.

Don’t forget all of these events and lots of other special holiday and Saturday events and activities are on our website so if you’re ever looking for something to do then check it out!

And finally a quick note from our curator Sara:

Have you received a warm welcome and outstanding customer service from our front of house team and volunteers? We would like to nominate them for the customer service award at the 2013 Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence. Please help by emailing with your comments and experiences. P.S. Sshh! It’s a secret!

Happy New Year (and other winter festivals!)

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

On the ninth day of Christmas Hertford Museum reopened after a holiday break!

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Xavier Romero-Frias

As it’s still the season of Christmas (even though it might not feel very Christmas-y now it’s January!), our exhibition A History of Christmas: Past, Present and Future is still open for and will stay open until the 12th day of Christmas (5th January 2013).

On Thursday there will also be special Winter Festivals family activities- Decorate your own 2013 calendar, find out all about Epiphany as well as the other customs that have been celebrated throughout history at New Year.Come to the museum on Thursday 3rd January 2013 from 10.30am – 3.30pm and the activities are only £1.50 per child!

Our Assistant Curator Sarah Keeling will also be giving a talk on Twelfth Night Traditions on the 5th Januar at 3.00pm. If you’d like to buy a ticket check our What’s On page for more details.

PS. Don’t forget Stay and Play at Hertford Museum on Saturday 5th January FREE craft activities, toys to play with and books to read PLEASE NOTE that this session will run 10.30 am – 2.00 pm