Archive for July, 2014

World War One Commemorations : 4th August 1914 – 2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

This Monday, 4th August 2014, marks the centenary of the start of World War One and there are events taking place across the country to commemorate the anniversary. Here in Hertford there is going to be a special ecumenical service at the War Memorial in Parliment Square.

HETFM6413.5 War Memorial

The service will begin at 8pm but Hertford Museum will be open from 6 – 8 pm that evening to allow anyone attending the service a chance to come and look at our Regimental & World War One collections. We will also be running a simple craft activity for any families planning to attend the service that evening (or who are just out in town). We hope to see lots of you there!


We’re now in the first week of our Summer Holiday activities of course and we’ve seen some amazing warrior themed collages being made as well as some epic tiddlywink battles using the targets that are our second craft activity this week. You’ve still got one day to drop in for our Spears & Sparring activities- next week we’re moving on to some 1970s themed activities including the return of a very popular 70s toy!

spears and sparring 31-7-14 (2)

spears and sparring 31-7-14 (7)

It’s also a Stay & Play Saturday this weekend so there will be toys, books & a free craft activity available if you’re in town.

Ready, Aim, Fire! Summer Fun at Hertford Museum

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

This Saturday, 26th July we’re launching our summer activities with Ready, Aim, Fire!, a full day of FREE activities!

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There will be storytelling, a craft activity and History Man David Cadle is bringing some replica weapons for visitors to see! Activities are taking place from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (although the museum is open until 5.00 pm as usual) and you’ll be able to pick up a flyer with exact timings of everything on the day. If you want to make some plans ahead of time though then take a look at this handy timetable!


When? What? Where?
10.30 am – 3.30 pm Craft activity First Floor Gallery
10.30 am – 12.00 pm Meet the History Man and handle replicas The Andrews Room
11.00 – 11.30 am Story telling with Olivia Art of Arms gallery
12.00 – 12.30 pm Story telling with Olivia Art of Arms gallery
1.00 – 3.30 pm Meet the History Man and handle replicas The Andrews Room
1.30 – 2.00 pm Story telling with Olivia Art of Arms gallery
2.30 – 3.00 pm Story telling with Olivia Art of Arms gallery

Plus don’t forget to take a look at our Art of Arms exhibition and have a go at designing your own sword- we’re displaying some of the best we’ve been given in the gallery! You can also explore the main galleries and garden; use the Discovery Station and gallery trails to help you!


Of course Saturday is just the start of five weeks of fabulous summer fun here at Hertford Museum so pick up (or download) a leaflet today!

A busy week…

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

It might be almost the end of term for a lot of you but things aren’t slowing down here at the museum! We’ve had a busy week of exhibitions and conservation and videos and some exciting plans for the future!

Firstly our plans for the summer holidays are all coming together so make sure you pick up a copy of our summer leaflet from the museum or download it from our website


Our new Art of Arms exhibition is proving popular with visitors and don’t forget there are some videos with additional information on our YouTube channel (including a film from 1955 about how to make a sword!)

That isn’t the only exhibition we’ve been working on though- World of Wallace is on tour as of today! We just packed it all safely into a van for its visit to The Oxfordshire Museum. We’ll try and share some pictures of the hornbill in his new temporary home when they’ve got everything set up!


We’re also starting to look at which objects we’re going to include in our Autumn exhibition which is going to be all about machines- some scientific, some industrial and at least one old favourite that some of you who have been coming to the museum for a long time might remember!

If you’ve visited our stores in the past you’ll have seen the fabulous roman corn dryer that’s kept there. To keep it safe and looking its best it needs to be check regularly by a conservator and that took place last week so it will be all ready for our Stores Open Day in September (watch out for more details coming soon!)


And speaking of watching out- we’re hoping to make a few changes in the garden (not to our beautiful knot!) so it you’re visiting us over the summer you might get a chance to see what we’re up to.

Seventy years since the Millbridge bomb

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Seventy years ago, on the 2nd July 1944, a doodlebug fell on Millbridge in the centre of Hertford.

Millbridge after the flying bomb as seen from the weir.

Millbridge after the flying bomb as seen from the weir.

Joan Allum, aged 16 at the time, remembers being at her grandfather’s house the night the bomb fell.

That particular night we were sleeping in the back bedroom and the chest of drawers had one of those mirrors on it – a swivel one. Well, we heard the doodlebug coming. My mum said to me: Quick! Get under the bed! She went out one side and I went out the other and under the bed, and just as we went that mirror swung right round. And that wasn’t as near as our house. That was just across the river. So as soon as it had gone, she said: I’d better go back home and see what’s happened up there. And she went up. When she come back, she said: It’s full of soot. The soot had all come down the chimneys. I don’t think we had any broken windows, ‘cos our windows were fairly small. But afterwards we had a great big crack come right down the side of our house. But we were lucky really. It would have shook us up if we’d been there. I suppose we’ve seen worse things now but then – it was bad enough at the time. It was all clearing up.

Mill Bridge after the flying bomb.

One of the shops that was badly damaged in the bombing was a leather goods shop and a popular story after the war was that the morning after every woman who lived or worked on Folly Island came to work with a new handbag fished out of the river!

HETFM 6037.452 Mill Bridge after flying bomb

Don’t forget that our new exhibition The Art of Arms opens this weekend. From hand axes to samurai swords, this exhibition will showcase our extensive weaponry collections from around the world so don’t miss out!