Archive for January, 2015

Object of the week: Hertford Post Office

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Here at the museum we’ve been saddened at the news that Hertford Post Office is being forced to close and so we thought we’d share two photographs of the Post Office in its earliest days with you.

Laying the foundation stone of the Post Office, Fore Street, Hertford, in 1889.

Laying the foundation stone of the Post Office, Fore Street, Hertford, in 1889.

Post office staff outside the Hertford Post Office, Fore Street, 1900

Post office staff outside the Hertford Post Office, Fore Street, 1900

The Hertfordshire Mercury are running a petition to save the Post Office- visit their website for further information and the latest news on exactly when the doors of the Post Office will shut!

This week’s events:

  • Mr Bickerton and his Birds, our new photography exhibition, opens it’s doors this Saturday, 31st January 2015.
  • The Hertford Country Market will be back at the Museum this Friday morning after its winter break.
  • Our public internet access will be back from the start of next week.

Object of the week- Mystery machine!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

In every museum collection there are a few objects that nobody can identify. This machine is simply recorded as an unknown instrument or tool and with no further information we have never been able to discover exactly what it does!


During Rise of the Machines we asked visitors to tell us what they thought it might be and we had some interesting suggestions from a device to peel fruit through to something to do with navigation but nobody knew for sure and so today it will be going back to its home in the store unidentified unless any of our blog readers can help!


If you missed your chance to see our orrery on display inRise of the Machines don’t forget you can still see our videos of it being conserved and then in motion on the Rise of the Machines playlist. The orrery is also being returned to a new home in our stores where it should be much more accessible for visitors to see it on our Stores Open Days so watch out for future dates!

Object of the week- Walter Gunn’s WW1 archive

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Our second object of the week is a little unusual in that it isn’t actually part of our museum collection yet! This wonderful collection of medals, photographs and other ephemera belonging to Private W.H. Gunn will be auctioned on the 24th January and we are hoping to raise enough money to be able to bring the collection to Hertford Museum to become part of the Hertfordshire Regiment Collection.


Walter Gunn survived a gas attached during the First World War when he was a battalion runner and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry. This collection also includes letters about the gas attach as well as Gunn’s cap badge, pay books, pocket watch and several photographs.

Gunn collection

To help bring this collection to Hertford Museum we need YOUR help though and we are collecting donations online here. If you think you can help then please donate as soon as possible and we will let you know how we get on after the auction!

Any money left after we have purchased the collection, or if we are unsuccessful in our bid, will be put towards our First World War exhibition Hertford at War which will be on display from the end of September 2015.

Object of the week- Brewster’s Mechanical Spinner

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Happy New Year to all our visitors! After the success of our Advent calendar we’ve decided to give our weekly blogs a makeover and start each blog with an “object of the week”.

Brewster machine

This week’s object is this mechanical spinner, designed to experiment with how different shaped objects behaved when spun. This machine was designed and built by renowned Scottish physicist and inventor Sir David Brewster (1781 – 1868) who is most famous for being the inventor of the kaleidoscope and was primarily interested in experimenting with light.


You can see this mechanical spinner on display, alongside several other pieces of scientific equipment including our orrery, in Rise of the Machines. The exhibition closes on Saturday 17th January so you only have a week and a half to visit if you haven’t already!