Archive for February, 2015

Object of the week: Votes for Women sash

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Today’s object of the week is chosen by Learning Officer Eleanor Payne who we are sadly saying goodbye to today! Eleanor will be starting her new job at the Women’s Library in the London School of Economics next week and in honour of that she has chosen this wonderful Votes for Women sash.


Eleanor has been with Hertford Museum for 7 years working with local schools, uniformed organisations, adult groups and also organising all of our family activities for school holidays.


We’ll have news about our new Learning Officer in our Summer Newsletter so keep an eye out for that. If you have any questions about our schools programme or other learning opportunities in the meantime please contact the main museum number (01992 582686) or email ( and we’ll do our best to help you.

Object of the Week: Brownie uniform (1960s)

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


Girl Guides and Girl Scouts celebrate “Thinking Day” on the 22nd February and so this week’s object of the week comes from our textile collection- it’s this wonderful Brownie uniform from the 1960s. The girl who wore it was a member of the Sele Farm Brownies and made her Promise in 1962.


If you were a Brownie do you recognise any of these badges? Or do you still have any of your own uniform or badges from when you were a Brownie, Guide, Cub or Scout?


This week’s events:

There’s just one day left of our Optical Illusions Half Term family craft activities. Drop in tomorrow 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (last entry 3.00 pm) or check out our What’s On page for more information.

Whilst the weather is looking sunny why not take your camera out and snap a photograph for our Inspired by Bickerton competition- all you need to do is take a picture of a wild animal that lives in Hertfordshire! The competition is open to all ages and we’ll be holding an exhibition of all the entries. For full details see our website or pick up a leaflet at the museum.

Next Wednesday you can come and hear sections of Bickerton’s own lectures at our Wild Birds and They Ways evening. Bickerton’s lectures were hugely popular in his lifetime and we’ll be recreating some of the most poetic and fascinating sections using scans of his own slides. Tickets are £7.50 including a glass of wine. Full details on our website.

Object of the week: Zoetrope

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
A zoetrope on display in Hertford Museum

A zoetrope on display in Hertford Museum

A zoetrope is one of several pre-film animation machines used to produce the illusion of moving images. It works by displaying a sequence of drawings which are viewed through slits in anrevolving drum.

Looking through the zoetrope's slits before it starts revolving.

Looking through the zoetrope’s slits before it starts revolving.

Although several different people invented similar machines during the mid 1800s the name zoetrope (from the Greek root words ζωή zoe, “life” and τρόπος tropos, “turning”) came from an American inventor William F. Lincoln in the 1860s.

Children from Abel Smith school playing with a replica zoetrope in the museum.

Children from Abel Smith school playing with a replica zoetrope in the museum.

Our family activities this Half Term are called Impossible Illusions and Optical Tricks and you’ll be able to play with replicas of some amazing optical illusions and then make your own optical illusions and toys to take home.

Our activities are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.30am – 3.30pm (last entry at 3pm!) and cost just £1.50 per child.

This week’s events:

Our Half Term family craft activities are on Tuesday 17th – Thursday 19th February 2014, 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (last entry 3.00 pm). For more details check out our What’s On page.

This month’s Friends of Hertford Museum talk is “Gallows Hill” by Ken Griffen. Ken will review the origins and role of Gallows Hill and look at local executions over the last 500 years. The talk is on Tuesday 17 February at 8 pm in the St Andrews Centre, Hertford. Talks cost £2 for visitors and tickets are available on the door.

Booking is now open for our Art & Crafts for adults taster sessions. Full details are availble in our newsletter or on our What’s On page.

Object of the week: Short Eared Owl (by Bickerton)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Our new exhibition, Mr Bickerton and His Birds, is now open and so today’s Object of the Week had to be one of his fabulous photographs. Assistant Curator Sarah has chosen his Short Eared Owl as she explains below.

Short Eared Owl and Young- William Bickerton

Short Eared Owl and Young- William Bickerton

Looking at the incredible detail in Bickerton’s photographs it’s hard to remember that he was working a century ago with large cameras and glass slides. This picture in particular is so lifelike and vivid as the owl glares back at Bickerton.

The exhibition is open until the 28th March and will be followed by a short exhibition of all the entries to our Inspired by Bickerton photography competition so make sure you get snapping! There are prizes for the best picture in the three age groups- 9 and under, 10-16 and Adults so all the family can get involved!

This week’s events:

It’s Stay and Play Saturday this weekend, drop in to play with traditional wooden toys, make something crafty and read a book all for FREE!

It’s almost Half Term and you can take a look at all our activities on our new flyer

You can buy prints of ALL the photographs in our Bickerton exhibition from the museum shop as well as notecards of our favourite images.