Object of the Week: Butterfly collage tea tray

June 10th, 2015

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This souvenir tea tray from Rio de Janeiro is decorated with a collage of butterfly wings- if you look closely not only are the four butterflies at the corners real but the blue sky and the circular frame are also made up of butterfly wings as well.

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Collages can be made using all kinds of materials (although we wouldn’t recommend using butterfly wings today!) and many influential artists have experimented with collage including Matisse, Picasso and David Hockney. On Wednesday 17th June the second in our series of Arts & Craft for Adults workshops will be learning about collage and you will have a chance to make your own. No experience is necessary- full instruction from experienced artists, all materials provided and tea & coffee are all included in the price of £15 per person. Check our our website or newsletter for full details.

This week’s events

Our monthly Knit & Natter group will be meeting in the Andrews Room tomorrow (Thursday 11th June). Drop in from 10.30-12.30 for a cup of tea and a chat (or help with your knitting if you’re just beginning!) for just £1.

Make sure you’ve seen our Hidden Hertford Walks programme on our website. There are two coming up in July including Les Middlewood’s popular How Hertford’s Pub Scene Was Shaped walk so make sure you book your spot!

Do you know any musicians, bands or other small music groups who might like a chance to perform at the museum? This summer we’re running a programme of short 30 minutes Gallery Sounds on Saturday afternoons and we’re looking for some more musicians to take part. Drop us an email at hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com for more details (all musical styles are welcome but we’re looking for small, acoustic groups to fit in our gallery!)

Object of the Week: Green Glaze Flask (140AD)

June 4th, 2015

This week’s Object of the Week comes to you a day late because we’ve been looking forward to the arrival of this beautiful, and incredibly rare, flask which was found in Puckeridge.

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This green glazed flask with barbotine ring decoration dates from around AD 140 and was part of a casket burial group from Skeleton Green, Puckeridge. Casket burials, where the cremated remains are buried in a wooden casket, often with elaborate bronze fittings rather than a simple pottery urn, were usually reserved for higher status individuals. The quality of the grave goods buried with the casket which also included glassware, ceramic dishes and a terracotta oil lamp back up this theory.

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Materials behave differently in the ground, with most organic materials rotting away unless extreme environmental conditions preserve them. None of the wood from the casket remains, however, archaeologists can gauge the size and shape by noticeable changes to the soil in which it was buried and from the metal fittings used. Ceramic objects like this beautiful flask survive well unless they come into contact with destructive forces such as animals, tree roots and ploughs. This burial was one of six casket burials from the site and it is likely that all six were members of the same high status family group living in Roman Braughing.

This week’s events

As this is the first week in June that means this Saturday is a Stay and Play Saturday! Come along and play with traditional wooden toys, make something crafty and read a book. Whilst you are here why not use the discovery station toys to explore the galleries too?

Come and Discover Hertford Museum at an illustrated talk from our Assistant Curator Sarah next Wednesday 10th June at 7.30pm (talk at 8pm). You will discover the amazing diversity of our collections, our fascinating history and how we care for and share your local heritage. Your ticket includes a glass a wine or soft drink and the opportunity to look around the museum after hours. £7.50 per person BOOKING ESSENTIAL

You can also now book a place on our next Arts & Crafts for Adults workshops- on Wednesday 17th June we’re holding Collage workshops No experience is necessary- full instruction from experienced artists, all materials provided and tea & coffee are all included in the price of £15 per person. Check our our website or newsletter for full details.

Object of the Week: Victorian Music Greetings Card

May 27th, 2015

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We’ve been working on our next exhibition, Beautiful Noise: Hertford’s Musical Heritage, today and amongst the records of musical instruments and posters and sheet music we also found this lovely Victorian greetings card. If you can’t read the caption it says “Music selected for our next meeting” and the songs shown include Somebody’s Waiting For Somebody, The Way to be Happy and Come With Thy Sweet Voice Again.

We’re talking to a lot of local music groups at the moment but if you’re musical and live in (or around) Hertford and think we should be talking to you then get in touch! We’re also going to have opportunities for local musicians and bands to play short sets in the museum every Saturday so if you’re interested in taking part in that contact us and ask about Gallery Sounds

This week’s events

It’s May Half Term and there’s just one day left to enjoy our Terrific Traditions activities! Drop in tomorrow from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (last entry 3pm) to make a maypole, flower garland and more for just £1.50 per child!

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Our latest Hidden Hertford Walks programme is now out so take a look on our website and make sure you book your place!

You can also now book a place on our next Arts & Crafts for Adults workshops- on Wednesday 17th June we’re holding Collage workshops No experience is necessary- full instruction from experienced artists, all materials provided and tea & coffee are all included in the price of £15 per person. Check our our website or newsletter for full details.

Object of the Week- Decorative Fork

May 20th, 2015

One of the biggest projects that we are working on at the moment (and will be for a long time!) is making sure that we have a photograph or scan of every object in our collection. We have over 100,000 objects and we’re around a third of the way there at the moment but we have a whole team of volunteers working on photographing, scanning and recording these images and sometimes they find wonderful details in the most unassuming boxes!

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One of our volunteers, Mark, has been working his way through a collection of tableware (knives, forks and spoons) and this wonderful fork with a man carved into the handle was in the box. Unfortunately we don’t have any information exactly where it came from but at least now we know it’s there and the picture is attached to the object record for anyone searching in the future!

This week’s events

It’s May Half Term next week and our activities are all inspired by Terrific Traditions. Activities run from Tuesday 26th – Thursday 28th May, 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (last entry 3pm) and cost just £1.50 per child so drop in to make a maypole, flower garland and more!

Our latest Hidden Hertford Walks programme is now out so take a look on our website and make sure you book your place!

If you want to know what we’ve been up to over the past year our Annual Report 2014-2015 is available to download from our website.

Photograph of the Week: Holden du Cros factory (Watton at Stone)

April 29th, 2015

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Our next exhibition, High Streets and Hedgerows: Watton at Stone opens on Saturday and one of the things we’ve been told by several residents is that on particularly hot days you can still smell smoked salmon as you walk past the site of the old Holden du Cros Ltd. factory! We’ve got several photographs in the exhibition of workers at the factory (and if you recognise any of them we’d love to know names!) as well as some recorded memories of life in the factory.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 2nd Mary – Saturday 27th June so pop in and learn about the people and places that make Watton at Stone special.

This week’s events

As well as our new exhibition opening this Saturday it’s also Stay and Play Saturday, come and play with some of our traditional toys and this month our craft activity has a toy theme too. It’s all free so drop in and have a go!

If you want to see some of the THOUSANDS of objects our collections volunteers are working on at the moment come to our Stores Open Day on Saturday 9th May. Make sure you put the date in your diary and keep an eye on our website for more information!

If you want to know what we’ve been up to over the past year our Annual Report 2014-2015 is available to download from our website.

Object of the Week: Playing Cards (matching game)

April 22nd, 2015

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These wonderful playing cards are from a game of matching pairs. We have several packs of playing cards from all kinds of games recorded in our collections database and these fantastic pictures have just been rediscovered as our volunteers work through our objects photographing them and making sure all our records have images attached.

This week’s events

If you want to see some of the THOUSANDS of objects our collections volunteers are working on at the moment come to our Stores Open Day on Saturday 9th May. Make sure you put the date in your diary and keep an eye on our website for more information!

We’re in the middle of changing exhibitions at the moment- High Streets & Hedgerows: Watton at Stone opens on the 2nd May but there’s still plenty to see in the museum whilst we’re working!

Teachers don’t forget out new Learning Officer Jo Marychurch has now started so get in touch with her to book any visits or for any other help/ideas! All of our current workshops and loans boxes are on our website so take a look and get booking!

Object of the Week: Egyptian Scarab Amulet

April 15th, 2015

This Egyptian Scarab amulet is around 4000 years old and was made to be worn as a necklace of brooch across someone’s chest.

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In ancient Egyptian religion, the sun god Ra is seen to roll across the sky each day, transforming bodies and souls. Beetles of of the Scarabaeidae family (dung beetle) roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs that are later transformed into larvae. For these reasons the scarab was seen as a symbol of this heavenly cycle and of the idea of rebirth or regeneration.

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Some of our visitors have been making their own Scarab amulets this week as well as adding to our wonderful Egyptian mural! There’s one more day of activities so if you haven’t visited us so far this Easter don’t miss out!

This week’s events

Inspired by Bickerton closes on Saturday so if you haven’t been in to see the competition entries or Bickerton’s own photographs this is your last chance!

We have a Stores Open Day coming up on Saturday 9th May. If you want a chance to see behind the scenes at the museum then put the date in your diary and keep an eye on our website for more information!

Teachers don’t forget out new Learning Officer Jo Marychurch has now started so get in touch with her to book any visits or for any other help/ideas! All of our current workshops and loans boxes are on our website so take a look and get booking!

Person of the Week (!): Joanne Marychurch

April 8th, 2015

This week we’re doing something slightly different and introducing our person of the week!

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Hello!
My name is Jo Marychurch, and I’m the new Learning Officer at Hertford Museum. I used to work for Elmbridge Borough Council in Surrey, in their museum service. I’m very excited to be working at Hertford Museum, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Jo started today so she’s still finding her feet- make sure to say hello if you see her in the activities during the holidays. Any teachers who would like to get in touch with Jo please call 01992 582686 or email learning.hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com

This week’s events

We’re halfway through our Extraordinary Egyptians activities! You can still drop in to take part in crafty activities inspired by our collections. Make a mummy mask, clay amulets and more! Different activities will run each week (Tuesday-Thursday) and activities cost just £1.50 per child, last entry 3pm.

Our Inspired by Bickerton competition entries are now on display in our temporary gallery so come and take a look at the wonderful display!

Don’t forget our new booklet, Lost Buildings of Hertford ~ Part 1. This book is full of images from our collections of buildings no longer standing in Hertford and it has been put together by our Museum Support Assistant Holly Rapley with assistance from Jean Purkiss.

Object of the Week: Lost Buildings of Hertford

April 1st, 2015

We have a new booklet available in the shop, Lost Buildings of Hertford ~ Part 1. This book is full of images from our collections of buildings no longer standing in Hertford and it has been put together by our Museum Support Assistant Holly Rapley with assistance from Jean Purkiss.

Cowbridge Station with McMullens Brewery on the right. Circa 1900.

Cowbridge Station with McMullens Brewery on the right. Circa 1900.

There’s a complete range of buildings shown from the old Cowbridge station to the streets that were demolished to build Bircherley Green. The booklet costs just £3.50 and all proceeds from this booklet will go towards our Picture This! project which will allow 24 hour online public access to our collection of over 12,000 images.

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This week’s events:

We’ve just finished putting up all your amazing entries for our Inspired by Bickerton competition so drop into the museum to see them all (and especially our two winners). They will be on display as part of our Mr Bickerton and his Birds display from 2nd – 18th April so don’t miss out!

Although the museum will be closed on Friday for the Bank Holiday we will be open on Saturday as it’s Stay and Play Saturday this weekend! Drop in to enjoy a simple craft, toys, books and games all for FREE in the Andrews Room.

Our Extraordinary Egyptians activities start next Tuesday! Drop in over the Easter holidays to take part in crafty activities inspired by our collections. Make a mummy mask, clay amulets and more! Different activities will run each week (Tuesday-Thursday) and activities cost just £1.50 per child, last entry 3pm.

Object of the week: Map Stamp (Ireland)

March 18th, 2015

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We’re a day late for St Patrick but our object of the week is this wonderful stamp of a map of Ireland. This stamp is one of a collection of 12 stamps that were used at Abel Smith School. The stamps were rescued by the schools’ caretaker, Mr Tarplee, and donated to the museum last year. The stamps include maps from across the world such as India, Africa, Australia and closer to home a set of England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland and one of the complete British Isles.

Do you remember using map stamps in geography lessons?

This week’s events:

The deadline for our Inspired By Bickerton competition is Saturday 21st March so this is your last chance to enter! We’ve had some amazing entries from back gardens as well as wilder locations so check out the rules and get snapping! The deadline is March 23rd so you’ve still got time!

Next week is #MuseumWeek on twitter and we’ll be taking part with lots of tweets, pictures and behind the scenes information! You can find out the theme for each day on their website

Our next exhibition High Streets & Hedgerows: Watton at Stone is approaching fast, if you live in Watton and have any objects, photographs or stories you’d like to share with us then please get in touch!