Posts Tagged ‘adult learning’

Object of the week: Slipware

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015


Sometimes when we look at objects in a museum collection we can be seeing them from quite far away- through a glass case or behind a barrier- but if you get a chance to look at objects up close sometimes you can find wonderful patterns.

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This beautiful Slipware Platter was found during excavations behind the old Castle Cinema on The Wash. It dates from the seventeenth or eighteenth century and if you’ve seen one of our posters for the Arts & Craft workshop we’re running next week you’ll recognise it’s beautiful pattern!


It’s one of several patterns from our collections which those on the workshop will be using to inspire prints of their own design! There are still spaces left if you want to take part.

This week’s events:

Check out the details on the poster above and book your space on our Arts & Craft taster sessions as soon as possible! We’re hoping to run some more of these in the summer and if you’re at the first one you’ll have a chance to tell us which other sessions you’d like us to run!

We’re starting to receive some wonderful entries for our Inspired by Bickerton competition and we’re looking forward to seeing YOURS! 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.

Don’t forget Hertford Country Market takes over our Andrews Room every Friday morning from 10.30 to 12.00.Pop in and take a look at their buy homemade cakes, jams and crafts as well as fresh flowers and seasonal produce.

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.

Garden courses & Garden visitors

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Our new museum gardeners- Daisy Roots- have been at work in our Jacobean Knot Garden today and they’ve cut back all our lavender leaving us with sacks full of cuttings and a staff room filled with the most gorgeous scent! We’re hoping to have some of our lavender on sale in our shop soon so check back for more information.

And whilst we’re on the subject of gardens this seems the perfect time to tell you about our new Garden History Course.

Kate Harwood, lecturer in Garden History for Birkbeck College, University of London and Coservation & PLanning Officer for the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust, is returning to the museum to teach a course on Tudor & Stuart Gardens in the English Renaissance. The course will run from the 4th October to the 13th December on Thursday afternoons 2.00-4.00pm and will cost £100.

We still have places left on this course so if you’re interested get in touch with the museum or pop in and pick up a registration form from our front desk!

Kate’s been a popular lecturer in the past so don’t miss out on your chance to learn from her.

Even though summer is drawing to a close our garden is still being used by lots of visitors as a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the plants or somewhere to eat lunch. Below are pictures of some of the non-human visitors who have been popping by for lunch!

This Red Admiral butterfly has been a regular visitor in the last few weeks.

Our Red Admiral posing for the camera!

Can you spot the acrobatic snail hanging upside down on our fennel?

Even though the swarm of bees we had at the start of the summer moved on there are still plenty around.

This beautiful spider seems to have set up home near our windows.

This ant isn't really a visitor, he lives in the garden all year round!

A week in the life of our Learning Officer

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Hi my name is Eleanor Payne and my job as Learning Officer at Hertford Museum is to work with school and family groups (amongst many others!) to encourage them to engage in the museum in a meaningful way. This week has been a really mixed bag (like most weeks!). Here is a flavour of what I have been up to…

On Monday I attended a seminar on the changes facing schools over the next few years; whether or not to become academies and how the ever-changing requirements by the government affect them on a daily, termly and annual basis. It was a really interesting morning organised by SHARE (Support, Help and Advice from Renaissance East) in Luton for museum educators. It is really important to me to keep up to date with the current agendas schools are facing to ensure we can respond to their changing circumstances and needs appropriately. That afternoon it was back to the ranch for a team chat about our forthcoming exhibitions programme with the curatorial team; I was really keen to give an input from a family audience perspective, the next focus being our souvenirs exhibition and to make it as interactive as possible!

On Tuesday I ran our monthly Toddler session ‘Toddler Tuesday’ with Dawn, one of our fabulous volunteers. The theme was Leaping Frogs and all the children were able to make a frog on a lily pad to take home, as well as enjoy stories and play with our traditional wooden toys.

Wednesday saw a visit from Middleton School in Ware, who brought their Year 2 class to try on lots of different old fashioned costumes. Lots of fun was had with boaters, tops hats, mob caps and aprons! Many schools visit us at the museum, booking a session like this and sometimes I go and deliver an outreach session in school; it all depends on what the school requires (take a look at our schools pages for further information on the sessions we currently offer).

I then had a great meeting at the Town Council, finalising our plans for the Teddy bear’s picnic that is happening at Hertford Castle on Sunday 17th June. Later that afternoon Sara Taylor (our curator) and I met with a lady from Selections Adult Learning partnership on how we can develop future partnership working both at the adult learning centre based at Sele School and at the museum.

St Dominic’s Catholic School from Harpenden visited us on Thursday to explore Tilly’s Toy Box. Their Years 1 class is currently learning about old toys so the hand-on approach to learning, where they can play with and explore old and old fashioned toys worked excellently. We have received some funding from SHARE to improve the way we engage with families at the museum, so Sara and I had a meeting in the afternoon to discuss future plans for interactives in the galleries and Saturday stay and play sessions at the museum…watch this space for further details later in the Spring!

Friday was a beautiful sunny day, which was fortunate because Sarah Keeling (our Assistant Curator), some volunteers and I took to the streets to finalise the entrants for the town trail we are organising in conjunction with the RNLI over Easter. We are asking local shops to create a small display in their window on the theme of a town that has an RNLI lifeboat station; we will then be writing trails that will encourage our visitors to take a stroll round the shops. All shops are generously donating to be involved and we will be selling the trails at the museum. All proceed with be split between the two charities.

Phew! Well there you have it, a week in the life of me!

The Andrews Room @ Hertford Museum

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The Andrews Room at Hertford Museum now has WiFi installed!

Our activity room is used by all kinds of people and groups and so, in honour of it’s new wireless connection, we thought we’d tell you about some of the things that happen in there each week!

  1. Toddler Tuesdays These themed crafty activity mornings are very popular with our youngest visitors. They play with toys, share a story and make something to take home as well as having a drink (with tea & coffee available for parents!)

  2. Adult Learning Our Garden History course, led by Kate Harwood, started yesterday but there are still places available on Margaret Davis’ course on The Renaissance in Florence which will start in May.
  3. Country Market Every Friday morning from 10:30-12:30 the room is taken over by a Country Market where you can buy plants, fruit & veg, jams, cakes and all kinds of other goodies! The first market of 2012 will be tomorrow (20th January)

  4. Schools We offer lots of different workshops for visiting schools including Blanket Archaeology, Tilly’s Toy Box and a session on Inventions (pictured here). The Andrews Room can also be used as a lunchroom by visiting groups.

  5. A space for your meetings The Andrews Room is open to bookings from external groups and in the last few months it’s been used for training days, formal meetings, social gatherings and as a Bridge Club! It’s a flexible space and we can provide a projector, computer and now WiFi as well as Tea & Coffee if requested.

And that’s only the start! It’s where most of our Children’s Activities take place, it’s used as an exhibition space and it’s also where our Afternoon Teas are served in the Spring & Summer!

January Newsletter

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Hello everyone, we hope you’re all settling back into your usual routine now we are well and truly into 2012!

Something to keep you occupied on a cold dark winter evening is our January newsletter which is out now! It includes information on our new exhibition on Hertingfordbury & The Greens which opens this Saturday 14th January as well as all the usual updates, news and events.

Hertford Museum Newsletter January 2012

There are still places available on our new Adult Learning course: ‘Romans to Utopians: Hertfordshire gardens though the Ages’ by Kate Harwood.

It isn’t in the newsletter as it starts starts next Wednesday 18th January for ten weeks. But if you are interested please contact use ASAP on 01992 582686 or

Course Details

Dates: Wednesdays 2- 4pm January 18th , 25th; February 1st, 8th, 22nd, 29th; March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

Cost: £90 inclusive

The Lecturer: Kate Harwood is Lecturer in Garden History for Birkbeck College, University of London. Her subject is garden history of any period and she is teaching ‘Victorian Gardens’ at Letchworth after Christmas. Kate is also Conservation & Planning Officer for the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust and is knowledgeable about historic landscapes in Hertfordshire.

The Course: Hertfordshire has been very fortunate in having many different styles of gardens from Roman through Medieval and Tudor to 18th century landscapes, 19th century bedding out up to the many Arts and Crafts gardens and the Garden City Movement This course will explore the history of gardens over the period with examples taken from sites in Hertfordshire. It will also help you to research and discover the history of gardens yourself with the aid of maps, illustrations, Hertfordshire Archives and the internet.

Adult Learning at Hertford Museum

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

A slightly belated Happy New Year everyone! We’re very busy here at the museum getting ready for the opening of our new exhibition, Hertingfordbury and the Greens, next week as well as preparing the new edition of our newsletter.

Hertingfordbury Park and gardens in the 1700s

If you’re looking for something new and interesting to do in 2012 why not sign up for one of our Adult Learning Courses?

Adult Learning 2012 Flyer

Our first course, Romans to Utopians: Hertfordshire gardens through the ages, is starting starting on Monday 18th January so if you’re interested then get in touch ASAP!