After months of hard work and Covid restrictions, Lowewood Museum re-opened to the public on Saturday 17 July at 10am. Approximately 120 visitors came along to see the new Tankards, Tales and Taverns exhibition including the Mayor of Broxbourne, Cllr David Taylor and his wife as well as representatives from the Love Hoddesdon Business Improvement District board. The shop and cafe was busy and the team of volunteers did themselves proud in providing a welcoming smile and a helping hand. Below are some pictures from the opening day. Why not come and see the museum for yourself every Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4:30pm.
Lowewood Museum will be opening its doors once again on Saturday 17th July. The museum has been closed for over a year, but work has been going on behind the scenes since the new Lowewood Museum Trust CIO was formed, securing the future of this wonderful resource for the Borough and beyond.
The small team has recently been recruiting volunteers to help welcome visitors and work with the museum’s collections of over 40,000 items. There is still much to do and many returning visitors won’t see too many changes to the first floor displays but David Dent, the Chair of Trustees says:
“As a fledgling trust here at the museum, it’s been a steep but enjoyable learning curve for us all, and there is still much to do, but bear with us as we have lots planned over the coming years to appeal to our residents across the borough. We are all incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received over the past year, and now it’s coming to fruition. We are all looking forward to seeing you at the museum again.”
The museum will once again be offering teas and coffees in its ground floor area, along with space to sit out in the rear garden area of the museum. Another thing to quench visitor’s thirst is a brand-new exhibition on the ground floor of the museum, entitled ‘Tankards, Tales and Taverns’ where visitors can discover more about local pubs past and present. The museum has thousands of photographs in the collection and some of these feature pubs, alehouses and inns dating as far back as 1900. A selection of these will feature in the exhibition, along with paintings (some of which are for sale) of pubs created by members of the Broxbourne Arts Forum (BArts). Lee Rayner, Director of Programming for BArts commented,
“During lockdowns and restrictions, many local artists and groups have been able to continue their activities which has been part of their ‘survival’ strategy. Our ‘Paint A Pub’ mini project has been a particularly pleasant diversion, focusing on something outdoors, but tantalising if the pub has been closed! The pictures will be interesting to compare with old images held by Lowewood Museum.”
On display will be a small selection of pub and brewery related items from the museum stores and not normally on show at the museum, as well as few pieces kindly borrowed from McMullen’s.
For visitors who haven’t had the chance to see the nationally significant Tudor wall paintings at The Star pub on Hoddesdon’s High Street, there’s a chance to find out more about these discoveries that were found during renovation work in 2014 after being hidden away for hundreds of years. A great introduction to these amazing historic gems before you go and have a proper look in the pub itself, which is half a mile away! Wetherspoon have given a donation to help fund this part of the display which is much appreciated.
Children and adults alike can take part in our ‘design a pub sign’ or sit and colour in pub signs inspired by local pubs and designed by local artist and museum volunteer Suse Nielebock.
Opening Saturday 17th July
And open Fridays and Saturdays, 10am – 4.30pm thereafter
Ahead of the museum’s re-opening on 17 July and the next exhibition Tankards, Tales and Taverns focusing on the Borough’s pubs, inns, alehouses and breweries, here are some images of pubs from the Borough that you may remember:
Lowewood Museum is now under the management of the Lowewood Museum Trust; a new charitable incorporated organisation. In this series of posts, meet the members of the Trust Board, with this article featuring Steve Whitlam.
Steve Whitlam lives in North East London with his wife and two children but has worked in the borough of Broxbourne since 2005. He is Broxbourne Borough Council’s Community Development Manager. Steve and his team are responsible for youth work, children’s playschemes and holiday hunger initiatives, sports development, the Active Herts health programme, support to vulnerable people, environmental sustainability, liaison with the community / voluntary sector, child safeguarding and culture and heritage.
Prior to joining Broxbourne Council, Steve worked in the Department of Health as a knowledge manager within the NHS Modernisation Agency.
Outside of work, Steve is a keen follower of Norwich City Football Club and has run the Flown From The Nest website for almost 25 years which is devoted to the careers of former players. This has led to Steve writing a column in the official Norwich City matchday programme for each home game for the last 13 seasons as well as contributions to newspaper articles and other publications.
Steve is also a trustee of All Saints Highams Park where he and his wife have been part of the leadership team for almost ten years. Other interests include British police procedural novels, real ale and trying to find the time to go running.
He says “I am excited for the future of the museum building upon the good foundations established before but re-imagining the service to engage with a wider range of residents and visitors by taking advantage of the many new opportunities as they present themselves.”
Our new exhibition Tankards, Tales and Taverns telling the stories of the borough of Broxbourne’s many pubs, inns and breweries opens on Saturday 17 May. We hope to see you there.
Lowewood Museum is now under the management of the Lowewood Museum Trust; a new charitable incorporated organisation. In this series of posts, meet the members of the Trust Board, with this article featuring David Dent, the Chair of the Trust.
David Dent has lived in the Borough of Broxbourne for most of his life. His family connections with the village of Wormley date back to the 1880’s.
David is a keen local historian and has collected information and old images of Wormley, Turnford, Broxbourne and Hoddesdon since the late 1970’s. Some of his collection appeared in two books, Hoddesdon’s Past in Pictures and Broxbourne and Wormley’s Past in Pictures, which were published in the 1990’s. His interest in local history was actively encouraged by two Cheshunt and Waltham Cross historians, Jack Edwards and Peter Rooke. Although they are sadly no longer with us, David acknowledges that their contribution and their donations to Lowewood Museum have added greatly to the wonderful collection housed there.
He is a former chair of the Friends of Lowewood Museum and is still a committee member. He is also a committee member of the Friends of Wormley Open Spaces.
David retired in 2017 when the family business of H. Dent and Sons, started by his late father, closed after nearly 60 years.
The long-term future of Lowewood Museum is something David cares very passionately about and he and his fellow trustees are determined to make it an asset that the local community can be justly proud of.
Lowewood Museum is now under the management of the Lowewood Museum Trust; a new charitable incorporated organisation. In this series of posts, meet the members of the Trust Board, with this article featuring Pete Dockar.
Pete Dockar lives in Broxbourne with his wife and two young children, having moved from London 10 years ago to be closer to his wife’s family who have lived in the area for many years.
He is responsible for customer and digital banking propositions at Virgin Money UK and is a director of a number of the bank’s subsidiaries. He was previously at HSBC, holding senior UK and European positions including UK Head of Mortgages.
Pete has a keen interest in Broxbourne’s rich history and local architecture. He is hugely excited about the opportunity for the museum to be a hub that by connecting people to their heritage, strengthens communities and deepens family ties.
In his spare time, in addition to history he also enjoys running as well as composing and performing music.
Lowewood Museum is now under the management of the Lowewood Museum Trust; a new charitable incorporated organisation. In this series of posts, meet the members of the Trust Board, with this article featuring Claire Haggarty.
Claire Haggarty is a qualified primary school teacher and volunteer manager from Bedfordshire. “I began working in museums as soon as I graduated from university taking on various seasonal visitor services roles and freelancing as a museum educator. I had great fun working in museum education using costume and theatre to bring history to life. It offered balance to the sometimes stressful duty management of busy visitor attractions dealing with anything from ticketing problems, or visitor complaints right through to first aid calls and broken-down cars in the visitor car park.”
Claire received a Highly Commended at the 2016 Volunteer’s in Museums Awards for Supporting, Managing and Encouraging Others in her work recruiting and training volunteers on the Painted Hall Project at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The project which received £7.7million from the Heritage Lottery Fund was a unique opportunity for visitors to see the conservation of 40,000 sq feet of fresco ceiling up-close, and volunteers were recruited to lead visitor tours on the 60-foot internal scaffolding.
Since then, Claire has gone on to work for organisations like Age UK and Bletchley Park as a Volunteer Manager advising on policy development and people strategy. She actively volunteers as a part of her hometown’s good neighbour scheme and as a steering committee member of the Heritage Volunteering Group, a group of heritage professionals who come together to promote best practice in volunteer management across the heritage sector through training and events.
A keen quilter and chef, Claire can otherwise be found in the garden or on her allotment.
Lowewood Museum can now announce that we will be re-opening to the public on Saturday 17 July at 10am.
This will include the start of the new exhibition ‘Tankards, Tales and Taverns’ recording the history of the Borough of Broxbourne’s pubs and inns.
Admission is Free. Social distancing and Covid-19 secure measures will be in place to keep everyone safe.
The museum will then be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4:30pm; with the intention to expand to other days and times in due course depending on volunteer capacity and external funding bid success.
The Lowewood Museum Trust CIO looks forward to welcoming visitors old and new into the wonderful museum.