“The exam has been and come and I have passed with 199 marks out of 270. I have left Gailes (I trust for ever!) I’ve had a weekend at Oxford – I have acted as best man to ‘Lizzie’ Walpole and married him off safely.
“I’m now and given to understand the word Bughty so common on everybody’s lips nowadays is a corruption of the Hindustani word ‘bilat’ or ‘bagati’ which means house.”
Tuesday 10 July
“The great event has taken place and I am informed that I am now a tempy second lieutenant attached to the third special reserve Battalion of the Essex regiment I report on the 17th to the station at Felixstone!”
Monday 23 July
“We had just done with offertory when at 8:15am the anti-aircraft guns began firing followed quickly by loud explosions here and there which ____ the falling bomb.”
“Every night after dark the sky streaked is all over with searchlights – narrow bright beams of light piercing the darkness in all directions – it was a strange effect.”
Monday 31 July
“The great adventure has as good as begun! We are off on leave today as soon as we can get away and then report at Folkstone at 10.00AM with a view to joining armies in France.”
“I go overwillingly to strike my little blow at the Germans for what it may be worth – knowing that as I do so I am last doing my duty upon which I have more than once insisted in earlier pages of this diary.”
Created to support Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums and Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon.
If you live in Epping Forest District or the Borough of Broxbourne, or have a passion for culture, history and learning and believe that you have the relevant skills and expertise to offer this exciting new development trust, we would love to hear from you.
We are establishing a Charitable Trust to assist us with our ambitious development plans and further promote the knowledge and appreciation of our shared history and culture, not only on a local, but on a regional and indeed, national level.
The trust will play a key role in developing funding strategies, including individual giving and legacies, to assist with the future development and help attract or create new exhibitions and events, building on the strong body or work already undertaken.
We welcome applications for Trustee positions, from those who are not only committed to ensuring that the museums’, culture and theatres futures are secured and that they go from strength to strength, but also have specialist skills in the following areas:
Finance – Fundraising – Philanthropy – Marketing – Communications – PR – Arts – Heritage – Leisure and Culture – Retail, hospitality and tourism – Charity & Social Enterprise
There will be an open evening for all those interested in becoming a Trustee on Tuesday 13th June 2017 at the Epping Forest District Museum, 4 to 7 p.m.
This will be an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the new charity and your potential role as a Trustee, it will, also, be a chance to see the new exhibition space and displays in Epping Forest.
For an informal discussion or for an information pack, please contact:
As part of the ground-breaking ‘No Borders’ museum resilience project, Lowewood Museum is looking for local residents to take part in two museum focus groups this summer. The aim of these groups is to involve the community in ensuring the work of the museum is accessible and relevant to all, and to help us engage with audiences who are currently under-represented at the museum.
The No Borders project
‘No Borders’ is a partnership project between Lowewood Museum and two Essex museums – Epping Forest District Museum and Chelmsford Museum. Supported by funding from Arts Council England, this project aims to support the three museums to develop sustainable, inspiring services for the future. Attracting new and more diverse audiences and increasing accessibility for all is an important part of this work. Improvements will be made to various visitor services including a redesign of the gift shop, the introduction of a pop-up café and better accessibility for disabled visitors. It is also planned for the museums to establish new, charitable Development Foundations to undertake fundraising in support of the work of the museums.
The Focus Groups
Access focus group: This focus group will look at issues surrounding access to the museum’s services, including physical, sensory and intellectual access. Please get in touch if you are a resident of Broxbourne living with health or impairment related issues or represent or work with residents with additional access needs and would like to help us improve access for all.
BAME focus group: The second focus group is looking to bring together Broxbourne residents who define themselves as being of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic in background. This focus group will help the museum ensure its future exhibition and events programming and its collection of objects reflects the diversity of local residents.
Both focus groups will take place at Lowewood Museum and will each last two hours. Each focus group will be limited to 10 people. Before the meeting, participants will be sent the current museum events programme and pre-visit information to review. This should not take more than 30 minutes. All participants will receive a £15 ‘Love2Shop’ voucher, which can be spent in thousands of high street stores, to thank them for their time.
To find out more or to register your interest in taking part in the focus groups please contact the museum by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 445596.
Please let us know whether you would like to attend the Access focus group, the BAME focus group or both, your preferred contact method and usual availability.
“The company is discovering (as trained men on the front will do very quickly) that the officers in charge of us do not know their work very well. They are not masters of their subjects and this instruction is therefore rather halting. Our COs chief wish is that we should play games and clean our leather gear with “kiwi” (an ox-blood polish which turns the leather a horrible purplish colour!) and that seems to weigh more with him than anything else!”
Saturday 19 May
“Rations are gradually getting shorter and shorter and with all our brain and body work it means that more often than not we go hungry – one hard boiled egg, a spoonful of hard hardly cooked peas, 2 spoonfuls of rice and a piece of bread are hardly a decent lunch for a healthy man.”
“A little while back there were some German submarines in the firth and two ships from somewhere fell victims just after they had left the harbour one day.”
Sunday 3 June
“We have the loss of the field behind the hospital to which I referred last year as being one glorious case of Viper’s Bugloss, Lichen vespertine and poppies – this is now become a training ground where hoarse voiced Sergeants case and drill the unfortunate Tommy and when they can think of no more objectives wind up with saying, “Well, thank God we got a navy.”
Sunday 10 June
“Today I’ve had my first bathe and very nice it was.”
Wednesday 20 June
“Battalion sports on Saturday – i’m not very keen although in the others that were held three months ago I came second in the bomb throwing with 43 1/2 yards and so I am obliged to enter for the event again.”
To mark British Science Week the museum is holding a special day of free science and craft activities for all the family on Saturday 18 March.
Inspired by the current exhibition on garden landscape design firm James Pulham & Son, the activities and experiments will explore the wonderful plants, rocks and mini creatures that make up our gardens. The day will run from 11am to 4pm and all activities are free.
Visitors can get up close with nature and discover what lives in our ponds by taking part in pond-dipping in Barclay Park. Pre-bookable one hour sessions are available at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm.
There will also be a number of drop-in activities including experiments with rocks and sand and pavement art. Visitors can also plant bulbs to take home with them. These activities are all available on a drop-in basis.
On Friday 3 February staff from the museum attended a special launch event with partners Broxbourne Borough Council, B3Living and supporters The Heritage Lottery Fund, which funded the project, to proudly present the results of the special Pulham project.
This project has included the conservation of the former James Pulham & Son factory site in Broxbourne which is open for the public to visit for free. The newly refurbished Grade II listed brick kiln and horse-drawn puddling wheel were restored by conservation experts, Szerelmey Conservation, with all iron work completed by the Heritage Blacksmiths.
The land adjacent to the site has now been landscaped as a feature garden, with a seating area and permanent interpretation boards that tell the James Pulham & Son story. Valerie Christman, a descendant of the Pulham family, was involved in creating the new landscaped area and attended the launch.
The event was attended by staff involved in restoring the special part of the Borough’s history, local residents, and historians from across the Borough.
There were also speeches from Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council, Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop, B3Living Chair, Sandra Royer, and Heritage Lottery East of England Committee Member, Phil Rothwell.
The Victorian and Edwardian firm is perhaps most well-known for its beautiful artificial rock landscapes that can most notably be found in Buckingham Palace, its invention of an artificial rock, ‘Pulhamite’ and wide range of terracotta ornaments created in its Broxbourne factory.
Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop, Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council, said: “I applaud all those involved in this project and all those who care to care about our heritage and our environment; especially in this, the Borough’s Year of the Environment. Thank you to the many partners involved in making this important part of our history what it is today.”
B3Living acquired the factory site in 2006 during the transfer of council housing stock from Broxbourne Borough Council. It was restored thanks to a £55,200 contribution by the East of England Heritage Lottery Fund.
Sandra Royer, B3Living’s Chair of the Board said: “It’s unusual for a housing association to take on such a restoration project but we have a duty to our community and, especially to the residents of Courtfield Close who have lived adjacent to this site for many years.”
The finished works coincide with a special exhibition at Lowewood Museum, ‘Romance in Stone – The Pulham Legacy of garden design’, which was also supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The exhibition features history about the Broxbourne manufactory and examples of the stoneware and gardens that the family firm created.
The exhibition will run until 29 April 2017 and entry is free. The restored manufactory can be found off Stafford Drive near Broxbourne station. Pedestrian access is also available from Station road just the other side of the river from the station car park.
“A marvel? Yesterday three of us were told we were going to England tomorrow. And so behold me writing this in Etaples station waiting for a train which as usual is some hours late. It seems a kind of dream and difficult to realise that I here have got so far towards a commission.”
Monday 8 January
“Ever since leaving Etaples and in fact just before, I have had a heavy head cold and cough and all this constant standing about in wet and draughty spots for hours at a time is not going to improve it.”
Saturday 10 February
“One of the men in the barrack room was saying that he once saw an 8 inch shell pitch within a yard of a man and fail to burst.”
“Today I have been on fatigue partly to help the res make a road – so behold me wielding pick and shovel like a blooming navy.”
Thursday 1 March
“Since Monday I have been on the seaside doing nothing except go for short route marches morning and afternoon. Blackpool is a much bigger place than I expect – one mass of lodging houses and vulgar places of amusement – one redeeming feature is that the confectionist’ shops, of which there are dozens, are really excellent with a large and varied display of delicious cakes.”
“My second birthday out here! Somewhat unexpected in old days but now we seem almost to feel as though one were settled down here for life.”
Wednesday 18 October
“Since my birthday a change has happened and for the last 10 days or so I have found myself attached to the x-Ray Dept. The cardiograph business having so greatly developed.”
Friday 27 October
“A little time back in the theatre, had a very bad night for there were three emergency operations, two of which were amputations and the third ended in death on the table!”
Wednesday 8 November
“The immediate future seems fraught with possibilities for the S.M came to me the other day to my great surprise and asked me if I was still of the same mind as regards a transfer! I could hardly gasp out a reply as I was so flabbergasted, but the upside of it all is that I and Sergeant Pronse have each signed the necessary form of application for transfer to the machine gun corps and we now hope for the best – wonders will never cease!”
Thursday 9 November
“A little late in the day perhaps but I have only just got the figures for the hospitals work for one year, from the day it opened September 5th 1915 to September 5th 1916: officers admitted – 193
NCOs and men – 9231
operations done – 1218
amputations (including feet and hand but not fingers and toss) Arms – 7, Legs – 70 Eyes removed – 38
Deaths – 160.”
Friday 17 November
“This is written in England where I am on leave! This happened all of a sudden last Saturday night.”
Thursday 23 November
“I pass my stay at home and pick up the thread again on the 20th when I left at 7.00pm for London. Spent a night at a very second rate hotel near Victoria and duly caught the 7.53am train to Folkestone.”
Tuesday 28 November
“Today I have handed in my form application for commission and only hope that I’m doing the right thing.”
Saturday 2 December
“Have been interviewed and after a few questions about my previous military experience (easily answered) and as to my ability to see without glasses, he said that he would send it on with a recommendation that I should have a three weeks preliminary course before going to the cadet battalion.”
Friday 8 December
“Have managed to get hold of one of the Sergeant Majors at No.1 training camp and he is giving Pronse and I lessons on the rifle which are invaluable to me – I’ve already learned the different parts and how to load and unload and tomorrow we go onto a machine gun.”
Friday 15 December
“I had filled various roles in this hospital besides my ordinary work I have been interpreter for French visitors, I have made copies of the builders’ plans of the hospital and wards for the OC, but now I have the job of all! I am nothing less than letter writer in chief and translator into French of lovesick patients!”
“Most unexpectedly I have just had a pleasant half hour of archaeology. Captain Gordon has just been in to show me some Roman coins (mostly pennies and 3 silver, moderate preservation) found close by the hospital.”
Saturday 23 December
“The call has come at last and I reported at No.2 training camp for accommodation, we are only 5 at least at present – three canny Scots and another RAMC man, rather a poor specimen in my humble opinion.”
Sunday 24 December
“6 hours a day seems to be as much as we are going to put in – but there is no more today and none tomorrow! So down I came to the hospital to pick up odds and ends and have tea with Sister Weston.”
Monday 25 December
“Christmas day again at last? But not so happy as the last. To begin with Mr Jocks returned from Paris Plage yesterday seeming rather the worse for liquor and the other RAMC man distinctly drunk.”
Lowewood Museum’s new exhibition ‘Romance in Stone’, which will run from 14 January to April 29, celebrates the impact of Broxbourne’s landscape design firm James Pulham & Son on national garden fashions from 1845-1939.
Famous for landscaping beautiful rustic waterways, rocky streams, grottoes and tunnels, the company also developed a range of over 200 garden ornaments. They were made from cast stone and terracotta, with the latter made at the firm’s manufactory here in Broxbourne.
Three key James Pulham & Son vases are on display in the exhibition, showcasing the beauty of their designs and the clients they worked for. The firm designed many of their ornaments for a specific client or project, naming the product after the location and adding it to the range that future clients could select from.
The Preston Vase
On loan from Ewell Court House in Surrey is an original Pulham Preston Vase. The firm first created the Preston Vase in 1864 for Miller Park in Preston, to a design created by the Victorian park designer Edward Milner.
In the 1880s Ewell Court’s new owner, John Henry Bridges, built a red-brick house in the ‘Old English’ style, and in the 1890s he re-landscaped the gardens.
James Pulham & Son ‘rockified’ (formed into a rocky landscape) the banks of the stream and created a boating lake with a boathouse, island and cascades. They also created a large fountain with four Preston Vases around its base.
The Westonbirt Vase
Originally designed Pulhams for Westonbirt House in Gloucestershire, the Westonbirt Vase has had a new lease of life in recent times in a replica range manufactured by the cast stone company, Haddonstone Ltd.
James Pulham & Son worked at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire in the 1880s, creating an artificial lake and a clearing with a rockery and grotto where Westonbirt village once stood. Wealthy landowner Robert Stayner Holford had moved the whole village half a mile down the road to improve the view from his new Elizabethan-style palace.
The firm designed the Westonbirt Vase, which they later supplied to Avenham Park in Preston, next door to the Preston Vase-adorned Miller Park.
In 1928, the house became a girls’ boarding school, and the governors asked Haddonstone Ltd to make new copies of the vase by creating a mould from the original. Replicas of the beautiful Westonbirt Vase are now on sale again.
The Nottingham Vase
Another Pulham design which has also been replicated by Haddonstone Ltd is the Nottingham Vase. The firm supplied one of these vases to Leopold de Rothschild for Ascott House in Buckinghamshire. In 1949, the Rothschilds gave the estate to the National Trust, which commissioned the first replica.
It is a testament to the appeal of James Pulham & Son’s work, many made at the Broxbourne manufactory, that their designs are still being bought for gardens today.
Lowewood Museum’s exhibition – ‘Romance in Stone – The Pulham Legacy of Garden Design’ is open from 14 January – 29 April 2017 during normal museum opening hours (Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm and Saturday, 10am – 5pm).
A major part of the Pulhams project took place this summer with the conservation of the firm’s remaining Grade II listed factory buildings. Pulhams were a nationally important landscape design firm and manufacturers of terracotta garden ornaments, based in Broxbourne from 1845-1939. The conservation work was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a commemorative partnership project between Broxbourne Borough Council, Lowewood Museum and B3Living who own the site.
Originally six brick kilns stood on the site, only one of which now survives. There is also a surviving horse-drawn puddling wheel which ground the clay for making the garden ornaments. After Pulhams shut down in 1939 the site gradually declined, and in 1967 most of the factory buildings were demolished to make way for the new station car park. The Council conserved the remaining buildings in 1986 but the last 30 years had taken their toll and conservation work was urgently needed. During August and September B3Living contracted specialists Szerelmey to undertake the conservation of the kiln and wheel.
Vegetation had weakened the brick kiln that was filled with debris. The external ironwork was corroded, and there were patches of damaged and missing brickwork. The conservator’s first jobs were to support the canopy using a steel beam, remove any damaged bricks, rake out worn pointing and open up the door to the firing chamber. This allowed access inside the chimney for clearance of debris and internal repairs. Once complete the door was bricked back up. They conserved and treated the external ironwork and added new bricks where required. Finally, a chimney hood was placed on the top of the kiln to provide some weather protection and, perhaps, stop debris falling in.
The wheels and base of the puddling wheel are made of granite and concrete, clad with iron tyres and on an iron track. This ironwork and a number of the other iron fittings needed to be treated for rust/corrosion. Removable items were taken off-site, the rest were conserved in- situ. Finally, all the ironwork was coated with a special primer that prevents further corrosion and forms a seal to protect the metal underneath. Sadly, part of the timber frame, timber yoke arms and the forks that held the horses in harness were too rotten to be saved and these have been replaced with new oak timbers.
Work now begins to re-landscape the garden next to the factory site with the support of volunteers and Pulham descendant Valerie Christman, herself a landscape designer. The Museum is working on new signage for the gardens which will tell the story of the firm and the factory buildings that remain.