Summer Family Fun at District Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Epping, Loughton, Museum, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

Summer Family Activities

Summer Family Activities

On Tuesday afternoons between 12noon and 3pm throughout the Summer holidays, fun family art and crafts activities are taking place at the District Museum in Waltham Abbey.  Many of the activities have a Tudor theme, to go with our latest exhibition.

On Tuesday 30th July you can design and make your own Tudor knight’s shield.  On Tuesday 6th August the shield might be useful to go with the hobby horse you can make for the Tudor joust.  We will be modelling Tudor clay pots on  Tuesday 13th August, then print making on Tuesday 20th August.  Bringing the holidays to a close, the last activity on Tuesday 27th August will be making a bookmark, using a Tudor quill pen to write your name and a lucet fork to weave a tassel to hang from it.

There’s no need to book, you can just drop in.  Most activities take about 20 minutes to complete.

Children need to be accompanied by adults as it is a family activity.  Cost £1.25 per child.

Children exhibit award winning art at District Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Community, Countrycare, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your council

From Tuesday 16 July 2013, 15 children from St John’s C of E Primary School in Buckhurst Hill, will have their work on display at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.

The children, aged between 8 and 9 years, have been taking part in a special Arts Award project based on the work of artist Walter Spradbery.

They investigated the life and work of Spradbery, who lived in ‘The Wilderness’, a piece of land in Epping Forest next to their school, and who is buried in St John’s churchyard. They particularly looked at the famous posters he designed for London Transport, encouraging people to travel out to the forest to enjoy its beauty through his wonderful artwork.

The children worked with a current practicing artist, Valerie Osment, to create prints based on Spradbery’s work. This also helped them achieve the Discover level of Arts Award, a national programme which aims to inspire young people to engage with the arts and develop their talents. The children were very excited to have their certificates presented to them by John Spradbery, son of Walter, who was also once a pupil at their school. John was delighted the children had found such inspiration in his father’s work, and thought the whole project was ‘an incredible event’.

You can see the children’s work at the museum from now until the end of August. Opening times are Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm or see

The District Museum is a registered Arts Award centre. To find out more about the scheme see

Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL

01992 716882

Contact: Catherine Hammond, Education and Outreach Officer

Collage of Henry VIII

Tudor Fun for half term week at the District Museum

Written on . Posted in Community, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community

There has been lots of Tudor themed fun at the District Museum in Waltham Abbey this week to celebrate the opening of the Tudor exhibition. Yesterday we made Tudor Portraits out of fabric collages.  You can still catch Richard York who will be performing Tudor Music here on period instruments on Saturday 1 June between 11.30am and 1pm and then between 1.30pm and 3pm.  Richard’s sessions are always great fun, with lots of opportunities to get involved. The event is free, and you don’t need to book, just come along and be prepared to dance!

Collage of Henry VIII

Fabric Collage Portrait of Henry VIII

Museum wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Conservation and listed buildings, Councillors, Grants, Local business, Media, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council

Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey has secured a £1.65 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for a major development project, ‘The Museum at the Core’. The scheme, which will total £2.5 million, will extend and develop the museum on its existing site, making both the building and the collections more accessible to all.

The project brings together the majority of the museum’s collections on one site, together with the creation of a community/education room, a new temporary exhibition gallery and an ‘Explore’ gallery providing access to the reserve collections. The additional space above the library in 37 Sun Street will create a wonderful cultural centre for local people and visitors in the heart of Waltham Abbey.

Tip – to view all the photos in a slideshow, click on a picture then click start slideshow (in the bottom right of the frame).

Developed jointly by the museum team with design company Outside Studios and architects Hawkins\ Brown, the project will see the existing museum buildings remodelled, the installation of a lift to provide step-free access throughout the entire building and improved visitor facilities. The oldest part of the museum, an historic Grade II* listed Tudor timber framed house dating to 1520, will be interpreted and displayed as a significant historical structure in its own right. The existing permanent exhibition galleries will be redisplayed, with a new selection of themes and objects.

Securing the additional space in 37 Sun Street over the Waltham Abbey library has been made possible by a capital funding commitment of £250,000 by Epping Forest District Council. The acquisition of the space has been assisted by Howard Green, of the property management agency Duncan Phillips Ltd, who acting on behalf of the vendors, made the original approach to the museum.

For the museum team this is the culmination of 3 years of work behind the scenes developing the scheme’s proposals, which have won wide backing from councillors, community groups, professional bodies and funding organisations as well as our existing audiences.

Councillor Brian Rolfe, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “This grant award is a fantastic reflection on how our Museum Service is recognised by major funders such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our users have been telling us how much they value the services we offer but would love for us to make the museum bigger. The fact that access to the upstairs galleries has only been by the central staircase has always been a real problem for our ability to provide a fully- accessible service and this scheme now allows us to deal with this in the most satisfying manner.”

The museum also runs a popular programme of family activities and events but has long been hampered by the lack of a designated room in which these can take place leading to events having to be held in gallery areas and weather permitting in the museum garden. The creation of a new room will allow this programme to develop and support the work the museum undertakes with schools and other educational and community groups allowing the museum to become even more of a community facility.

‘The Museum at the Core’ project is also designed to increase opportunities for volunteer involvement in the running of the museum. The HLF funding will allow for two new posts focused on audience development and supporting volunteer engagement, to be created and the acquisition of a new collections management system, which will enable the museum to make more information about the collections available to the public on line and through gallery terminals.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the East of England said: “We are delighted to award this grant to Epping Forest District Museum, which will allow for a enhanced visitor experience for everyone. With full access to the museum’s collections and a new community learning space the museum’s track record of excellent exhibitions and events will only get better. We look forward to the completed project.”

It is also anticipated that the larger museum will act as a significant tourism attraction in the heart of Waltham Abbey along with the range of other attractions in and around the town.

Proposals are for the museum to close in the autumn of 2013 to allow for clearance of the current displays and the main building works with the new museum re-opening to the public for Easter 2015.

During the closed period the museum will continue to provide services through other buildings in the district and through the Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon, which has been operated by the Epping Forest District Museum team since February 2012.

Easter family fun at Waltham Abbey museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Join us for fun family activities this Easter at the Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.

What’s on

Epping Forest District MuseumSaturday 30 March 2013 – traditional Easter Egg hunt – follow the trail around the museum, solve the clues then win a chocolate egg prize.

Tuesday 2 April 2013 – make a chick in a basket – we’ll be making Easter chicks in baskets.

Tuesday 9 April 2013 – make a Spring flower bower (even if making a snowman seems like it might be more appropriate!), a traditional flower bower from colourful tissue, complete with nesting birds.

List of events at Epping Forest District Museum.

Booking and cost

All the activities take place between 12 noon and 3pm. There’s no need to book – just drop in anytime allowing about 20 minutes for the activity. Cost is just £1.25 per child.

The address of Epping Forest District Museum is 39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1EL.

Pots of fun at the Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Chairman, Community, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Over 100 children visited the Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey during half term, taking part in our fun clay pot activity.

Chairman Brian Rolfe with children at the clay pot event

Chairman Brian Rolfe with children at the clay pot event

Inspired by the objects on display in our new exhibition The Pulhams of Broxbourne, children created clay pots, bird baths and other wonderful sculptures.

As one person wrote in the visitor book ‘two very happy little girls, and one very happy Gran – the best day of our half term – thank you!’

For details of what’s happening at the museum over the Easter holidays, have a look at the events page on our website.

Why not follow us on Facebook where you can also see more of the great pots we made.

Memories of childhood exhibition at Lowewood Museum

Written on . Posted in Arts, Community, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your community

Come along and enjoy our new exhibition Memories of Childhood at Lowewood Museum in Hoddesdon between 16 February and 1 June 2013.

Memories of childhood poster

Memories of childhood poster

The exhibition explores the social history of childhood through themes of playtime, childcare, early learning and clothing.

Visitors will see a collection of childhood memorabilia including some examples of children’s clothing dating from the 1800s. From toys and games, to children’s TV and schooldays, the exhibition aims to bring back fond childhood memories.

Family events

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of family events

  • Craft workshop – Make a Victorian Toy – Thursday 21 February and Saturday 23 February 2013 from 12 noon to 3pm
  • Punch and Judy Puppet show – Saturday 25 May 2013 at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm – each show lasts 30 minutes

All events are free to attend and children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Want to know more?

For more information please phone 01992 445596, or email or visit us online at

Lowewood Museum, High Street, Hoddesdon, Herts, EN11 8BH.

Mobile website launched

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Consultation, Councillors, Emergencies, Environmental health, Health, Media, Meetings, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Sports centres and pools, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

If you’re visiting our website from your smartphone you can now choose to use Mobile EFDC – our optimised, cross platform mobile friendly version for news, events, meetings and to report problems when out and about.

Mobile EFDCGo and try it 

Mobile EFDC is simpler, clearer, faster – designed to access information when you are out and about,  focusing on our most popular online services.

A third of our users access information using a mobile device, Mobile EFDC makes it easier to navigate on small screens.

By adding a browser bookmark, or adding a shortcut on your phone homepage you can easily interact or contact us with the press of a button.

Embracing the new Government’s digital by default strategy, Mobile EFDC is part of the ongoing project to improve digital services. The update of the council website in-house using Joomla and WordPress open source software saved the council at least £75,000 in development costs and reduced its annual costs by £20,000.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

Media Pack puts Waltham Abbey on the map

Written on . Posted in Business, Countryside and wildlife, Local business, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Olympics, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey

The partnership of local businesses, community and political leaders in Waltham Abbey launched its own Media Pack to raise the profile of the town on Thursday 17 January 2013 at the Marriott Hotel. The Pack in a handy USB keyring contains all the information national and international media organisations need to raise the profile of Waltham Abbey as the town and district seek to promote the local economy through tourism.

Timing of the launch could not have been more appropriate as news emerged of the impending arrival of the Tour de France in Epping Forest as part of a special UK stage between Cambridge and London in 2014. It follows the success of the Olympic Lee Valley White Water Centre, one of a number of new and expanding visitor attractions across the the district. Among those at the launch of the Media Pack were representatives from Secret Island, the new name of the Royal Gunpowder Mills.

The Pack was officially launched by Councillor Liz Webster, Mayor of Waltham Abbey and Epping Forest District Council portfolio holder for Leisure and Wellbeing. Tony O’Connor of Epping Forest District Museum gave a talk on the history of Waltham Abbey from the earliest evidence of prehistoric settlements through to modern times. Waltham Abbey has been at the centre of many historical events with royal associations from King Harold through to Henry VIII.

John Houston of One Epping Forest, the Local Strategic Partnership presented the Media Pack video produced by Chamber of Commerce Member and local businessman John Price. Drawing particular attention to the role played by Norma Green and the hard work of the Waltham Abbey Town Partnership, he congratulated everyone involved in the project.



Treasure finds go on display at Epping Forest District Museum

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Epping, Museum, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community

Tudor period silver gilt Crucifix

Every year new finds of historic artefacts from around the Epping Forest District are found and reported under the Portable Antiquities scheme which gives the museum the opportunity to acquire them for our collections. Many of these finds are donated by the finders and a number are purchased, often with the support of funding from organisations such as The Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, The Headly Trust and The Art Fund.

A selection of the more recent items acquired for the Museum are now on display. These include:

  • A Tudor period silver gilt crucifix which once decorated a larger object, possibly a casket or a portable shrine. Found at North Weald.
  • A selection of items from two bronze-workers hoards, dating to 1500- 600 BC. A number of these hoards of broken ancient tools which were collected for recycling by ancient metalworkers have recently come to light. The items on show include fragments of axe, sword blade and spear head. These all come from hoards found in the Lavers area.
  • Also from the Lavers is a Halfpenny of Richard II (1377 – 1399) – This was made as a silver coin but has been given a coating of gold by someone.  This was either to pretend it was a gold coin or possibly to be used as a piece of jewellery.
    A Halfpenny of Richard II (1377 – 1399)

These and other new acquisitions are on display in the Museum’s archaeology gallery where visitors can also see a range of other historic treasures belonging to the museum including an Iron Age blacksmith’s hoard from Waltham Abbey, finds from Roman Chigwell (Little London) as well as the fabulous medieval Waltham Abbey Bible and the stunning Tudor panelled room with its links to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

Entry to the museum is free.

The current temporary exhibition “Reflections of the Past: Ray Sears’ Historic Photographs of Waltham Abbey” is on show until the 26th January 2013.

For opening hours and details of our Christmas closure dates please visit the Museum website on

Fragment of an ancient tool

Notes for editors

 For further information contact Tony O’Connor, Epping Forest District Museum Officer at