Hello, my name is Francesca Pellegrino and I am the Heritage and Venue Team Manager. I have been with the museum for just over 6 years now. I started on a temporary contract for 3 years as the Audience Development Officer, then I got a role as the Commercial Activities Officer before getting my current role in June 2019.
The job role I’m currently in consists of managing the staff within the Heritage and Venues team as well as overseeing the projects and budgets for the team.
I do enjoy working with the Heritage and Venues team but also the wider Community, Culture and Wellbeing service. As a result I’d certainly recommend this team as its very creative and supportive. The role and work we do is very varied and no matter what your role is you get a chance to get involved in lots of different types of work.
This can be everything from collections work, exhibitions, marketing and customer services.
I do enjoy visiting other museums and culture/heritage sites in my spare time but once you work for a museum you can’t help but look for ideas at these places even when you are not at work!
Following my GCSEs, I decided to do A-Levels in English, Art, Religious Studies and French. I followed this by going to college for one year to do an Art Foundation and then finally went to University to do a History of Art degree which took 3 years.
My favourite object in the museum…well this is a tough one as I have many! I love art so I do really love all the pieces by Walter Spradbery we have in the collection.
Hello, my name is Charlotte Hay-Campbell and I am the education assistant. I have been based at the museum since November, and I work in schools and at the museum to educate children about different aspects of history.
My role involves facilitating a variety of workshops that give children the chance to gain more knowledge about the past. I am also developing an exciting new range of whole day museum visits with education officer Catherine Hammond. This involves researching, planning and delivering new sessions around a topic. Two of the new days will be “Local Legends,” which tells the story of some fascinating and important local people through the ages; and the ever-popular topic of toys from the past.
The staff at the museum work as a team, and so I assist with occasional events like Museum Takeover Day and Holocaust Memorial Day. I help to deliver other projects like Arts Award, and I also get the opportunity to be involved in planning and putting together new exhibitions. I have also been developing some content for the museum’s social media forums.
Each day in this role is different and the work is very interesting. I have lived in this area for most of my life, and I really enjoy being able to learn more about the people and places that have shaped Epping Forest District, and to learn from and share this heritage with our local community.
The people in the teams I work with are really supportive, creative and adaptable, with a great range of talents and skills, and we all benefit from each other’s skills and experience.
The qualifications/experience I have are:
- After GCSEs and A Levels I completed a three-year degree, and then did a further teaching qualification which took another year.
- I have experience from teaching in schools and working for another museum’s education department.
Hi I am Luke the apprentice working at Epping Forest District Museum.
I have been working on the 10 challenges set by Kids in Museums for Digital Takeover Day. As part of this I have been speaking to the team about how things work at the museum.
This week I spoke to Andy, the Design and Exhibitions Officer about how the museum puts the displays together!
How/where do you get items for displays?
It depends on what type of display you are working on. We break the displays into three different types. These are permanent, temporary and touring displays.
Permanent display – we would use objects or items from the Epping Forest District Museum’s own collections. These objects/items have a connection to the district.
Temporary displays – we could use objects or items from the Epping Forest District Museum’s own collections. We can get objects/items on loan from other national or local museums and individuals to compliment the displays.
Touring displays – can have objects/items included in the display but in addition we could use things that are related from the museum’ own collections.
How do you get ideas for the next exhibitions?
The museum team decide what the subject of the next exhibitions will be.
We may choose the subject for a display because – it’s an important anniversary or a noted individual or have seen a display at another venue or just because we want to.
The temporary exhibition programme is a changing one. We offer many different themes that hopefully will be of interest to our visitors. Touring exhibitions are part of this programme and we would use the same criteria to choose them. We would work in partnership with other museums that produce touring displays to see what might be available or suitable for us.
Hello my name is Catherine Hammond and I am the Heritage Education and Outreach Officer. I can’t quite believe I’ve been here 14 years! It has flown by.
This job role consists of doing a lot of work with schools and other groups to engage them with the collections at the museum. With schools I teach workshops which give children the chance to work hands-on with historical objects to help them learn about the past.
With other groups I do the same sort of thing, but over a much wider range of topics and age groups – I work with everyone from toddlers to families to older people, including those with additional needs. There are a variety of workshops and activities throughout the year that I develop and deliver. I also put together many of the resources and activities available for families to use in the museum, such as the play stove in the Day to Day Gallery, and trails. I get involved in lots of other work at the museum from developing exhibitions, giving talks and putting in grant applications to supporting other people on their projects.
I really enjoy my job and the team I work with. There’s so much variety and many interesting projects to work on and great people to work with. I’d certainly recommend this team as its very creative and supportive – we have a huge range of talents and skills that we share and benefit from.
After GCSEs and A Levels, in order to get my qualifications, I did an undergraduate degree in history which took 3 years, then I did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education which took 1 year – this gave me a teaching qualification which helped with becoming a museum education officer. I then also did a Masters in Archive Administration and Records Management – this gave me a lot of professional knowledge and skills which are useful for museum work, although my real love is archives – working with historical documents – and I was lucky enough to work at the National Archives for 6 years.
There are a couple of items I like at the museum. I’ve got to really love the Spradbery art ever since working on it for an exhibition. But my favourite thing is probably the nails that have been hammered into the fireplace in the Tudor Gallery – they are such a great connection to the people who lived in the house in 1670 (Thomas and Constance Taylor) and their beliefs – they put the little cross in to stop a witch from coming down the chimney!
Hi, I’m Anthony O’Connor and I am one of the two Museum, Heritage & Culture specialists in the team. I have worked at the Epping Forest District Museum for 20 years. Before that I worked for 19 years in other museums and as an archaeologist working on excavations in the UK and abroad.
Our role is to be an expert for all matters relating to Museum, Culture and Heritage, contribute to the direction for the work of the service and provide technical and professional advice and support, with a specific focus on service sustainability, fundraising, project management and digital development. I also advise and contribute on service development reflecting national, regional and local agendas. To lead on exhibition concept and development, planning and content, collections access and development. You’ve got to be responsible for identifying and securing external funding; producing and coordinating major funding applications to ensure the long-term sustainability of the service
My time at the museum has involved some major step change projects for the service and my own role has changed and developed over time as well. When working at the museum our roles within our department are very varied and we are always learning new skills introducing new ways of working to provide a great public service.
Overall It has been a fantastic experience to work with a knowledgeable, supportive and creative team to develop the service, share and make accessible the wonderful heritage, collections and stories that we hold in the district. As a result, I would very much recommend it.
Archaeology and history are in my blood and so in my spare time I spend a lot of time catching up on new research. Therefore, I love to travel and discover new places. This also means, I am a bit of a foodie and so like to check out new restaurants and recipes to try.
My qualifications consist of:
- a BA Hons in Ancient History and Archaeology; the course took 3 years.
- I am also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA) based on the work I have undertaken over the years
My favourite item at the museum is the silver penny of King Harold Godwinson, a reminder of Waltham Abbey’s links to the king who died at the battle of Hastings in 1066 and who was later buried at the church.
Week 10: Code breaking – half term activity
Codes are used to send secret messages – if only you and the person who needs the information know the key to crack the code your secret will be safe! We were going to make code wheels at the museum during half term as one of our activities to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Coded messages were very important during the Second World War to keep information safe from the enemy. See if you can find out about the work of the code breakers at Bletchley Park who intercepted the German Enigma machine and managed to crack the German codes.
Code wheels are a simple way of making secret messages. Use the wheel to write your message out, working out which letter to use in place of the one in each word. If the person receiving the message has the same code wheel, they will be able to work out what it says.
Print the Code Wheel Scanned template on paper or card. Cut both circles out, not forgetting the little notches in the top part to show the letters. Make a small hole through the middle of each circle – a pencil will be fine for this. Attach the two circles together with a split pin if you have one, but if not just push some string through and tie a knot to hold the two bits together.
To crack the codes just move the top circle around so the code letter appears in the gap at the bottom – whichever letter then appears in the gap at the top is the real one that will help spell out the secret word.
See if you can crack the coded message below with your code wheel.
R W W D T X L H E R V N I D V N E D B N Q Y V R Y Q
Now you can have a go at making your own messages, and see if you can think of other ways of making your code even harder to crack!
Week 9: Box Theatre
This week we’ve come up with a simple fun way to make your own box theatre. All you need is an old tissue box – preferably a flat rectangular one, but a small square box one could work too. Cut two or three slits along the long sides – you could do them in the short sides too. Cut an image out of a magazine or draw your own scene and push it through the hole at the front to make a backdrop. You can add more shapes to create a 3D effect for your scenery. Draw your characters or find some pictures in an old magazine and cut them out. Stick them on stiff bits of card, or a lolly stick if you have some, then push them through the slits so you can move then around your scene. Have fun creating lots of different shows with your characters and try making different scenes for different stories.
Week 8 Card Games
There are lots of fun games you can play with cards, but a memory game gives you the chance to be more creative and make a game that’s really personal.
To make your own memory game you just need to cut out an even number of pieces of card the same size – just bigger than a playing card is fine. Make sure the back is the same – keep it plain – on all of them so there’s no way of telling the difference when they are face down.
On the other side of the card, you can stick a photo or draw a picture. Try 10 cards for starters, so you need to make 5 pairs of cards. If you are using photos you’ll need to print two of each. If you are doing a drawing, you’ll need to do two the same – it doesn’t matter if your drawings aren’t identical, if they are of the same thing and as close as possible! You can just draw round different shapes for something simple. We’ve tried making a Space themed game, inspired by our Man on the Moon exhibition which so many of you enjoyed.
To play the game, place all cards face down on a table. Each player takes it in turn to turn over two cards. If the cards match then you take the pair, if they don’t you turn them face down again. The trick is to try and remember where the cards are so when you turn one over you can remember where its pair is if you’ve already seen it! The winner is the one with most cards at the end.
Make the game harder by adding more cards, or trying different themes for your images like flowers, or your favourite animals.
Week 7 Press flowers
This is a lovely simple activity and you can do so many different things with the flowers once you have pressed them. You can make cards, photo frames, bookmarks, all sorts of things by placing the pressed flowers on card and covering them with clear sticky plastic or putting them in a frame. I once found a four-leaf clover pressed inside an old book. The book is over 100 years old, so it was very lucky to survive!
The easiest way to start is to choose a flower that’s naturally quite flat like a buttercup or a daisy. Pick it fresh but make sure it is dry. Place the flower between two sheets of paper or tissue, then place this between the pages of a thick heavy book – make sure you ask before using a book in case the pages go slightly wavy. Put more heavy books on top to press it flat. Change the paper every 3 or 4 days. After 2 to 3 weeks the flower should be completely dry and flat. You might want to use tweezers to lift it out of the book as it will be very delicate.
Cath, our Education Officer particularly wanted to try pressing the blossom that has brought so much cheer these past weeks, “I tried pressing them flat with my finger, and trimming any thicker bits out, before putting them between paper. I thought it would be fun to press them in gardening books as they are very heavy and I should remember where I’ve put them!” Don’t forget to share what you’ve done with your flowers with us!