Singing in the Wilderness

Swinging in the wilderness poster

 
Where: St John’s C of E Primary School, High Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5RX

When: Saturday 29 September

Time: 3pm – 7pm

Price: Free (some activities may be charged for; all money raised will go to the school)

Everyone welcome

 

 

 

Epping Forest District Council’s Museums, Heritage and Culture team and St John’s C of E Primary School, Buckhurst Hill are hosting an event to celebrate the life and work of local artist Walter Spradbery.

IMG_1022 Open Air SocialIn 1938, Spradbery and his wife Dorothy held an ‘Open Air Social’ with stalls, sideshows, donkey rides, traditional dances and art displays. This will be recreation of that event on its 80th anniversary.

There will be a specially choreographed dance performance by Flux Dance Collective who has been working with pupils from the school to create a piece inspired by Spradbery. A historical interpreter will play the role of Walter Spradbery, leading tours into the wilderness to visit the site where the house once stood. The day will end with a fun performance by Impropera, the world’s only improvised Opera Company. Buckhurst Hill Community Association will have an art display, and there will be a small exhibition about Walter Spradbery.

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The Wilderness

 

He lived next door to St John’s C of E Primary School, in a house known as ‘The Wilderness’ from 1929 – 1969. The site is now part of Epping Forest and a stone plaque marks where the house once stood.

 

 

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This event is part of a programme of activities for the ‘Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace’ exhibition, at Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey; on display from Saturday 21 July to Saturday 22 December 2018. For more information visit http://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum

 
Walter Spradbery
Spradbery is best known for his poster designs for London Transport, one of which was recently used on the new signboards marking the boundaries of Epping Forest. He and his wife, opera singer Dorothy D’Orsay, also held many musical and opera performances in the gardens of ‘The Wilderness’ for the local community.
Spradbery was also a committed pacifist. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War, receiving the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his bravery in rescuing injured comrades under intense enemy fire.

First World War Art on display at Epping Forest District Museum

For the first time in nearly 100 years, some of the art that was originally created for the first Imperial War Museum exhibition at the Crystal Palace is on show again at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey.

Shortly after the Armistice in 1918, several artists were commissioned to create art for the Army Medical Gallery in the exhibition.  Among these were local artists, Walter Spradbery and Haydn Mackey.  Both were pacifists so had signed up to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps at the outbreak of war.  Their role would be to save life rather than take it but they were at no less risk of danger and death, receiving medals for their bravery in rescuing comrades under intense enemy fire.

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Spradbery tended to paint more landscapes and the effect of light.  This image of the Somme in April 1918 contrasts with the scenes we usually associate with the area – muddy, war torn battlefields.

Their experience meant they were able to create very strong paintings of their time on the front line.  Spradbery’s watercolours showed the effects of war on the landscape, while Mackey produced some monumental portraits of soldiers, praised at the time as being ‘a most powerful and truthful portrayal of the conditions of modern war, eloquent in persuasion against a recurrence of such things.’

1996.70 Crystal palace

This is Spradbery’s painting of the Imperial War Museum display at the Crystal Palace.  This was the museum’s first exhibition.  Spradbery and Mackey were commissioned to create art for the displays, but this is possibly one of the only paintings of the exhibition itself.  The exhibition opened in 1920 and closed in 1924.  4 million people came to see it.

 

 

 

The Great War exhibition opened at the Crystal Palace on 9 June 1920.  Its purpose was to record the ‘toil and sacrifice’ of Britain and the Empire in the Great War.  The building was crammed with displays of artwork, weapons, models, uniforms, photographs and all manner of things connected with the war. By 1924 four million people had seen the exhibition.

When the exhibition closed some of the art remained in the collections of the Imperial War Museum when it moved to its new location.  Others were transferred to the Wellcome Trust.  Sketches that Spradbery made for the exhibition works are now in the collections of Epping Forest District Museum.  As part of the special exhibition, ‘Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace’, reproductions of some of the art including Mackey’s monumental works can be seen hanging alongside loans from the Imperial War Museum to recreate this incredible display of art and the role it played in recording the memory of the Great War for generations to come.

The exhibition ‘Artist in War and Peace: Walter Spradbery 1889 – 1969’ runs from 21 July 2018 until 22 December 2018. 

Epping Forest District Museum, 39 – 41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1EL Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm.

 

Award-winning volunteer team

Andrew and Sarah SHARE awards 2Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum Collections Volunteers team have won the Collections Champion Award from SHARE Museums East.

Andrew and Sarah Goodliffe, two of our volunteers, attended the celebration evening at Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket on Wednesday 6 June to collect the award on behalf of the whole volunteering team. Our team was one of 11 from the East of England to be shortlisted for this award.

Our Volunteers

With only one full-time specialist Collections Officer the museum relies on the help and care the team of eight volunteers bring to the collection to fulfil its potential. In making their decision the judges considered the team’s passion, commitment, dedication and initiative.

Our core team of collections volunteers consist of 12 members. We have three volunteers who work on the garden and two front of house volunteers.  At the moment there are a further 12 volunteers working on specialist projects and exhibitions; the largest cohort has recently been researching Hertfordshire man Stephen Warner for the current exhibition Stephen Warner: One Man’s Journey through War at Lowewood Museum.

Volunteers’ Week

This week, 1 – 7 June, is Volunteers’ Week, a chance to thank all volunteers for their contribution to our service. This award, which the team were nominated for by Assistant Museums, Heritage and Culture Manager, Will O’Neill, is the perfect way to say thank you.

SHARE Museums East

SHARE Museums East, based in Norfolk, support museums in the East of England. They provide staff and volunteer training, project funding and help with collections management.

For more information visit http://sharemuseumseast.org.uk/

2018 Creativity Award Winners Announced

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Chalk Line Theatre Company is announced as the winner of the 2018 Creativity Award, at Epping Forest District Council’s annual Civic Awards, on Friday, 16 March.

The 2018 Winners

The theatre company is a new graduating duo from East 15 Acting School, made up of students Sam Edmunds and William Patrick Harrison.

The pair have received funding towards their first play ‘Testament’, which discusses young male suicide. Suicide is the most common cause of death for young men in the UK but is rarely spoken about.

Sam and William feel this needs to change and want to use their play to provoke an audience into an open discussion about it.

The award will support them in taking the production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018. Alongside working with a local secondary school providing young people with a platform to express how they feel through a series of workshops, engaging them with theatre as a form of open expression.

It is their aim that Chalk Line continue to offer young people a voice by creating shows that challenge society and educate people on subjects that are ignored or dismissed.

About the awards

The Creativity Award is open to every young person from Epping Forest aged between 13 – 25 years. The award is designed to support and develop artistic and creative talent.  A single award of up to £1000 is available.

To be considered for a Creativity Award, applicants are required to demonstrate their commitment to their area of interest and explain how the award will help them develop their creative talent.

Applications for the 2019 award will open later this year. For more information visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/creativityawards

Save the Willingale Treasure!

Epping Forest District Museum (EFDM) is launching an appeal to save a medieval gold ring found in the parish of Willingale before the item goes on sale on the open market. It is the first medieval gem set ring to be found in the district, and the first known finger-ring to be discovered in the parish of Willingale. The decoration is of an extremely high standard and, to the best of our knowledge, unique. In total £11,500 is needed to save the ring and buy a display case for the community ensuring it is on free public display for generations to come. The campaign has already received support from the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and SHARE Museums East and EFDM has committed funding from its reserves leaving £3000 to be raised. If the target’s reached the ring will go on public display in the museum’s newly renovated core gallery saving it for current and future residents to enjoy. If the funding is not raised, the ring may be sold on the open market and possibly leave the UK permanently.
Why it’s a great idea:
Recently unearthed by a metal detectorist the ring is thought to date from c.1200-1399 and would have been worn by a wealthy medieval nobleman. It is a fine and very well preserved example of a medieval sapphire set finger ring; the maker is unknown however the craftsmanship demonstrates great skill and technical ability. It is the first ring of its type to be found within the district, the decoration is of extremely high standard and, to the best of our knowledge, unique. We are the only museum in the district that covers archaeology and social history and we also act as the archaeological depository for the area. Our remit is to tell the human history of the Epping Forest District. If successful in securing the ring we would not only ensure its long term preservation but also make it widely available to the public through free exhibitions, inclusion in our school education programme, public talks as well as the ring being made available for loan and research.

If you would like to know more about our campaign please get in touch with the team at the museum on museum@eppingforestdc.gov.uk or 01992 716882.

If you would like to make a donation towards our campaign either visit the Museum or donate online at https://www.spacehive.com/willingaletreasure

Thank you.

December fun thanks, to The National Lottery players

From Monday 11 to Saturday 16 December 2017, Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum will be offering a 10% discount in our gift shops (and at Lowewood Museum’s refreshment area) to National Lottery players.

 

We are two of the 350 participating National Lottery funded visitor attractions across the UK in saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

 

Epping Forest District Museum has received £1,782,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The money paid for the recent redevelopment as well as a range of projects, enabling community engagement and collections acquisition.

 

Lowewood Museum has received £156,000 for exhibition and engagement projects including the restoration of the Pulham kiln site in Broxbourne.

 

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

 

“December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994.  This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

 

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor Helen Kane said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to provide a fantastic new museum offer in the Epping Forest District and the opportunities for our community to explore the heritage has been massively enriched.

 

 

Terms and Conditions

  • One National Lottery ticket provides 10% off in the museum gift shop and refreshment area (at Lowewood Museum).
  • All National Lottery games qualify for the offer, including tickets from any National Lottery draw based game or National Lottery Scratchcard. Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The offer is valid on the days the museum is open between Monday 11 and Saturday 16 December. Epping Forest District Museum is open 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
  • Only one ticket can be used per transaction.

Culture without Borders Development Trust

Become a Trustee for our new…………..

‘Culture without Borders Development Trust’

Created to support Epping Forest District & Lowewood Museums

and Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon

If you live or work 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. We have appointed several people so far but have a few trustee positions still vacant and to celebrate ‘National Trustee Week 2017’, it’s a perfect opportunity to recruit.

The trust will play a key role in developing funding strategies, fundraising campaigns, 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.

Trustee skills:

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

Deadlines for an expression of interest are midday Friday 24th November 2017.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be during week commencing 4th December 2017.

For an informal discussion or for an information pack, please contact:

Tony O’Connor

Epping Forest District Museum

39 – 41 Sun Street

Waltham Abbey

EN9 1EL

Tel: 01992 564986 Email: aoconnor@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Changing Perceptions, Changing Essex? —

Recently our You Are Hear Project Officer, Sarah-Joy Maddeaux, has been cataloguing a collection of oral history interviews received from Epping Forest District Museum. The interviews were collected in 2004-2005 as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project, called Changing Perceptions, which aimed to collect everyday accounts to illustrate how life in the district has…

via Changing Perceptions, Changing Essex? —

Halloween Blog Post – Myths about Witches

As you may already know Epping Forest District Museum has a selection of Touring Exhibitions available for hire – one of which covers the theme of Witch Hunts. For our Halloween Special Blog here is a little bit of information from that exhibition.

Many people imagine that witches were lonely old hags tending cauldrons and casting spells. This image recurs in many novels, plays and films, like the much-loved Wizard of Oz and the more recent Harry Potter stories. However, many of the ideas and characteristics associated with witches are actually myths. Here are some of the common ones:

Witches were all women
Women were associated with witchcraft because of links between femininity and weakness to temptation. Many deaths blamed on witchcraft occurred in female spheres within households and neighbourhoods. Despite this, 20% of witches were male. An infamous case involved John Lowes, the vicar of Brandeston in Suffolk. He confessed to sinking ships and other terrible crimes, and was hanged at Bury St Edmunds in August 1645.

Witches rode on broomsticks
Some believed that witches met at night in remote places, to which they travelled through the air on broomsticks. This is rarely mentioned in legal records relating to witchcraft. In 1712 an English judge is said to have laughed at the suggestion that a Hertfordshire witch had a magic broom, declaring that there was no law against flying!

Witches were all burned at the stake
The terrifying image of English witches being burned at the stake has featured in horror films like Witchfinder General (1968). Although witches were burned on the continent and in Scotland, other types of execution included beheading, drowning and burial alive. Some were merely imprisoned, banished or forced to repent. In England, the punishment for invoking demons and murder by witchcraft was hanging. A rare witch-burning took place at Ipswich in 1645, when Mary Lakeland was executed by these means for bewitching her husband to death – the crime of petty treason.

Millions died in the witch-hunts
Estimates of the number of people executed for witchcraft varies wildly, reaching as high as 9 million. Legal records show there were around 100,000 witch-trials in early modern Europe, and that death sentences were passed in about half of these. This may seem a lot for an impossible crime, but compared with the size of the population witchcraft prosecutions were quite rare.

Here are some objects from our collections relating to the Witch Hunt topic:
BELLARMINE
Bellarmine jugs have often been used as ‘witch bottles’ and the bearded or ‘wild’ man figure was even thought to scare off witches. When used as ‘witch bottles’, these jugs would contain hair, nail clippings and urine, all believed to help capture evil spirits. Witches spells were considered harmless if these bottles were burned at midnight.

bottle
Small glass bottles, like the type shown here, have been found in many 16th and 17th century houses. Many contained salt or nails- all considered effective safeguards against witches.
This and other glass bottles were found in 1966 during the excavation of 46/48 Sewardstone Street, Waltham Abbey.

1840StocksNWhip
This image shows the pillory which stood in Waltham Abbey’s churchyard. Sited next to the pillory was the Tudor stocks (or whipping post). The Elizabethan Act (1563) prescribes that for a first offence of any attempt to use witchcraft that did not result in the death of a victim, the punishment would be one year in prision and “once in every Quarter of the said yere shall in some Market Town, upon Market day or at suche tyme as any Fayer shall be kept there, stande openly upon the Pillorie by the space of Sixe Houres, and there shall openly confesse his or her Error and Offence”

This exhibition was put together by Epping Forest District Museum in conjunction with Malcolm Gaskill.
To find out more about our Touring Exhibitions email us at museum@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Adult art workshops at Epping Forest District Museum

Adult art workshops at Epping Forest District Museum.

For the first time Epping Forest District Museum is offering art workshops for adults, led by professional artists this September, as part of the Paths Unseen project.

Poetry workshopPaths unseen capturing a moment in poetry 2017

In this adult workshop you will create beautiful and powerful written works of art that will capture your thoughts, feelings and memories using poetry techniques with performance poet Keely Mills. You will also get a chance to develop written, performance and craft skills.

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

When: Saturday 23 September 2017

Time: 10:30am – 3pm

Price: £20 (includes materials)

Booking required

 

Paths unseen illustrate a moment 2017.jpgIllustration workshop

Lead by illustrator Jef Winter, in this adult workshop you will discover the fun of drawing and learn how to draw faces using just numbers to create different emotions, break down barriers of what illustration is and how ‘happy accidents’ can make works of art.

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

When: Saturday 30 September 2017

Time: 10:30am – 1pm

Price: £15 (includes materials)

Booking required

 

3AAC Low res web posterThree Acres and a Cow

Connecting the Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with fracking and our housing crisis via the Enclosures and Industrial Revolution, the show draws a compelling narrative through the people’s history of Britain. Part talk, part folk club sing-a-long; come and share these tales as they have been shared for generations.

 

Where: Lopping Hall, 189 High Road, Loughton, IG10 4LN

When: Saturday 21 October 2017

Time: 6pm (meal)

7pm (performance starts)

Price: £5 (£9 with a meal)

Booking required

 

Booking information

To book your place visit https://eppingforestdc.bookinglive.com/ or call 01992 564226 (Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm).

 

Paths Unseen project

Paths Unseen shows how poetry can be a shared sociable activity. Over the past 18 months performance poet Keely Mills and illustrator Jef Winter have engaged with many individuals and groups from across the local community enabling them to write, tell their own stories and share their work in their own voices.

Inspiration has also come from local folklore, encouraging museum audiences to consider art as a medium for rediscovering local history.

The exhibition is at Epping Forest District Museum until 30 September 2017.

Paths Unseen project has been funded by Arts Council England.