Find out more about the Education Sessions we have on offer and our workshops and loans box programme below.
For further information or to make a booking please contact the museum:
T. 01992 716882
Find out more about the Education Sessions we have on offer and our workshops and loans box programme below.
For further information or to make a booking please contact the museum:
T. 01992 716882
Read more about one of the inspirational women in our current exhibition ‘Snapping The Stiletto’
Hear from Emma Anderson (nee Hollis) in her own words.
“If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. Find a way or make a way,” I hear myself say to my class of Year 6 children who struggle to assemble moon buggies from mountains of cereals boxes and empty drinks bottles.
Yes, I’ve done it again; I’ve used Chigwell’s age old proverb to try and inspire and create resilience in my own classroom. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.
During my time at Chigwell, these words were just a mere school motto, yet it was only in my post-Chigwell years that I found their true meaning. They resound through my academic, professional, and sporting careers. I believe that it was the resilience and determination that I developed during my nine years at Chigwell that have led me to where I am today, having accomplished dreams, but also overcome heartache.
Both my brother, James, and I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta; more commonly known as Brittle Bones. Growing up, we both found participating in the majority of sports difficult due to the strain these activities put upon our bones. A broken bone was a regular occurrence for us and we were often in school on crutches or in a sling. I entered the Junior School swimming gala in 2002 as I loved the water. I found that I did have some sporting prowess and could compete with my peers on a level playing field. I was determined to show my peers and teachers that although I was slow on the track, I had what it took to be an athlete in the pool – and that there were some fast-twitch muscles in there somewhere! From this moment on, I found my way into a swimming career that would last over a decade and take me all over the world.
In 2008, whilst studying for my GCSEs, I competed in one of my first Para-Swimming international meets. It was during this meet that I broke my first British Record in the 100 metres breaststroke; it wasn’t until after that I found out that I had missed the Beijing 2008 Paralympics qualifying time by less than a second. I was thrilled with my performance, and missing the qualifying time just made me even more determined to represent Team GB on the world stage.
My determination paid off and in 2009, I was selected in represent Team GB in the European Championships in Iceland. Much to my own surprise, I won a silver, and three bronze medals, and re-broke my own British Records. However these swimming successes came at a crucial point in my academic career: I was completing my A-Levels and had dreams of studying geography a top university after Iceland’s scenery had stolen my heart. Many had told me that I would have to choose between the two, yet it was a few influential teachers that told me I could still achieve both. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam. I decided to find my way, the Emma Hollis way!
The Emma Hollis way involved heading off to Loughborough University with 3As at A-Level under my belt and enrolling in the world renown Loughborough Swimming programme. I was the first Para-Swimmer to swim under Loughborough for many years and there were many within the swimming world who thought this move would end my swimming career. However, after that first firm handshake (another thing I was always taught to do whilst at Chigwell!) with my coach, Ian Armiger, I knew this was the programme for me.
Chigwell prepared me for life in university perfectly in terms of time management: I managed to study my BSc in Geography, swim like I’ve never swum before, alongside holding down a part time job in the Student’s Union. I took part in field work in Crete, the Peak District and Snowdonia and also went on training camps to the Canary Islands, Mallorca, Berlin, and sunny Manchester.
Swimming under the Loughborough programme went from strength to strength; I was named top female Para-swimmer at the BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) on several occasions and won 3 bronze and 2 silver medals at the 2011 European Championships in Berlin. My time at Chigwell taught me to always strive for better: I always wanted to push myself to see what I could achieve. This could explain where I found the strength from in the last 50 metres of the 200m Individual Medley in Berlin to touch out my 6 foot tall German rival for the silver medal by 0.02 of a second. Later on that year, I went on to break the S8 800m freestyle and SM8 400m Individual Medley world records.
2012 was always going to be an exciting year. I was swimming well and the London Paralympic Games were just round the corner. I qualified in March, and then after another meet in April, my place on the Paralympics GB team was confirmed. This was it; the pinnacle of my sporting career. The plan was to swim well in London, then retire to focus on my final year at university. As August came upon us, I was in top form and had never swum so well. Everything was going just to plan and my aim was to make the finals of my four events. The buzz of the Athlete’s Village in Stratford would be enough to spur anyone into action, but having my flat overlook the stadium was the cherry on the cake. As I took in the atmosphere walking through the village on my way to training on the day of the Opening Ceremony, I slipped off a kerb. At first, I looked at the blood seeping out my grazed knee, and then I noticed a deep throbbing pain in my ankle. I was rushed to the medical building and I was diagnosed with not only a broken ankle, but also a dislocated elbow. Instead of spending the days leading up to my race doing final preparation in the pool or relaxing in the village, I was under an MRI machine for hours on end, or having fluid drained off my joints that resembled grapefruits. Not the preparation I was hoping for, but I was determined to compete.
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.
Race day arrived and at 5.00am, I was in the medical building having a local anaesthetic in the lower part of my right leg. Then I was ready to race. This procedure occurred for each of my events, and in each event, I finished last. Not the result I was looking for.
The Games came and went, and soon, all of this became a distant memory. I went back to university to complete my final year, and, despite what I had always said about retiring from swimming, I began to train again. My coach, Ian Armiger, had moved to the Cayman Islands and had invited me out to join him and travel around the islands to give motivational talks as part of the Caribbean’s Honouring Women’s Month. Despite having a great time in the Caribbean and training well under the tropical sunshine, my injuries had taken their toll, and it took a lot longer than I thought to overcome them both physically and mentally. I decided to continue to swim until I graduated, and in my final competition, I finished with a number of personal best times. I finally felt that I had done myself justice and that my job was done. Anyway, retiring at 21 sounds great, doesn’t it?!
After graduating, I joined the working world and worked as part of a 2012 legacy charity that aimed to get young people out of gangs and into sports. I again had to call upon many of my life lessons I had learnt at Chigwell in terms of networking and public speaking. I enjoyed the job for a short time, but decided that working in an office was definitely not for me and I applied for a PGCE.
Four years later and I’m in my own classroom, trying to not only get my 30 year sixes ready for SATS in the Spring, but also trying to round them into determined, independent, responsibly and resilient young people who are ready for whatever this world throws at them. After all, this is what my time at Chigwell did for me and I want to continue this legacy. I will always look back at my time at Chigwell affectionately, with pride and gratitude, and have learnt that there is nothing you can’t achieve with a bit of motivation, a firm handshake, and a sense of humour.
As part of the ‘Snapping the Stiletto’ exhibition currently on display at Epping Forest District Museum a charity auction is being organised in aid of Safer Places.
The exhibition itself reveals the hidden stories of women who lived in Essex and explores how women’s roles and opportunities have changed since gaining the right to vote in 1918. It also aims to dispel the negative stereotype of ‘Essex girls’ and their white stilettoes, by highlighting the lives and achievements of Essex women.
The exhibition also features shoes on display – worn and owned by Essex women with fascinating stories- including Sally Gunnell, Kate Silverton, Penny Lancaster and Dame Helen Mirren.
These celebrity shoe donations will form part of a charity auction being held at the museum in March in support of Safer Places https://www.saferplaces.co.uk/about-us/ which supports women in Essex who are suffering from domestic abuse – the charity helps to rebuild their confidence and empower them to achieve what they thought would be impossible.
There will also be a raffle during the event and we have had a number of generous donations from businesses including:
Lathams Home https://lathamshome.com/
The Square Bar and Grill http://www.thesquarebarandgrill.co.uk/
Flowers by Danielle http://www.flowersbydanielle.co.uk/
Experience Days www.experiencedays.co.uk
Haywards Restaurant http://haywardsrestaurant.co.uk/
Mr Todiwala’s Petiscos
Organica Beauty http://www.organica-beauty.co.uk/
Tony’s Pie and Mash
The #Nail Bar
If any other local businesses would like to support our event please do get in touch:
From Monday 3 – Saturday 8 December 2018, Epping Forest District Museum and Lowewood Museum are offering 10% discount in their gift shops to National Lottery players.
The museums are joining hundreds of other participating National Lottery funded visitor attractions across the UK saying thanks to people, who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.
The idea is simple: any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard between Monday 3 and Saturday 8 December gets a 10% discount in the museum’s gift shop.
Epping Forest District Museum has received £1,821,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money paid for the recent redevelopment of the museum as well as a range of projects, enabling community engagement and collections acquisition.
Lowewood Museum has received £183,700 for exhibition and engagement projects including two First World War Projects commemorating the centenary of the Armistice.
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 £7.8bn 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.”
Terms and Conditions
Staff from Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey and Lowewood Museum, Hoddesdon attended The National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 11 November 2018, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, having been invited by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Department for Digital, Media and Sport asked HLF to nominate people to attend the service, after recognising the huge contribution HLF and its First World War projects have made to the centenary. As a result over 300 people involved with these project across the UK, attended the service on Sunday.
Our HLF Projects
Our centenary projects were made possible by grants totalling £124,000 from HLF, which distributes the heritage share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide variety of projects across the UK. HLF has invested £97million in 2,200 First World War centenary projects.
The Walter Spradbery, Artist in War and Peace exhibition is on display at Epping Forest District Museum until Saturday 22 December 2018. It focuses on the artist’s time in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and the paintings he made for the first Imperial War Museum displays.
Stephen Warner, One Man’s Journey through War was on display at Lowewood Museum from May until September 2018. It explored the First War World through the diaries of Warner, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Essex Regiment in France and went on to win a Military Cross for bravery.
Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them, focuses on First World War soldiers from the Borough of Broxbourne. People are invited to share their stories, memories, photographs and other artefacts. Pupils from local schools will create embroidered postcards to commemorate the sacrifices given by soldiers. There will be a number of sharing days in the Borough of Broxbourne, through December to February, for people to come and tell their stories. The Broxbourne: We Will Remember Them display will start touring from the end of February 2019.
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)
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.
In 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.’
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.
Epping 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.
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.
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
For more information visit http://sharemuseumseast.org.uk/
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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