This week’s family fun art activity also comes from Leanne and the Art Resource boxes. This time, all you need to do is take a sheet of a paper and fold it into quarters. Unfold it again, then in one box draw circles, in another draw wavy lines, in a third draw a spiral then in the fourth try a scribble. Add colour to the spaces you’ve created with your lines. The artist Paul Klee talked about drawing as being like taking a line for a walk – this activity is a great way to practice this!
We’ve come across some fascinating stories while researching our new school workshop, Local Legends, telling the stories of some important local people…
Did you know that the notorious highwayman, Dick Turpin, was said to have lived in a “cave” at Loughton Camp, Epping Forest at the height of his criminal activities? In 1735, with his accomplices in the Gregory Gang, Turpin is believed to have broken into Traps Hill Farm in Loughton, the home of an elderly widow named Shelley.
When Shelley refused to reveal where her money was hidden, the gang apparently threatened to roast her over a fire. The threat prompted her terrified son to say where their valuables were hidden. The gang found £100, which was a fortune at the time, a silver tankard and some other household items. Rather than making a quick getaway though, the gang made themselves at home, cooking up some supper, drinking beer and wine from the cellar and popping next door to rob the neighbour while their victims looked on:
“They afterwards went into the cellar and drank several bottles of ale and wine, and broiled some meat, ate the relicts of a fillet of veal … and then they all went off, taking two of the farmer’s horses, to carry off their luggage…” – Read’s Weekly Journal, 8 February 1735
Following the incident, worried residents of Loughton, which in those days was a small village in the forest, installed ‘Turpin traps’ in their homes to protect themselves. These were heavy wooden flaps that could be let down to block the stairs, and were wedged in place with a pole. These traps remained in some homes for decades – apparently people living in the 1890s could still remember local homes having them.
Turpin themed ornaments were popular for many years as the legend of Dick Turpin grew. He was seen romantically by some as another Robin Hood – but although an important figure in our local history, sadly all the evidence points to Dick Turpin as being nothing more than a ruthless criminal.
This is a great simple idea and fun to try at home.
Resources you’ll need
sheet of paper
colouring pens or pencils
lots of different household objects with interesting shapes.
Place the objects on the paper – you might want to plan your picture by placing them all first, or just do one at a time and see what happens. Draw around one object at a time with a pencil – overlapping the objects can make a good effect. Colour in the objects, using different colours where they overlap. Try colouring one colour over another and see what happens.
Have fun – and don’t forget to share your art. We’d love to see what you come up with!
We are sorry not to see you all at the museum for our Easter Family Fun activities. We thought you might be missing the museum as much as we are so why not have a go at the Easter Activity at home?
If you would like to have a go at one of the activities at home, here’s the Easter Bunny Mask Template 1 for our Easter Bunny Mask – it’s simple and fun to make at home.
Resources you’ll need
sheet of paper or card
printer (if not you can draw out the template
cotton wool and any other materials to make your bunny as fun as possible.
string or strip of card
All you need is a sheet of paper or card. You can print the template off, colour it in and cut it out. If you don’t have a printer just have a go at drawing it yourself – you can even fold the paper in half lengthways so you just draw half the bunny face, then cut it out while still folded to give you the whole mask!
If you have glue you could add cotton wool and any other materials to make your bunny as fun as possible. Just tie on some string or staple a strip of card from a cereal box on the side to make a handle to hold the mask in front of your face! Happy Easter!!
While you are staying at home we thought we would share some great craft activities you could do!
Week 1: Big letters
Leanne has been making some art resource boxes for the museum. Lots of the ideas in it are very simple things you can do at home with everyday things. To start off, try this big letter activity – think of a word that means a lot you and have fun GOING BIG WITH IT!!
Resources you’ll need
paper or card (cereal boxes are perfect)
pencil, colouring pens or pencils
Draw outlines of your letters on card – don’t worry about making them perfect – think about turning a letter into a bubble shape. Decorate the letters any way you like by colouring them in, sticking things to them etc. You can keep them separate and stick them up, or make a little hole in them then thread them on to wool or string to hang up.
Here are some ideas for you:
The Y is made from sticking on buttons
The F uses fabric we had lying around
The L is made from felt
The M uses tissues screwed up into little balls and stuck on
Hi there, my name is Melis and I am a business admin and customer service apprentice at Epping Forest District Council. My first 6-month placement was here at Epping Forest District Museum.
My journey started off with leaving Harlow college with a distinction in music, and not knowing my next step to success. I had no interest in going to university or carry on being in education. My initial plan was to carry on doing music, but my route changed after having the suggestion of joining the council as an apprentice by my own mother.
I applied not knowing anything about the council at all, and within a few weeks, I had received an email to inform me that I will be interviewed but with a pre-training week taking place beforehand.
During my pre-training week, I met other apprentices to be, who were part of my age group, I wasn’t expecting this at all. I had learnt more about the departments in the council and a few skills on how to undergo an interview. All of this really helped me with succeeding in securing my apprenticeship placement at the council.
My interview had taken place right after that week and I believe that was the best interview I had ever experienced. This was because I felt more comfortable knowing that I had practiced this time. Whereas with my part time jobs in the past, I hadn’t prepared for an interview before and my interviews were based on how well I worked in a team activity rather than having a discussion in a one-to one meeting.
My interviewer had asked which placement I’d be interested to work in first, and straight away I wanted to work at the museum as I had an interest in history and really liked working with children.
On induction day, we were presented to our managers and I was so delighted to meet my manager knowing that I had got the placement I wanted, I was very grateful. The next day, I had toured round the museum and Hemnall street and all my colleagues had introduced themselves to me and made me feel welcome.
I have been doing a variety of things at my first placement. I focused on a schedule that I’d be doing from Monday to Friday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I’d be working with a colleague on marketing tasks, which would include marketing theory and updating contact lists for upcoming events. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, I would be helping the volunteers with the museum collection which was a great experience because, I had the opportunity to hold old items even from the Victorian period. I’d add new collections onto a spreadsheet, move boxes around to see what needs to be put on display and sometimes clean these items in a specific way as these were really old and delicate things to take care of.
On Friday mornings I’d sit on reception, deal with customers face to face as well as over the phone. I learnt how to use the till and learnt more about the shop stock which was interesting.
Aside from these specific projects I’d also deal with customers over the phone whilst being in the office and help with a number of activities and events that took place. For example: Toddler Tuesdays which is once a month and Museum Movers which is a movement class for those over 55. It was great to participate in these activities because not only was it fun but, I’d meet new customers all the time and they were very friendly.
I do not know where my next placement will be, but I am excited as there are so many opportunities coming my way. My apprenticeship lasts for 2 years meaning I get to work in four placements in total. Even if I am not keen on one placement, I will remain optimistic because firstly, it will give me the benefit of learning new skills, and secondly, it will help me decide which areas I would like to work in when I apply for a job at the council in two years’ time.
I have had a lovely experience here and I will really miss the Museum and staff and the volunteers, and surely will visit again soon!
On Wednesday 20 November, year 8 students from King Harold
Business & Enterprise Academy, took over the running of the museum as part
of Takeover Day.
Visitors took part in a tour, activities and a trail all
devised and led by the students, and were in charge of our Twitter and Facebook
accounts for the day.
Three students were even interviewed live on BBC Essex radio
– something they only found out about an hour before going on air.
The 10 pupils worked with staff, in a series of preparations
days, to learn more about the day to day running of the museum; they were given
a behind the scenes tour, handled objects from the collections, created posters
and content for their tours.
They themed their take over around climate change, linking
it to the current Ice Age exhibition; this period was a natural form of climate
change, comparing it to now as more manmade through global warming.
One gallery had been declared a ‘no go zone’ to represent
how, through climate change, parts of the world will disappear and be submerged
in the oceans. Another gallery was filled with one week’s worth of rubbish to
show how much waste each household has and to encourage visitors to recycle as
much as they can.
One activity the year 8s run was to make little trees from
cork, a cocktail stick, beads and ripped paper. Each tree represented a real
endangered tree and was given a label with details of where the tree currently
survives and why it is under threat of extinction. This small forest of trees
will be on display until the beginning of December.
A word from the
We asked the pupils what they did as part of Takeover Day,
what they enjoyed and what they learnt that surprised them about working in a
museum – here are their answers:
Mark: I did the tours [and enjoyed] all of it.
Rhianna: I was posting on social media updating Twitter and Facebook for the public and update our #takeoverday . I enjoyed making captions and doing the social media.
Obinna: I did a tour, [and enjoyed] doing tours and being on the radio.
Dmithry: I did the tours with Mark, [enjoyed] all of it and [learnt that working in a museum] is really fun.
Joni: I took part in the tree activity. I enjoyed making trees and helping others make them. I was surprised that I was going to be on the radio.
Louie: I advertised outside, I had a go at a tour, I spoke to the chairman and helped people make trees. [I enjoyed] speaking to the chairman 1 on 1 (I found that really exciting). I’m quite good at advertising and drawing people in.
Lilly: We learnt about climate change and we done tour and other jobs that people who work here do. [I enjoyed] everything. I learnt a lot about climate change and how people work in the museum.
Rhiannon: I was posting on social media updating Twitter and Facebook about our takeover day. I enjoyed making the different captions for our tweets and taking the pictures, I also enjoyed spotting our woolly mammoth. I learnt how much work, effort and time goes into the takeover day.
Archie: I made trees, helped with snakes and ladders and made a poster. [I enjoyed] making trees. [I learnt working in a museum] is easy.
Takeover Day is a
national celebration (created by Kids in Museums) of young people’s
contributions to museums, galleries, arts organisations, archives and heritage
sites. It’s a day on which they work alongside staff and volunteers to
participate in the life of the organisation or venue.
Building work is progressing on the Museum’s redevelopment project so we thought we would share a little update with you.
Since our last blog all the internal walls in the new extension to the museum have been installed. This is the area above Waltham Abbey Library.
This means the new spaces in the museum including the community room, temporary exhibition gallery, Core gallery and new storage spaces are really taking shape. The team can get a feel for the spaces and what each space can really be used for.
Temporary Exhibition Gallery
The preparations for the lift are also complete and this will be installed as one of the next tasks. Once all the wiring and electrics are complete the decoration work can begin!
We hope you are looking forward to seeing the completed museum and visiting us next year.