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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Epping Forest District Museum reopened it’s doors to the public on Saturday 19 March 2016 after a 2 year long Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment.
The bells of Waltham Abbey Church rang as reenactors from the 44th East Essex Regiment marched up Sun Street towards the museum.
A party atmosphere was enjoyed by all who came to celebrate the museum’s special day. They were treated to a jive dance demonstration and a morris dancing display by the Chingford Morris Men in Sun Street.
Over 750 people visited the museum, they enjoyed activities including decorating eggs in the new community space, and were given access to all the museum’s new galleries for the first time.
Museum staff were thrilled with the positive feedback they received. Comments include “Big improvement, proud to live in the Abbey” and “Welcome back! We’ve missed the museum and love the new look!”
The museum team also celebrated the reopening of the museum by making a film showing what has been going on behind the scenes. The ‘Museum on the Move’ film also features as part of the museum’s first temporary exhibition all about transport through history.
After a two year long Heritage Lottery Funded project, the reopening of Epping Forest District Museum is on the horizon. The museum would like to welcome members of the public to the museum on Saturday 19 March 2016 from 10am to 5pm to see the fantastic improvements and changes that have taken place on site.
With a new community room for schools, groups and activities, a lift making all galleries accessible to the public for the first time and the chance to see behind the scenes the museum will be a unique offer to both local people and the wider community.
The museum team are now in the process of reinstalling the objects in the six new galleries ready for the reopening in March, with a much greater number of objects going on display than ever before.
As you might have seen in our recent blogs, the building work at the museum is well underway and the building itself is starting to take shape. While this work continues the Museum team are starting to plan and select objects to go on display in the newly redeveloped museum.
Over the coming months we will be giving you a sneak peak at some of the objects will be displaying!
Our first sneak peak is the whipping post:
The Whipping Post dates to 1598. It is over 400 years old. It was used to punish people who had committed crimes in Tudor times. The person’s arms were locked in at the top so they couldn’t move or escape. They were then whipped as a punishment for their crime.
Below are some images of the whipping post being unpacked and measured for its new case at the museum.
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.
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.