Welcome to the Friends News

This page brings you News of the friends Activities

 Bank of England Museum

Over 30 Friends 'raided' the Museum of the Bank of England. The Museum traces the history of the Bank of England over its 300 year history, with examples of Bank Notes and how our current notes developed. We also learned about inflation and how the bank influences inflation.

Visitors to the museum are able to touch, and even pick up,  a gold bar worth over £400,000.  Unfortunately you were not allowed to take it home.

After the visit it was time to visit the former premisies of the Bank of Singapore, now the Crosse Keys for typical city Lunch. 

Haunted Havering ... and Beyond

Haunted Havering ... and Beyond was launched on Saturday, 24 September by Cllr Andrew Curtin.  This unique and creative exhibition on the eccentrics of Havering,
folklore, witchcraft and paranormal activity of today was launched to the applause and laughter by Cllr Andrew Curtin.  The exhibition team
Chloe Branwhite, Matthew Abel and Ellen Owen spent over a year researching the topic and have produced a very inspirational and thought provoking exhibition.  Many local businesses and heritage sites like, Rainham Hall, Bretons Manor, Upminster Golf Club, The Good Intent, The Golden Lion and The Phoenix all contributed paranormal stories.

The Ghost Story and Spooky Picture  competitions has been supported again by local businesses, who have donated prizes:

T&B Photographic, Romford  -  Camera
Q&B Photography, Rainham  -  Family Photo Shoot

The Premier Cinema, Romford -  Family cinema tickets (for 5)
Kidspace, The Brewery Romford  -  Family pass
Zizi Restaurant, The Brewery Romford  -  £50 voucher
Roller Bowl, The Brewery Romford  -  Family pass

Kiss Chase Creations, Romford  -  Canvase to individual design

is an excellent events package which supports the exhibition and this
starts with a tour of the Golden Lion, Romford on Tuesday, 2 October at
11:00, Thursday, 11 October Havering's Extraordinary Eccentrics talk,
The Green Man talk on Thursday 18 October.  Don't miss the Ghost Walk of
Romford on Tuesday 23 October, CLICK  FOR FULL EVENTS PROGRAMME

There is a discounted events package for people who wish to attend all 5 events - £19.50.

The exhibition team wish to thank all contributors and Tesco Gallows Corner for ongoing support.

Royalty Exhibition Launched

Bunting, rousing music and a Royal Celebration.  Yes this was the launch of the museum’s latest exhibition, Royalty in Havering on Saturday 14 April.   This is a fabulous exhibition and the result of the hard work of 4 hard working and talented volunteers, Matthew Abel, Chloe Branwhite, Cherelle Nighingale and Tracey Austin.  The team spent nearly a year researching the connections of past Kings and Queens to Havering and current day visits by members of the royal family.

Alexander Wilde wrote two poems to mark the opening of the exhibition and performed them just before the exhibition team opened the exhibition to the VIP guests and public.  6 year old Grace Charnick, dressed as a princess, and became the museum’s young reporter of the day.  Grace took lots of pictures, videoed the opening and wrote about the launch.  In her article she said “The exhibition is really nice and the exhibition team worked really hard and are glad it is now open.  I like all the pictures and playing the game about Kings and Queens.  I think all schools should come and see the exhibition. “

The exhibition is very colourful with lots of brilliant photographs about royalty together with exhibition cases packed with exhibits like.  

There is a programme of half term activities; Tudor Family Fun on Friday 18 May, which explores life in  Havering’s Tudor palace – 4-6pm;  Royalty in Havering, which explores the stories, on Thursday 7 June 1-2pm and a second chance to attend Tudor Family Fun session on 8 June, 1-2pm.

For those of you that love your history come and listen to the tales of Royal Ghosts, where they are and that they are getting up to!!

The exhibition is on until Saturday, 23 June

New Programme Launched

Pamela Wilkes, Chairman and Ellen Owen, Social Secretary launched the Friends new programme, which contains 5 free talks and 2 heritage walks as a special thank you to existing and new members for supporting the Friends and museum.

To see the new programme, click here

It's Criminal

Over sixty people attended the preview evening.  Many Friends were there to help celebrate the launch of this exhibition, which took a year to research.  The exhibition covers crime and punishment through the ages and covers topics like witchcraft, smuggling, folklore, murder, origins and history of the Police Service and current day smuggling (compliments of HM Revenue & Customs).  The exhibition team consists of Chloe Branwhite, Lois Easter and Ellen (Director) and Peter Owen, all of whom are volunteers at the museum.  The Metropolitan Police museum provided a lot of the artefacts like the pillory, charge desk, but the team built their own gallows.

We were also privileged to welcome the family of PC George
Gutteridge, Steve Gutteridge, his grandson, his wife Marian and
daughter Anna. PC Gutteridge was sadly murdered on 27 September 1927 on the Ongar Road and his story features in the exhibition.

On the Saturday the Mayor, Collr Melvin Wallace opened the exhibition to the public in the Market Place, where we had two classic Police cars, a Panda and a Rover and in the foyer of the museum, for that day only a 'Noddy' bike.  The children had great fun dressing up as Police men and women.

Tomorrow, is the first of our six crime and punishment themed talks.  Dick Kirby, The Curious Case of Oldchurch Hospital's Bogus Doctor and then next Thursday, 26th Jan, Linda Rhodes delivers her talk on Homicide - How to Catch A Victorian Murderer.  See the full programme of talks for further information.

The exhibition,  was described, by Clover Deacon, Tesco Charity Manager, who attended the preview as, "Fabulous".   The exhibition is open until Saturday,  17 March 2012.  We recommend you pay the museum a visit, as it would be Criminal if you didn't.

If you come to the museum this Friday, 20th January, at 1.30 pm and attend the reminiscence group session on Crime and Punishment you will get a guided tour, then be able to share your experiences or listen to others.
Published 18/1/2012  - Photos courtesty of Kes Cole and Peter Owen

Bright Idea

The Friends today, 14th October, received a helping hand from Tesco Gallows Corner in the form of a cheque for £467. Michelle Jackson, Deputy Store Manager and Community Champion Clover Deacon presented the cheque to Pamela Wilkes, Chairman of the Friends.  The money will be used to buy a data projector and stand, which can be used in the Learning Zone of the Museum for the reminiscence group and children activities.  Having a mobile projector will also allow the staff and volunteers to delivery professional presentations in the community.  Pamela then formally presented the funds to Elizabeth Neathey, Curator who will purchase the equipment. The Friends, Museum and the attending 24 reminiscence people would like to say a big Thank You to Tesco for their support.

The Gidea Park Exhibition Estate

Elizabeth Neathey, Havering Museum’s Curator and Simon Donoghue, Local Studies Library, Romford, were the creators of this exhibition. Many months of research and hard work went into producing this excellent exhibition on the Gidea Park Exhibition Estate, which marks its centenary.

Our photograph captures  Elizabeth and Simon with books which form part of the exhibition.

To help celebrate the opening the guest list included Friends of Havering Museum, Gidea Park Civic Society guests, local Councillors and many of the Museum’s Board.  This was a great opening and ran very smoothly thanks to the organisation of the museum staff and volunteers who put a lot of work into the organisation, catering and delivery of the event. 

The exhibition will run from 10th June to 22nd July 2011.  This is a large exhibition and is in two parts.  The Museum is displaying part one of the exhibition but the second part can be found in Romford Central Library, first floor. A visit to the library is highly recommended now to see the other part of the exhibition. Check opening times of the exhibition as these differ from Library opening times.

This was a great night and just a taste of some of the benefits of the Friends membership.

Party Time

One year on and our Museum celebrated its first birthday in great style on the 1st June.

In usual fashion a party was held with a buffet and drinks for over 100 friends, guests and volunteers. 
The volunteers and several of the Board members dressed up in a variety of costumes and entertained the gathering with guided tours of the galleries, special poetry readings, which marked the occasion and just a couple of speeches.  Ian Wilkes, Chairman of the Board, kept his speech brief, but made a point of thanking all of the people who primarily contributed to the establishment of the Museum, volunteers and staff who have brought the Museum to life and Friends of the Museum whose active support is greatly appreciated.

A raffle was also held to raise funds for a laptop for use by the volunteers. Thanks to the generosity of many volunteers, their families and friends of the Museum the prizes were plentiful and ranged from a microwave oven, to web cams, laptop cases, books, memberships, massages, coaching, gift vouchers and many more prizes.

This event also marked the completion of the I Heart History (IHH) project which had run for several months and asked people to put forward reasons why they love history.  The winners of the competition were announced and their submissions will be put on plaques and displayed in the Museum.  Congratulations to all the winners and those who took the time to put forward their contributions.

No celebration would be complete without a birthday cake so Ian invited our curator Elizabeth Neathey to cut the cake with him.

More photos in the Gallery

Photos courtesy Dennis Little and Peter Owen

Valence House History Fair

Lots of visitors came to the Friends of Havering Museum stand and showed great interest in the membership and forthcoming events.

The Museum events too were very popular, with great interest shown in the Military Ghost talk on Friday the 30th September and the Halloween ghost talk on the Thursday the 27th October. A total of 16 tickets were reserved. Spooky.

Several Friends of the Museum popped by to say hello and get a new programme.

Barnards Farm - 'Great Success'

Two of our newest members, Ellen and Sue at the entrance of Barnards farm.

Sue said that she had had a great day out and had enjoyed meeting everybody. We found the volunteers to be wonderful. They couldn't do enough for us. They really made the day. They were friendly and knowledgeable about the gardens and the Motor cars. And the lunch - a treat in itself.

More pictures on the Gallery page.

Mayor of London visits "Wonderful Museum"

Brian Evans presented the Mayor with a signed copy of one of his books, A History Of Romford which he greatly appreciated.  We know this because he immediately wanted to start reading it but time did not permit this. 

Just before he left he took the time to have a photograph taken with everyone and signed the visitors book.  I now hear you say what did he write? -  “Wonderful Museum – Congratulations”.  

If you want to see the photograph which was taken with everyone, visit the Museum as it is on the Notice Board, just inside of the door.  This visit rounded off a great week of Mayoral visits as the current Mayor, Cllr Pam White visited the Museum on Tuesday with many of her Mayoral colleagues from some of the other London Boroughs.

Photos courtesy Ellen Owen © 2011

Mayors Treble

The Mayor of Havering visited Havering Museum and announced three new initiatives being
undertaken by the Friends of Havering Museum.

Her first duty was to officially launch the Friends web site. She commented that this was the first web site she had ever launched, but with one click of the mouse, it was done. She was quite pleased to see an item about her visit and a photograph of herself prominently displayed.

Her second task was to announce a series of Free events for Friends of the Museum. These include a walk and talks on various Heritage related themes.

The third item on the agenda was that the Friends had set themselves a target of raising funds to purchase a scanner and a portable digital projector for the Museum. The scanner will be used to scan important documents and photographs. Photograph are often brought in to the Friday Reminiscence group and the scanner will allow them to be shown on a big screen  whilst the contributor tells the story surrounding the photo.

The projector will be used in the Learning centre for smaller groups and schools to enhance the children s visits. Being portable it will also be taken out on visits to outside venues to enhance talks about the museum.

Speaking to the Friends she commented on the work of the Museum in looking after the heritage of the borough;  its success being due to the hard work and dedication of the  Curator, Elizabeth Neathey, The Friends, and the Volunteers who all help to run it.

Councillor Light was delighted to be made an honorary Friend of the Museum. We hope that she will enjoy being a Friend and be able to take part in some of the activities.

Ellen told the Mayor of exciting developments at the Museum, and that she was so impressed had also joined the Friends

Sylvia and Marian relax after the Big Launch

Maisie and Brian, last years big fund raisers for the Friends,were duly pleased with the mornings proceedings.

The Mayor thanks Elizabeth Neathey the Museums Curator for the hard work she has put into the Museum.

Photos courtesy Kes Cole

Brian Evans receives Civic Recognition

Brian Evans was recently honoured  by the Borough for his for his many years of work on the History of Havering and in preserving our Heritage.

Photo courtesy Kes Cole


Beating the Winter Blues 

Eastbury Manor House was the perfect place for our January visit.

Saved from demolition and purchased by The National Trust in 1918, it has since undergone several stages of restoration and refurbishment.  Now this beautiful Tudor country house is a
popular local amenity managed by The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Various historic events, such as the Gunpowder Plot have links to Eastbury House.
It is open to visitors every Monday and Tuesday (except Bank Holidays), and on the first and second Saturday of each month.

For further information go to: www.lbbd.gov.uk/MuseumsAndHeritage/EastburyManorHouse

It is said that Eastbury House is home to many ghosts. It has been the subject of much Paranormal research. On Thursday 7th April, in the Museum, paranormal investigator Gillian Trench, will share her experiences and show photographs, which include evidence of paranormal activity at Eastbury House.

Come and see for yourself.

Click here for further details of this event.  (Published 26 March)

Maisie Turns the Tables

Maisie Whitelock, former Mayor, held her Birthday party at the Museum, and, rather than a present for herself asked for donations to the Museum. This generous act raised £295 which has been used to buy new tables for the learning centre. Many Happy returns Maisie.

Our picture shows Maisie opening her 'present'

Brian Evans  : Three Hundred not out

Brian Evans, Vice Chairman of the Friends has reached the three hundred pound target and is still batting away at the crease, raising funds for the Museum. If only the England team were as good.