Object of the Month – September 2015

We return after the summer break with September’s Object of the Month. This month we are displaying personal items from Mr Ernest Levitt, which were only discovered by chance when work was being done on the property in Crowlands Avenue. This surprising discovery highlights how historical finds can be made by chance, and you never know what may be lying undiscovered near you!

Effects of Mr Ernest Levitt of Crowlands Avenue, Romford 1931′

When the present owner was working on their house in Crowlands Avenue, Romford, this Transport & General Workers Union rulebook and Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd house insurance certificate fell from a cavity in the attic. The items belonged to union member, Mr Ernest Levitt, a bus driver who occupied the house in the 1930s.

Transport & General Workers Union rulebook belonging to Mr Ernest Levitt.

Transport & General Workers Union rulebook belonging to Mr Ernest Levitt.

The Transport & General Workers Union was formed in 1922 from an amalgamation of fourteen other unions by Ernest Bevin. The amalgamation ensured representation for both semi-skilled and un-skilled workers. Membership was mainly drawn from dock workers, inland waterway workers and, like Ernest Levitt, those in the road transportation industry, Meanwhile, from the certificate, we can see how drastically house values have increased. Ernest’s house in 1931 cost him just £700!

Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd house insurance certificate belonging to Mr Ernest Levitt.

Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd house insurance certificate belonging to Mr Ernest Levitt.

Donated by Mrs Sylvie Marshall.

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Friends of Havering Museum – Trip to Bury St Edmunds

Havering Museum is lucky enough to have its own group, the Friends of Havering  Museum, who have supported and nurtured Havering Museum since its opening in May 2010. From the beginning the Friends have been instrumental in the museum’s success, without these like minded group of people we would not have Havering Museum here today. The Friends were formed by group of people who believed strongly that Havering should have a museum. Through a lot of hard work and patience, Havering Museum was born. The Friends continue to share in its success, although they see their role now as ‘Grandparents, loving their child but not interfering with its growing up’.

(Quote from Friends of Havering Museum website).

The Friends of Havering Museum are a very active group of people, not only meeting at the museum for regular talks and events, some of which are included in the £10 yearly membership fee, but also venturing out on many visits to places nearby and further afield.

One such visit that the Friends recently enjoyed was their visit on 4th July to Bury St Edmunds. This account of the day has been kindly submitted by one of the Friends, Ron Lloyd. It sounds like they had a fun filled day, we hope to share more of the Friends adventures in the future.

The Friends of Havering Museum left The Queens Theatre for our coach trip to the beautiful medieval town of Bury St Edmunds. The town takes its name from St Edmund, King of the East Anglia, who was killed by the invading Danes in 869 AD.

Some of the Friends of Havering Museum on their trip to Bury on 4th July 2015.

Some of the Friends of Havering Museum on their trip to Bury St Edmunds on 4th July 2015.

We started our day at the Greene King Visitor Centre, Westgate Street where twelve Friends met our wonderful guide, Maureen, who informed us that Greene King has been brewing since 1799 then took us on an excellent and informative tour around the brewery. Maureen explained the beer making process then invited us to the Brewery Tap where we were supplied with some very tasty samples of Greene King’s products. One of the beers that took my fancy was ‘Old Crafty Hen’ made from a blend of ‘Old Speckled Hen’ and 5X. This 5X is a special vintage beer having been stored in an oak vat for 2 years giving a complex sherry like taste with notes of brandy soaked raisins. Delicious!
One of our stops was the Great Churchyard, showing the Norman Tower and Elizabeth Frink’s statue of St Edmund. Nearby a plaque records the Barons meeting in 1214, they took an oath to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties (The Magna Carta). Last year was its 800th anniversary.

The Great Churchyard,  the Norman Tower and Elizabeth Frink’s statue of St Edmund.

The Great Churchyard, the Norman Tower and Elizabeth Frink’s statue of St Edmund.

A visit to St Edmundsbury Cathedral revealed an elegant nave which was built by John Wastell in 1503, perhaps the longest in a parish church. The church also had a magnificent altar. Later that afternoon there was a special service for the ordination of priests so we had to leave.

The magnificent alter in St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The magnificent alter in St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Wandering around Bury St Edmunds, we came across the Angel Hotel a former coaching inn, in Angel Street. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to the town and stayed at the Angel. In his book Pickwick Papers he calls Bury St Edmunds ‘a handsome little town, of thriving and cleanly appearance’.

In all we had an excellent day out, including the weather, in Bury St Edmunds.

For more information about the Friends of Havering Museum please visit the Havering Museum website.

http://www.haveringmuseum.org.uk/friends.php

Posted in Angel Hotel, Brewery, Bury St Edmunds, Friends of Havering Museum, Havering, havering museum, Romford, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Talks, Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Object of the month: July 2015

Object of the Month: July 2015

Havering Museum occupies the ground floor of the last surviving Romford Brewery building, and Brewery memorabilia features prominently in our collection. Our featured object this month reflects the close relationship that the Brewery once enjoyed with the local area.

After the Romford Brewery Company was established in 1980, they decided to brew a special beer for sale exclusively in their 24 pubs. Romford Brewers Bitter was launched in 1981, its competition-winning logo featuring the Brewery’s distinctive black and gold gates.

Two years later, the Brewery ran a sales campaign called the Brewers Bitter Pilgrimage, which challenged customers to drink a pint of the brew in each of the 24 pubs between 6 May and 30 July 1983.

front cover of the romford brewers bitter pilgrimage booklet museum collection romhm-2015-30.jpg

front cover of the romford brewers bitter pilgrimage booklet museum collection romhm-2015-30.jpg

The landlord of each pub would stamp and sign the relevant page of this booklet as proof, and a sliding scale of prizes were awarded to those visiting 6, 12, 18 and 24 pubs respectively, the top prize being a VIP tour of the Brewery. The booklet includes beautiful sketches and descriptions of all the pubs, some of which are sadly no longer operating today.

 Centre page of the booklet showing all of the 24 pubs on the Pilgrimage (Museum Collection, ROMHM.2015.30)..jpg


Centre page of the booklet showing all of the 24 pubs on the Pilgrimage (Museum Collection, ROMHM.2015.30)..jpg

Other pieces of Romford Brewers Bitter memorabilia in our collection include beer mats, a bar towel, and a set of dart flights, the last of which was the prize for completing the first six pubs on the Pilgrimage.

Other Romford Brewers Bitter memorabilia from the  Museum collection (ROMHM:2011.138, ROMHM:2011.133, ROMHM:2010.982 & ROMHM:2013.11.3).

Other Romford Brewers Bitter memorabilia from the Museum collection
(ROMHM:2011.138, ROMHM:2011.133, ROMHM:2010.982 & ROMHM:2013.11.3).

Did you complete the Brewers Bitter Pilgrimage? Do you still have your prize? To share your memories, or for more information, please contact collections@haveringmuseum.org.uk

Posted in Beer, Bitter, Brewers Bitter Pilgrimage, Brewery, Collections, Display, Essex, Havering, havering museum, Object of the Month, Pubs, Romford, Romford Brewers Bitter, Romford Brewery, Romford Pubs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Object of the Month: June

Our object of the month for June showcases some fascinating local fossils that are part of Havering Museum’s collection.

These fossils were donated to Havering Council who passed them onto Havering Museum in 2010. They are the only ones in our collection, however they do come from Havering! The information that came with them suggested they were found in Suffolk although similar ones could be found in Havering because we share the same geology. These fossils are preserved as flint, made of a mineral called silica. At the time these now fossilised animals lived, silica was secreted by sponges and some types of plankton. This silica filled up burrows and enveloped the remains of marine creatures, before dehydrating and hardening into flint.

Cretaceous (?), c. 145 – 66 million years ago

Cretaceous (?), c. 145 – 66 million years ago

From left to right:

Sea urchins (different species; one displayed showing the underside), a cockle-like bivalve and an unidentified fossil (possibly a sponge)

Donated by the London Borough of Havering.

Posted in Collections, Cretaceous, Display, Essex, Flint, Fossils, Geology, Havering, havering museum, Object of the Month, Sea Urchins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating our volunteers – Volunteer Week at Havering Museum

This Tuesday a group of ten volunteers from Havering Museum were invited to Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch to recieve a Volunteer Award from the Mayor of Havering. The Museum was asked by Havco to nominate 10 volunteers who had completed 100 hours of volunteering to the museum. Havering Museum also chose to recognise volunteers who had made a significant contribution to the museum, ensured that visitors and other volunteers felt welcome or had shown real development in their role. The award was part of Havering’s 50th birthday celebrations and on the day many other volunteer organisations from the borough attended the ceremony to recognise their volunteers as well.

Volunteers receiving their award. Non official photo taken by J. Yeneralski age 8

Volunteers receiving their award. Non official photo taken by J. Yeneralski age 8

The award was also part of a wider celebration for Volunteers Week which recognises the contribtions of volunteers all over the country. As a volunteer led museum, Havering Museum has a special vote of thanks to all our vounteers who keep the museum running and do such a fantastic job of welcoming people to the museum and caring for its exhibits and collection. Whatever your role at Havering Museum, may we offer a big “Thank You” to all of our volunteers, and a special “Well done” to the ten volunteers who recieved their award on Tuesday, a few of whom you can see in our picture above.

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Object of the Month: May

We continue with our series of blogs on our ‘Object of the Month’. The object of the month for May are sets of keys from the 19th Century and have an interesting history, which was nearly misplaced in our store cupboard! Well, everyone is always loosing their keys aren’t they and it seems that Havering Museum is no exception!

These three sets of keys were recently discovered in a jiffy bag in the museum’s storeroom. They were deposited with us by Havering Council before the museum opened, but were not listed with their other loans.

Two of these sets have a local connection. One opens the Roger Reede alms-house chest, formerly kept in the County Court in Romford’s South Street, but now on display here in the museum. The other opened the padlocks on an iron chest in the Grand Jury Room in the old courthouse in Romford Market.

The third set, tied to a recycled label from E. Howard, pork and poultry salesman, opened a safe for a business in Tokenhouse Yard, located near the Bank of England. It is unknown how it came to be in Havering Council’s possession.

All of these set of keys can be seen on display in the ‘Object of the Month’ cabinet near the entrance to the galleries in the museum.

Sets of 19th Century Keys. Donated by Havering Council.

Sets of 19th Century Keys. Donated by Havering Council.

Posted in 19th Century, Collections, Display, Exhibitions, Havering, havering museum, Keys, Market, Object of the Month, Romford, South Street | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two new exhibitions: ’50 Years of Havering’ and ‘Land, Sea and Sky: The Art of Robert Bryan’.

Havering Museum is proud to be showing not just one, but two exhibitions at the moment. Our mini exhibition, located in the museum’s reception area, ’50 Years of Havering’ celebrates the 50 year anniversary of the creation of the London Borough of Havering. We look at the other changes in local government to have taken place in this area through the ages and how the name ‘Havering’ was actually chosen. ’50 Years of Havering’ runs until 12 June 2015.

'50 Years of Havering' 1965-2015 1 April - 12 June 2015

’50 Years of Havering’ 1965-2015
1 April – 12 June 2015

Hornchurch Urban District Council 1926 - 65  Commemorative plaque

Hornchurch Urban District Council 1926 – 65
Commemorative plaque

Also on display until 27 June 2015 is ‘Land, Sea and Sky: The Art of Robert Bryan’. This beautiful collection of paintings by local artist Robert Bryan can be found in our main exhibition room. The exhibition demonstrates Robert’s wide subject matter depicting trains, animals, local scenes and wonderful sunsets. The exhibition is proving popular with some visitors choosing to buy the paintings they have fallen in love with by completing a form which can be handed in to the museum.

'The Kissing Gate' Stapleford Abbotts Robert Bryan

‘The Kissing Gate’
Stapleford Abbotts
Robert Bryan

'Hunting Cheetah' Robert Bryan

‘Hunting Cheetah’
Robert Bryan

As well as Robert’s glorious paintings, some of his sketchbooks are on display as well. It is fascinating to see how the artist has these to hand in case he needs to capture a fleeting image that may catch his eye. Whether it is his powerful animal paintings, or the dynamic image of ‘Nigel Gresley’, this exhibition is certainly a must see for art lovers in Havering.

'Nigel Gresley' Robert Bryan

‘Nigel Gresley’
Robert Bryan

Posted in 50 Years of HAvering, Art, Exhibitions, Havering, Painting, Robert Bryan, Romford, Romford Artist | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment