Welcome to the Elstree & Borehamwood Museum blog.
This blog is about all those happenings inside and outside the Museum that have caught our attention.
From events and exhibitions, to new discoveries in the collections, to news and views.
Any comments and items to go here please contact Simon on firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.
Object of the Week : X is for Exhibitions
With the Museum set to re-open in September, we thought it would be a good time to look back at all the exhibitions we have presented since opening in November 2013. A trip down memory lane.
November 2013 the Museum opened with Through the Lens a visual ‘now and then’ journey through stills of Borehamwood locations which had been used in film and TV.
June 2014 heralded 100 years of Film and TV in the area since Neptune Studios arrived in the village in 1914.
September 2014 told us we Could do Better! A celebration of 75 years of Hillside School.
January 2015 commemorated 100 years since the end of WWI.
Then in the summer of 2015 In Our Manor opened, celebrating 30 years since EastEnders began filming just down the road. With the added feature of being able to see the ‘Bridge Street’ railway bridge on the set from the upper floor windows!
January 2016 opened with Smile Please – a history of photography, in particular Wellington and Ward in Borehamwood.
July 2016 the volunteers built a replica of Mary Hanson’s sweet shop as part of the Going Down the Shops exhibition, which looked at the changing face of Shenley Road.
January 2017 saw the opening of From Village to Town, Celebrating a Century of Migration, an ambitious project eighteen months in the making, focusing on the radical transformation of Elstree and Borehamwood over a century, and the people whose arrival here made this happen. Fifty residents were interviewed and their stories formed part of the exhibition, and are available on this website under 'Oral History'.
The exhibition which ran over Christmas 2017 was Toys Games and Gadgets, a fun look at childhood pastimes from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Another ambitious exhibition was All Change! which opened in January 2018 and by public demand, extended its run to September. The Museum was transformed into a railway station complete with steam engine!
This was followed by Save Our Studios, a display with much input from Paul Welsh who led the campaign to save Elstree Film Studios between 1988 and 1996.
We were launched into the Swinging Sixties in May 2019 with Good Vibrations which recreated the local youth club and music venue The Lynx. Original artwork and designs from The Lynx evoked the atmosphere of the time, complete with video footage of the famous bands that played there.
Which brings us up to date. October 2019, actor Bob Barrett opened the Holby City at 20 exhibition, which celebrated 20 years of the drama being made down the road at BBC Elstree. More poignant now due to the recent announcement that the show will be cancelled and off our screens by Spring 2022. Covid cut through the exhibition just 3 months into its run, but with the Museum re-opening again in September, it will continue until the end of the year, so that everyone gets a chance to visit.
Our current Exhibition is still packing them in. Running until April 25th you have lots of time to dress up as a nurse or a doctor, and have a go on our body! Here is super fan Claire performing open heart surgery! All operations are free, as is our Museum. We have small 'staff cards' of your favourite actors to take away - for a small donation.
Any budding surgeons out there? You can try out your skills, whatever your age, at our Holby City At 20 Exhibition in the Museum. Here we see a serious visitor trying to improve the condition of our ‘body’. Good luck and keep trying!
Here’s Paul Welsh explaining in his latest column in the Borehamwood Times how he met Bob Barrett
“Last week I attended the opening of a new Exhibition at the Borehamwood Museum celebrating the 20th anniversary of Holby City, which is produced at the BBC Elstree Centre. We always hear about EastEnders at BBC Elstree but I think Holby is a bit of an unsung hero. I must say the BBC has done a marvellous job with the display in our Museum, which is very limited in space. It runs for six months so I recommend you visit.
I had the pleasure to chat with actor Bob Barrett, who has been with Holby City for 10 years in about 400 episodes. Luckily I got his character's name right as Sasha, as for some reason I thought it was Slasher, which seemed an odd name to give a surgeon. Bob is a lovely chap to meet and he hopes to continue with the series. We joked about the shirts he wears. which would not impress me as a patient. I was brought up on Emergency Ward 10 and Dr Kildare, in which hospital doctors wore white coats.
I believe Bob is turning on the Christmas lights in Borehamwood so there is a chance for you to meet him as I hope the Town Council will let that happen.”
Our new Exhibition featuring the long-running BBCTV series Holby City is open at last. Bob Barrett, who has been in the series for 10 years, performed the honours with Dave Armitage, Museum Manager, last night. Local dignitaries joined Museum Trustees and volunteers to explore the prosthetics, props and back-stage features of the series filmed in Borehamwood. Plenty to read and examine, including NHS files, star profiles and the full story of Holby City from inception to today's storylines. There's even a chance for visitors to dress up and play doctors and nurses as we can see :
See you at 10 am when we open our new Exhibition!
We're nearly there!
More details of the build are filled in as the Exhibition takes shape. Our Museum desk even becomes a hospital work station!
More spare parts arrive – heads, knees and full bodies. What is going on?
The BBC and their hospital equipment arrive on Day Two of the new Exhibition build to create a Holby City operating theatre in our little space. So far we have a scrub sink, and a foot – that looks hopping mad. Watch this big space for more fun photos!