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

Elstree Confidential

Thursday 6 June 2024

Now back on our shelves after a short absence is Paul Welsh's memories of 50 years of the film studios in Borehamwood and Elstree. Includes many photos of the stars who have worked here, and, of course, his campaign to save Elstree Studios in the late 80s and 90s. An essential read for anyone interested in the film industry and local history!

The MGM Letters

Monday 27 May 2024

On #MemoriesMonday we have an intriguing story for you. One of the Most Missed buildings in Borehamwood is the MGM Studios and its famous landmark of a tower. And atop this tower were the letters that could be seen far and wide. We've just received photos of a set of these letters and a really good provenance to prove that they still exist, and didn't get destroyed when the tower was demolished. 

You may say that's unlikely, but it is an intriguing story. Somewhere out there is the answer....

Bill O'Neill R I P

Monday 6 May 2024
Bill in the Museum

On #MemoriesMonday we pay tribute to Bill O'Neill who passed away recently at the age of 96. Bill was a great friend to the Museum and we publish his autobiography - still on sale today. Bill was instrumental in setting up our football club Boreham Wood FC - here's a short passage from the tribute on the Club's webpage :

"...the best place is to go back to the summer of 1948 when he led a meeting in the Church Hall of the All Saints Church in Shenley Road, when the two existing local clubs in the town amalgamated and Boreham Wood Football Club was formed. Bill even played in the very first trial match played on a pitch in Theobald Street that had been the Polish Army camp during the war which finished only a few short years beforehand."

Please read his full story on the website HERE, or in his book.  His contribution to football in Boreham Wood cannot be underestimated.

Spotlight On The Museum

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Communities 1st are featuring the Museum this month with our search for volunteers who love a bit of history and would like to meet others so inclined. If you've ever thought of helping us out, now's the time!  Please check out the roles we are looking for and email us here. Look forward to meeting you.

Hertsmere Is 50

Monday 22 April 2024

This year we celebrate the formation of Hertsmere 50 years ago. As the text above reveals the coming together of a number of local councils started in 1974. When visiting the Museum or Library you will see some items from our collection in the display case in the foyer of 96 Shenley Road. That will bring back some memories if you saw the council offices being built opposite Elstree Studios.


Alf On The Radio

Thursday 18 April 2024

Alf Hunter is a long-time resident of Borehamwood, and was the set decorator on many classic films. He decorated the set for the famous sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark where a large ball rolls after Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. He was interviewed on Three Counties Radio yesterday on the Roberto Peroni show and Andy Collins Breakfast.  He has many anecdotes from his long career involving Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor and directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  Listen to a clip here.

The list of films Alf worked on shows just how many great films were made in this area. Alf worked all over - MGM, ABPC, Shepperton, Ealing, Danziger, and all varying forms of the Elstree studios. Some career!

Alf in Whippendell Woods on the
film Return to Oz


More Footbridge Memories

Monday 25 March 2024

The end of the footbridge to Parkfields

On #MemoriesMonday we once again thank Peter Kirby for sending us another of his excellent photos of the long-gone footbridge to Parkfields. Now we can see how it was possible to cross the railway by walking on the bridge rails! Good balance required.

The Footbridge

Freestone Revealed

Monday 11 March 2024

Anyone strolling down Shenley Road from the Post Office towards Theobald Street should glance up before reaching the sorting office. You will see this facia on a closed shop that was once Sam's Chicken. A real #MemoriesMonday treat - here is the original fascia for Bob Freestone's bakery shop which has been exposed and left for all to see. Not sure when this shop closed, but Bob's brother Ernest owned the Dutch Oven and sold it in 1952. Bob used to drive a van around the new estates selling his wares, and was based here. More information always appreciated.

Guess it will soon be covered over and another fast food establishment installed.

New Christmas Cards

Monday 13 November 2023

#MemoriesMonday. Yes, it's time to dig out your Christmas Card list and get posting to friends and family.  We now have over 30 card designs for you to choose from, including 5 new ones for this year. They range from wintery scenes and snow covered buildings in Elstree and Borehamwood to Christmassy paintings of the area by local artists. Our new cards include local pubs in the snow.  Only £1 each, available from the Museum at 96 Shenley Road. Here are a few examples for you, but please pop in and look through our card book.

Allum Lane As Was

Monday 26 June 2023

Today's photo on #MemoriesMonday is another from the Mary Hanson Collection showing a very empty Allum Lane with Nichol Farm at the top of the hill. The entrance to what is now the tip is on the right, and of course it's long before the large houses were built in The Stables  below the Farm. Quite a few memories there.

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