Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

On Wednesday evening our latest acquistion, a painting by William Ratcliffe, called ‘Reflections, Ickleford’, was unveiled in the Council Chamber. The painting shows part of Hyde Mill, a flour mill at Ickleford, which was demolished in the 1930s. It was purchased from the Fine Art Society in Bond Street (where it was on sale as a painting of a pond in Letchworth) with grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the V & A, and the local Hertfordshire Heritage Fund. We knew that it was of Ickleford, as we have a photograph of the artist looking at the picture on exhibition in Letchworth Museum in 1954. The picture is shortly going off for glazing, and will be kept at Letchworth until the new museum opens.

Unveiling our most recent acquisition

Unveiling our most recent acquisition, William Ratcliffe’s ‘Reflections, Ickleford’

The Museum Van at Lincoln University – you may be able to make out the Cathedral Spires behind the Freezing Fog! We have formed a partnership with The Conservation Dept of De Montfort University, Lincoln, whose students will be conserving and consolidating objects from the Museum collection. The first batch included a coffin plate, various archaeological copper alloy work, an 1889 football cap and the late Victorian cardboard doll’s house. We are very pleased and excited that these delicate but highly signifcant items will now be able to be safely displayed in the new museum.

The museum van in Lincoln

The museum van in Lincoln

This was discovered by Jacky in the Hitchin Girls’ School Magazine of 1950!

When we went to the Hitchin Museum on Wednesday, June 7th, we saw a great variety of birds and butterflies, including bitterns, kestrels, hawks, wagtails, jays and a great many other varieties. There were also a number of butterflies and moths and humble bees. The mothes were brown and speckled or brown and striped. The butterflies were big or small, spotted or striped, and all sorts of colours. Anmials I remember were the stoats, a badger, a slow worm, and there were two big pike about two feet long.
In the bygones section of the museum there was a penny farthing bicycle, a mouse trap, a man-trap to catch poachers, and many other old articles. There were parchment scrolls, and suits, and snuff boxes, and all sorts of things, locked up in glass cases. I noticed a collection of flowers under a glass case, and found out that they were all made out of wool and made some time in ealry Victorian days by a woman, and were kept on the table.
Soon it was time to go home and we were just in time for our dinner hour.”

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