As part of Black History Month, the museum is hosting an exhibition in The Arches using photographs of Black people from around the district. You can see the pictures here. They were first shown at the old Hitchin Museum in 2007 and were published in a book, North Herts African Caribbean Roots by Eric Blakeley and Gurdev Delay. The project had support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (as it was then called) and the book is on sale for £1 from the museum shop.
We don’t know as much as we would like about the people in these photographs. If you know anything about who, when and where, please email us! Also let us know any other comments you may have.
While we’re looking at mysteries, the Samuel Lucas painting Hitchin Market Place, 1840 shows a Black man giving a letter to someone. Samuel Lucas drew sketches of people from life and sometimes labelled them with a name. He did not give this man’s name. Perhaps he was so well known that the painter thought that everyone would know him. We don’t, unfortunately! Again, if you know who he is or are descended from him, please email us.
Finally, our Learning Officer Cas has put together an interactive about Black people in Victorian North Herts.