This is the new look North Hertfordshire museum blog

Our new blog is still partly under construction and be aware that older posts may appear in a basic format. Find out more about the museum here. The ground floor is currently open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30 to 4.30; access is through the front door of Hitchin Town Hall. There may be times when the platform lift for wheelchair users is not available, so if you may need to use it, please ring ahead to check on 01462 474554 or email us.

There are free guided tours of the upstairs gallery available on Mondays at 2 pm, Fridays at 5 pm and Saturdays at 11 am.

For more info on events and exhibitions please visit our What’s On page here.

For my year 10 work experience, I decided to do my experience at North Herts Museum, in order to increase my understanding of the workplace, and the many responsibilities of a museum curator. Throughout my time here, I have done multiple things from indexing a new collection, to helping in the education department with young children, this has taught me a lot about the world of work and about myself and I am very grateful for the time I’ve spent here. Some of my favourite moments I’ve had while here include the satisfaction from making sure something is in the right place, and the research tasks that have allowed me to develop my skills in finding relevant information. Now I can say that I understand new things about the world of work, and I had an amazing time learning it, with thanks to the North Herts Museum staff.

In 1974, the Reverend Robert Tebbutt of Tilehouse Street Baptist Church made a slideshow on the history of Hitchin. His slides and recorded commentary were rediscovered in 2015 and turned into a YouTube video by Sam Hallas. Thanks to Hitchin Historical Society for sharing this, which is now itself an historical artefact, showing views of the town from almost half a century ago.

You can see the video here (you need to switch on sound).

An urban street scene in 1973, looking towards a church in the distance

The west end of Hollow Lane in 1973, with the extension to the Telephone Exchange under construction; © 1973 Robert Tebbutt

Guest post by Lucy Slater

Lucy with a swimming trophy that she cleaned

As a university student with no prior museum knowledge, completing three weeks worth of work experience at North Hertfordshire Museum has been an eye opening and incredibly fun experience. Coming in to the museum for my first day as a complete novice was nerve wracking, but everyone at the museum was helpful, kind and willing to answer my constant stream of questions. My time at the museum has consisted of undertaking a multitude of tasks, such as digitising accession records, cleaning objects of interest (from local swimming trophies to ancient axe heads), and even locating a painting needed by the museum. Each of these tasks brought to light a new aspect of the challenges of museum work and provided me with new knowledge and skills. My goal for this work experience was to learn as much as I could, and the team at the museum made sure I reached that goal.

Local History truly comes to life at the North Herts Museum. My time here gave me a fascinating glance into the world of museum work, but also into the detailed and at times incredibly personal history of the district. From impassioned correspondence between the curator of the former Hitchin football museum and the clubs he requested objects from, to the extensive, colourful, and occasionally abrasive geology collection, North Hertfordshire Museum contains some of the most interesting objects I’ve ever had the opportunity to discover.

If ever you’re in the mood to be immersed in an engaging and dynamic museum experience, or wanting a challenging and fulfilling work experience placement, I cannot recommend North Hertfordshire Museum enough.

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