Our current exhibitions

Nature in Focus: photographs of wildlife and landscapes of North Herts by Brian Sawford

18 September 2021 – 4 January 2022
Brian Sawford (1940-2020) worked for North Hertfordshire Museums from the 1960s until his retirement in 2005, during which time he took countless photographs of the varied landscapes and wildlife of the district. He was a talented photographer and well-known naturalist, serving in various roles for the Letchworth Naturalists for many years. He spent much of his long career as Senior Keeper of Natural History at the former Letchworth Museum. Brian contributed much to the natural history of Hertfordshire through his talks, guided walks and publications. These included The Butterflies of Hertfordshire, Wildflower Habitats of Hertfordshire and Wildlife of the Letchworth Area, all illustrated with his own photographs. He sadly passed away in 2020 and this exhibition has been put together by the museum together with his widow Terri and the Letchworth Naturalists in his memory. It shows many of the rare and beautiful wildflowers and endangered birds we have on our doorstep and reminds us of the rich biodiversity of the district.

From Windrush to North Herts: a new life in a new country

5 to 31 October 2021
Although Black people have been living in North Herts for centuries – there is evidence for Africans living in Roman Baldock – we too often think of immigration as a recent phenomenon. Most famously, the shortage of workers after the Second World War led to recruiting people from Caribbean islands that were then part of the British Empire.

Those who crossed the Atlantic in the 1950s and 60s found themselves in a foreign and hostile land. They often worked in the dirtiest and most poorly paid jobs, found it hard to rent homes and had to face prejudice and discrimination. Many local factories, especially in Letchworth Garden City, employed large numbers of settlers.

In 2007, Hitchin Museum collaborated with Eric Blakely and Gurdev Delay in putting together an exhibition and book, North Herts African Caribbean Roots, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Using a mixture of archive photographs – some of which form the present exhibition – personal recollections and poetry, the book is on sale in the museum shop.

See the exhibition here.

We have very little information about the people in the photographs. If you are in any of them, or know someone who is, please tell us!

This exhibition is in The Arches, part of the upstairs Terrace Gallery.

Upcoming exhibitions

Please check back regularly to see announcements about upcoming exhibitions.

Museum Talks

For more information and to book tickets click here to go to Art Tickets, have a look at the events on our Facebook page or ask at the Museum reception and we can book it for you.

Escape Rooms

Oh no! Someone has tried to steal a precious object from the museum and we need you to find it. All we know is they didn’t manage to get it out before they were caught; however, their twisted game means you and others are trapped in the museum. Solve the puzzles, find the object and escape before the hour runs out!

We aim not to scare the socks off you, just test your puzzle solving skills to the limit. Great for an evening out with friends or team building with work colleagues. Groups of up to six per session; for larger groups we will divide you across consecutive time slots.

The Escape room lasts about an hour and afterwards you will have use of our conference room for up to an hour, which includes a bottle of Prosecco and nibbles.

Cost per group (up to 6 people) is £120

For more information email Rebecca on rebecca.barkus@north-herts.gov.uk or call 01462 474562

Are you part of a local group or society?

We offer a number of bookable talks given by our expert museum staff. The talks need to be pre-booked and cost £55. Talks can be held at the Museum or at your own venue; if your venue is outside the district, we have to charge travelling expenses.

They can be for up to 40 people. The talks usually last an hour and can be daytime or evening.

It is also possible to arrange online talks using platforms such as Zoom. Please ask for further details.

For more information or to book a talk please email Rebecca Barkus.

To see a full list of available talks, please click here.