Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Please note that due to the current COVID-19 situation all museum events are postponed until further notice.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update this page in line with Public Health Recommendations. Thank you for your understanding at this time.
Elmbridge Museum runs Museum Explorers, a club for enthusiastic young historians aged 5-13 and their families. Our workshops use an exciting mix of games, object handling activities and arts and crafts to explore the fascinating history of the local area, from prehistoric Elmbridge to the borough's Tudor past.
Parents and carers take part in the workshop with their children and can get involved in special events, such as a visit from our Exhibitions and Interpretation Officer to provide unique insights into what goes on behind the scenes at the museum!
To find out what events we have planned and to book please visit our Family Fun page.
We are expanding our temporary display programme as we continue to take our collection out into the community.
We currently have five temporary exhibitions around the Borough:
Scroll down for further details.
We are running a number of short public talks alongside our exhibitions. These free talks expand upon the process of creating the exhibition and shed further light on each topic, with the added opportunity for questions.
***Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions all museum talks are currently being held online. See below for details. ***
PROJECTS & Collaborations
Alongside our physical displays, Elmbridge Museum works closely with community partners to produce online material and projects for varied audiences.
Our current projects are:
Scroll to the bottom of the page for further details.
THE WRENS OF OXSHOTT
Heath Road, Weybridge KT13 8TT
'The Wrens of Oxshott’ exhibition looks at the works of two generations of potters who lived and worked in Oxshott: Denise Wren and her daughter, Rosemary. The display explores the production of the Wrens’ ceramics and the finished products, touching also on family life.
Founded in 1920 by Denise and Henry Wren, the Oxshott Pottery became one of the most celebrated potteries in England, with pieces produced there now on display in the V&A and other national museums.
View the online exhibition, or see the Brooklands College website for opening times.
ELMBRIDGE AT WAR: THE BLITZ IN OUR BOROUGH
High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD
January 2020 - February 2021
What makes Elmbridge's position in the Blitz's history books so unique? The story is riddled with contrasts and contradictions. Some parts of Elmbridge escaped relatively unscathed and others were subject to heavy shelling.
In this exhibition, discover the locals who showed remarkable resilience whilst facing attack in their streets, shops and homes. From the members of the Women's Land Army in Cobham to the workers at the Vickers-Armstrong factory in Brooklands - all played their part in our Borough's own Blitz experience. Their vital roles are revealed in a narrative which begins before the air raids started and ends with the final all-clear.
View the online exhibition, or see the Civic Centre website for opening times.
LOOK BACK IN ANGER
Cedar Road, Cobham, KT11 2AE
March 2020 - May 2021
Protest has brought about vital change for centuries.
But why did the defiant Diggers take up their pitch forks and occupy St. George's Hill? Who were the rebellious female Suffragettes who set fire to Hurst Park racecourse? What pushed Thames Ditton residents to war in the 1960s in the 'Battle of Ditton'? And how have local protests been mocked and mimicked in popular culture since the turn of the 20th Century?
In this exhibition - part of our 'Diggers of Elmbridge' project - you will gain a glimpse into the root causes of a variety of local campaigns, and examine the war of words and defiant deeds of activists across the ages.
View the online exhibition, or see the Cobham Library website for opening times.
OBjects of Empire
54 The Heart, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1GH
September 2020 - August 2021
The British Empire presents a challenging, contentious history. Local history, especially, might seem worlds away from the colonial landscape, giving many museums no incentive to delve deeper into the topic and uncover stories which are now hidden all around us.
In this exhibition, we have taken 20 objects from our collection of over 40,000, using the research and commentary of expert historians to look at them from a new perspective – through the lens of the history of the British Empire. Why not give Walton Library a visit, and discover the forgotten connections between the vast Empire and our historic thoughts, homes and local landscapes?
View the online exhibition, or see the Walton Library website for opening times.
A DAY AT THE RACES
Mercer Close, Thames Ditton, Surrey , KT7 0BS
October 2020 - May 2021
The historic sport of horseracing not only holds a unique place in British culture, but in the story of Elmbridge in particular. Since the opening of Sandown and Hurst Park in 1875 and 1890 respectively, this great British pastime has been at the heart of Elmbridge's identity.
In this exhibition, we reveal the ups and downs in the stories of Sandown and Hurst Park, from their beginnings at the Starting Line, overcoming challenging Hurdles, and through to the Home Straight and Finishing Line in the modern day.
View the online exhibition, or see the Dittons Library website for opening times.
COMING SOON: HISTORIC HIGH STREETS
High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD
March - September 2021
Our Elmbridge High Streets have been a hub of diverse community life for centuries, each witnessing a huge amount of history. Now, we need your help to uncover it!
Our latest exhibition will look at the changing identities of high streets across the borough, as well as the people who have influenced them. By gathering a variety of contributions from our local community, we’ll look at both ‘then’ and ‘now’, tracking the evolution of the high street from the 50s, 60s and 70s right up to the present day.
If you have memories, personal photographs, videos, or even objects which relate to the distant or more recent history of any Elmbridge High Street, then we'd love to hear from you. Your contribution will help to curate the online exhibition, and could even end up going on display!
Read our handy contribution guide for more information on this community project.
Stuck for ideas? You could also fill out our My Memories form which includes some useful prompts and questions. Simply send it to us via the contact details below!
For more information on how you can take part:
- Call us on 01372 474 568
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for submissions: 21st January 2021.
By sending us your contributions you agree to them being reproduced anonymously as part of Elmbridge Museum’s Historic High Streets exhibition at the Civic Centre, and in the accompanying online exhibition and media.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions all museum talks are currently being held online via Zoom. Talks are free but booking is essential.
Head over to each online exhibitions page to find past Curator's Talks.
NEW TALKS PROGRAMME COMING SOON
Including exhibition talks, guest speakers, behind-the-scenes sessions and booking information.
PROJECTS & COLLABORATIONS
V.E DAY WITH ST CHARLES BORROMEO SCHOOL
Online exhibition featuring student artwork
With St Charles Borromeo Catholic Primary School & Nursery, Weybridge
8th May 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, a day which saw the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War in Europe. The challenges and restrictions presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the closure of schools across Britain, meant that celebrations shaped up to look a little different than originially planned. Large street parties had to be cancelled, replaced by 'stay at home' sing-alongs, and school workshops put on hold in favour of online learning.
The students of St Charles Borromeo school in Weybridge, however, didn't let the lockdown get in their way. With the help of our Learning and Exhibitions Officers, they produced their own incredible online exhibition from home. Comprised of a dazzling array of artwork, poetry, stories, diary entries, factual pieces and much more, this exhibition explores responses to six Second World War artifacts in Elmbridge Museum's collection. The exhibition was completed by children from all year groups and ages, and has some added commentary from our Museum team.
Explore the brilliant hand-made exhibition here.
COMING SOON: THE DIGGERS OF ELMBRIDGE
Online exhibition and video trail
With Royal Holloway University of London's Citizens Project
In 1649, a small group of men and women dug the strip of common land that was - and still is - called St. George's Hill. They were spurred on by the words of their leader, Gerrard Winstanley, who preached that all men had and equal right to use land. Yet, the Diggers' full story is one which is tied up in the turmoil, controversy and bloodshed of the English Civil War. It was played out across our entire Borough and had an international impact.
In partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London, and the Citizens Project, Elmbridge Museum has redeveloped the former Surrey Diggers Trail. The long struggle faced by Winstanley and his followers from start to finish has been brought to life for families and schools on our website, using:
View the complete Elmbridge Diggers trail here.
COMING SOON: NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US
Oral history and portrait exhibition
With It's Not Your Birthday But (INYBB)
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the phrases "socially isolated", "hard to reach" and "most vulnerable" are often applied to groups of people who remain nameless, faceless and unheard. This project is all about creating a space for the stories and recent experiences of people who are often talked about but not listened to on their own terms.
With the support of the Community Foundation for Surrey and the National Lottery Community Fund, 20 people in the community who have been socially isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic will be offered a free portrait by a professional artist, as well as the chance to be recorded speaking about the last six months or their life in general. These oral history interviews are being conducted by a team of volunteers, and will sit alongside the portraits to offer some insight into local lives that we have not yet heard about.
In 2021, a physical and online exhibition will showcase the finished portraits and oral histories side-by-side. The oral histories will later be stored in Elmbridge Museum's growing collection as a permanent record for future generations.