There's No Place Like Home

Elmbridge Museum looks after a collection of over 43,000 objects that tell the story of the borough throughout it’s history.

Ranging from Palaezoic fossils to Stone Age hand axes, Tudor pottery to modern art, there is something to interest everyone.

Founded in 1909 as the Museum for Weybridge, the museum’s initial remit included towns and villages which are now within the Runnymede, Woking & Spelthorne Boroughs. With a largely voluntary workforce until the 1960s, museum staff collected objects which were of interest to them at the time. As a result of these two factors, Elmbridge Museum today contains a lot of material that originated outside of the borough.

To redress this balance and re-focus the collection on the immediate area, we have been assessing objects to find out whether they meet our collecting criteria. To pass this test, objects must have a clear relevance to the geographic boundaries of the borough and to a person, place, or event of significance to the history, archaeology, natural history or geology of Elmbridge.

We have been working with other museums to transfer objects which do not represent Elmbridge. Read a case study by our Effective Collections Project Officer, Gemma, below:

7 October 2017
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Ockley Court Costume Collection

On the 10th July 2017 Elmbridge Museum successfully transferred 250 items from the costume collection to Dorking Museum.

A team of three from Dorking Museum came to the Museum Store to collect the items. Each individual item was inspected, the accession number checked, and the items repacked into special boxes to be taken to their new home.

A total of 173 items were transferred from the Ockley Court Collection. This was donated to Elmbridge Museum in 1977, though a Collections Review in 2012 established that it was not relevant to our area because the Calvert family did not live in the Borough of Elmbridge. The collection is comprised of mainly women’s and children’s wear from the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Amongst the transferred items were boys’ velvet dinner jackets, ladies’ dresses and a men’s red hunting tailcoat.

A further 77 items were transferred from the Broadwood Trust Collection to Dorking Museum. The collection belonged to Captain E.H.T. Broadwood who lived in Lyne and helped to set up Dorking Museum in the early twentieth century. Captain Broadwood kept good company and amassed a vast collection of formal eveningwear for events. The collection is mostly menswear dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Features of the collection include a pair of men’s 1930s cricket trousers and a mid-nineteenth century men’s silk waistcoat.

Dorking Museum are exceedingly pleased to receive the items and hope to be able to display some items in future.

A further 7 items will be transferred to Dorking Museum from the Ockley Court Collection and 15 items from the Broadwood Trust Collection later this year.

Some of the objects which were transferred to Dorking Museum

Black mourning bonnet Black mourning 'Queen Victoria' style bonnet in black straw on wire frame, covered with black embroidered silk around brim.

Lace shawl Edwardian shaped shawl in black lace with scalloped edge.

Satin petticoat Black satin Edwardian waist petticoat, gored. Tucked frill at hem. Fitted waistband in front.

Gemma and Clare

Dorking Museum’s Curator, Clare, (left) and Elmbridge Museum’s Effective Collections Project Officer, Gemma, (right) signing documentation for the transfer of the collections.

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Working together

Through the Effective Collections project, Elmbridge Museum has been able to collaborate with many museums and galleries throughout Surrey.

Discover Dorking Museum's collections and exhibitions Explore Surrey's many museums and galleries Learn more about Elmbridge Museum's Effective Collections project
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