Dedicated enthusiasts created Havering’s museum. Through single minded persistence, they negotiated a wonderful space in the former Ind Coope brewery offices. After the consolidation of breweries1 the land in central Romford was sold off and Ind Coope ceased to operate. The vacant space was gifted to the museum.
This was take-off! Getting the space was one thing, using it creatively was quite another. Curating a collection attractively and retaining meaning is demanding.
The entrance to the museum is through a historic doorway. This statement of intent is immediately enjoyable. The museum is run by volunteers, opening three days a week.2 There is a token entry fee of £3 (less for OAPs). The imposing high ceilings produce a sense of space and elegance.
Free standing units are well located. Every area of Havering is acknowledged with their own displays. There are media interaction booths. The multitude of artefacts, photos, paintings, posters, historic maps, and a working historic clock embrace the visitor. Havering’s history emerged from medieval palaces and churches but was turbo-charged in the 19th century. There’s the novel insight that Havering was a tourist spot for those living in inner London.
I went to the museum by myself and a friendly, knowledgeable volunteer guided me through the collection with pride. She has every reason to be proud. It is a small, vital celebration of Havering.
There is a talk on Bedford’s Walled Garden on the 26th April 2023. On 20th May 2023 there’s a talk on The A-Z of Victorian Crime 1:30 to 3pm
1 Ind Coope, Romford – A History – Brewery History Society Wiki
2 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 11am – 4pm