Vestry House Museum

Vestry House Museum Vestry House Museum presents the history of Waltham Forest. Attractively located in the Grade II listed Vestry House, the Museum can be found in the historic area of Walthamstow Village.

Originally built as a workhouse in 1730, Vestry House has since been a police station and a private house, before it opened as a Museum in 1931. Vestry House Museum houses Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library. It is also home to an award-winning public garden. Group visits and Schools: Vestry House Museum welcomes group bookings; guided tours can be arranged. The Museum has an active schools programme with a wealth of resources available, including activity sheets, loan boxes and object handling sessions. Please book in advance: www.walthamforest.gov.uk/vhm-schools.htm Shop Our shop offers small souvenirs, toys and games from the past and history books and maps of the area. Archives and Local Studies Library The Museum houses Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library, which offer a wide range of resources relating to the history of Waltham Forest. Our extensive printed and manuscript holdings provide key sources for many research topics. By appointment only. Photographic Collection The Museum has an outstanding collection of photographs of Waltham Forest dating back to the 1860s. The collection provides a vivid record of the changing society and local life. Venue Hire Our community Room, complete with kitchen, is available for hire at reasonable rates Tuesday- Sunday 9am-10pm and can accommodate up to 80 people.

We Are Here WF
30/07/2020

We Are Here WF

Mae & Harry discuss their memories of coming to England from Jamaica by invitation in 1963, finding work and starting a family. Warning: Contains some uncomfortable listening at the beginning @wfcouncil @VestryHouse #history #blackhistory #WalthamForest #Windrush

Eminent sculptor Frank Dobson died on 22 July 1963. In 1951 he created the London Pride sculpture for the Festival of Br...
22/07/2020

Eminent sculptor Frank Dobson died on 22 July 1963. In 1951 he created the London Pride sculpture for the Festival of Britain on London's South Bank: https://www.frankdobsonartist.com/londonpride.html

Frank Dobson was born in London in 1886 and educated at Harrow Green School, Leytonstone. We wonder if he could be one of the boys photographed during drill at Harrow Green School in 1896?

Commissioner Catherine Bramwell-Booth was born on 20 July 1883. A Salvation Army officer for many years, in 1917 she cou...
20/07/2020

Commissioner Catherine Bramwell-Booth was born on 20 July 1883. A Salvation Army officer for many years, in 1917 she courageously led a rescue team following the Silvertown munitions factory explosion in West Ham. In 1906/07 Catherine Bramwell-Booth was captain at the Salvation Army Citadel at 99a Walthamstow High Street, shown here in our image from 1982. Portrait image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Catherine_Bramwell_Booth_1920.jpg

We Are Here WF
19/07/2020

We Are Here WF

Fermonica McIntosh worked as a machinist, volunteer for the disabled and is an active member of her local church choir. She has been a Waltham Forest resident for more than 52 years. @paulasmithphoto @wfcouncil @VestryHouse #history #blackhistory #WalthamForest #Windrush

On 13 July 1816 the inhabitants of Walthamstow and Leyton resolved to abolish the practice of employing children to swee...
13/07/2020

On 13 July 1816 the inhabitants of Walthamstow and Leyton resolved to abolish the practice of employing children to sweep chimneys. This handbill publicising the resolution is from our Local Studies Library.

Frederick Bremer was born on 12 July 1872. An engineer and inventor who lived in Walthamstow, in 1892 he built the first...
12/07/2020

Frederick Bremer was born on 12 July 1872. An engineer and inventor who lived in Walthamstow, in 1892 he built the first British four-wheeled car with an internal combustion engine. The car was built in a shed at the family home in Connaught Road E17. It was offered to us (then Walthamstow Museum) in 1930 and has been displayed at Vestry House ever since the museum opened in 1933.

The car was probably first driven on the road in 1892. Fred Bremer continued to work on it for the next few years, and we believe it achieved a speed of 15-20 miles per hour.

Fred Bremer later lived at 15 Albert Road and then 27 Grosvenor Park Road, Walthamstow. He died in Dec 1941 and is buried at Walthamstow, St. Mary's.

We Are Here WF
10/07/2020

We Are Here WF

Inez Nicholson (seated) b. 22 Oct 1924. Arr. in the UK, 1957. Now aged 95, still lives in their first home in Leytonstone, bought in 1962. Here w. daughter Joan. Photo : Jo Sealy @wfcouncil @vestryhouse #history #blackhistory #WalthamForest #Windrush @Tarahwelsh @Arike_Oke

Today we remember Sir George Edwards, born on 9 July 1908 at 499 Hale End Road, Highams Park (formerly 12 The Parade). A...
09/07/2020

Today we remember Sir George Edwards, born on 9 July 1908 at 499 Hale End Road, Highams Park (formerly 12 The Parade). An internationally renowned aircraft designer, he led the technical development of Concorde, the world's first successful supersonic airliner. Plaque image by Spudgun67 https://t.co/xJN8VfsHPN

We Are Here - Artist's Talk & Reception - Image17. Free online event today Mon 22 June at 2pm. Photographing the Windrus...
22/06/2020
We Are Here - Artist's Talk & Reception - Image17

We Are Here - Artist's Talk & Reception - Image17. Free online event today Mon 22 June at 2pm. Photographing the Windrush citizens of Waltham Forest: see some behind the scenes images & film footage. Hosted by We Are Here WF & Image 17 Photography. #WiindrushDay2020 https://t.co/g9Z9IUujnF

We Are Here - Image17 - Artist's Talk - photographing the Windrush citizens of Waltham Forest (Virtual Event)

We Are Here WF
21/06/2020

We Are Here WF

Enjoy #WindrushDay #Animation #ArtistTalk , #Familyhistory w. @_YIWAE #free #history #ancestry - Tomorrow! https://weareherewf.org/family-days-events/ Booking: bit.ly/2YUiE0W - Big thanks @chillcreate for #branding & @windrushlambeth & @RhythmKitchenUK for sharing :)

We Are Here WF
17/06/2020

We Are Here WF

Now booking! As part of our #WindrushDay 22nd June celebrations, Create Your Family Tree with Selena Carty of @Blackpoppyrose @SelenaCarty #WindrushDay Book here: https://bit.ly/37Ft6NO #free #history #family #ancestry #blackhistory #genealogy @vestryhouse @wfcouncil

We Are Here - Image 17 Photography, Artist's Talk & Reception: photographing the Windrush citizens of Waltham Forest (Vi...
15/06/2020

We Are Here - Image 17 Photography, Artist's Talk & Reception: photographing the Windrush citizens of Waltham Forest (Virtual Event).

Free online event, Mon 22 June 2020 at 2pm. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/we-are-here-artists-talk-reception-image17-tickets-109285684424

Image 17 Photography photographic exhibition, capturing the Windrush citizens of Waltham Forest. At Vestry House Museum, Walthamstow from 5th March - 1st November 2020. Supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Vestry House Museum and Waltham Forest Council. Delivery partner: Eastside Community Heritage.

We Are Here WF
09/06/2020

We Are Here WF

Online: See and hear the stories of the #Windrush generation at www.weareherewf.org #blackhistory #heritage #leyton #leytonstone #chingford #walthamstow #sittinginlimbo @wfcouncil @VestryHouse @HeritageFundUK @blackhistwalker
@Tarahwelsh @EddieNestorMBE @RudolphWalkerDA Original Flava

Images from the We Are Here WF exhibition which opened at Vestry House Museum in March.
05/06/2020

Images from the We Are Here WF exhibition which opened at Vestry House Museum in March.

A small section of the exhibition is printed on silk and georgette, showing some beautiful archive images from our generous participants #history #blackhistory #reminiscence #heritage #leyton #leytonstone #chingford #walthamstow #weareherewf

We Are Here WF
05/06/2020

We Are Here WF

‘So we go everywhere you see signs, “Room for Rent” and you say, “Great.” As you go in, as you walk into the door, the sign changed, “No rooms, no rooms.”’ Hear Ronald's story: https://bit.ly/2XzcZgZ @image17_photo @vestryhouse Image: Jo Sealy

John Travers Cornwell, known as Jack Cornwell, died on 2 June 1916. He was the posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cros...
02/06/2020

John Travers Cornwell, known as Jack Cornwell, died on 2 June 1916. He was the posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross for staying at his post on HMS Chester when mortally wounded during the Battle of Jutland. Jack Cornwell was born in 1900 at Clyde Cottage, Clyde Place, Leyton and went to Farmer Road School.

In 2016 Skelton's Lane Park in Leyton was renamed Jack Cornwell Park in his memory.

Agnes Cotton died on 20 May 1899. She was born in 1828 at Wallwood House, Leytonstone, the Cotton family home until the ...
20/05/2020

Agnes Cotton died on 20 May 1899. She was born in 1828 at Wallwood House, Leytonstone, the Cotton family home until the 1870s. Our photograph shows Wallwood House in 1892.

A local social reformer and philanthropist, Agnes Cotton built the Home of the Good Shepherd (industrial home for girls) at The Pastures, Davies Lane, Leytonstone in 1879-1881.

T E Lawrence died on 19 May 1935. Author and military intelligence officer, he was British liaison officer during the Ar...
19/05/2020

T E Lawrence died on 19 May 1935. Author and military intelligence officer, he was British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt in 1916-1919. Lawrence owned land at Pole Hill, Chingford from 1919-1930, where he planned to set up a private printing press with Vyvyan Richards, then a teacher at Bancroft's School. Our photo shows Cloisters, the hut where Lawrence stayed when visiting Pole Hill. Cloisters was built in 1921 for Richards, but was demolished in 1930 and later re-erected at The Warren, Loughton.

Gulielma Lister died on 18 May 1949. An eminent mycologist and naturalist, she lived all her life at Sycamore House, 871...
18/05/2020

Gulielma Lister died on 18 May 1949. An eminent mycologist and naturalist, she lived all her life at Sycamore House, 871 High Road, Leytonstone. She was a world expert on mycetozoa (slime moulds) and her many years of international research included frequent field trips to Epping Forest.

Gulielma Lister was a founding member (and subsequently president) of the British Mycological Society, and also the first woman president of the Essex Field Club in 1916. She was an accomplished artist, and many of her detailed watercolours of specimens are held by the Natural History Museum.

Our photo from 1911 shows High Road Leytonstone as it was in Gulielma Lister's lifetime. The second photo shows Gulielma at home c1930,, image credit: https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/xjf696546eng/gulielma-lister-at-her-home-sycamore-house-leytonstone-c1930-xjf696546-eng/#.WqEcn_ynwXM

15/05/2020
We Are Here WF

The exhibition We Are Here opened at Vestry House Museum in March. While we are closed you can enjoy a virtual visit thanks to this wonderful taster tour by We Are Here WF: https://weareherewf.org/gallery/taster-tour/

Take a taster view of the #weareherewf exhibition and enjoy some of the music too! View here: https://weareherewf.org/exhibition-gallery/
@heritagefunduk @wfcouncil #history #blackhistory #sixties #music #photography #walthamforest #leyton #leytonstone #chingford #highamspark

Friday Hill House, Chingford, the home of Robert Boothby Heathcote who was born on 13 May 1805. Rector of Chingford from...
13/05/2020

Friday Hill House, Chingford, the home of Robert Boothby Heathcote who was born on 13 May 1805. Rector of Chingford from 1829, he was influential in parish developments in the 19th century. He commissioned the building of St Peter and St Paul's church in 1844, Chingford Infants’ School in 1856-57 and Friday Hill House in 1839.

Ian Dury was born on 12 May 1942. Initially an art lecturer, he turned to a career in music, becoming a hugely successfu...
12/05/2020

Ian Dury was born on 12 May 1942. Initially an art lecturer, he turned to a career in music, becoming a hugely successful punk singer songwriter with his band The Blockheads. His biggest hit was 'Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick', number one in Jan 1979. Our photo shows South West Essex Technical College c1960, when Dury studied there at Walthamstow School of Art.

Ian Dury is remembered on the heritage plaque at this location, now Waltham Forest College. Plaque image by Spudgun67, full credit here: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peter_Blake_Ian_Drury_Peter_Greenaway_Ken_Russell_(Waltham_Forest_Heritage).jpg#

William Gordon Stables died on 10 May 1910. Beginning his career as a Royal Navy surgeon, he later became a prolific aut...
10/05/2020

William Gordon Stables died on 10 May 1910. Beginning his career as a Royal Navy surgeon, he later became a prolific author of boys' adventure fiction. He was an early pioneer of caravanning, and his caravan The Wanderer was a celebrated sight in Chingford when he camped near the Royal Forest Hotel in the late 1880s.

The first image is our photo of the Royal Forest Hotel, circa 1890s. The second photo shows The Wanderer with Stables in highland dress on the right, image credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Gordon_Stables.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

This short film clip shows The Wanderer, newly restored by the Caravan Club, at Buckingham Palace for the Club centenary in 2007: https://youtu.be/QAcGh6_OPsg

Marsh Street, Walthamstow (now High Street) viewed from Hoe Street in the 1870s. Walthamstow Hall school for the daughte...
06/05/2020

Marsh Street, Walthamstow (now High Street) viewed from Hoe Street in the 1870s. Walthamstow Hall school for the daughters of missionaries was located in Marsh Street until 1882. One of the earliest independent schools for girls, it was co-founded in 1838 by Dorothea Foulger who died #OTD 6 May 1852.

Dorothea and her husband John Foulger had moved to Walthamstow in 1833, and soon became active members of Marsh Street New Meeting, the local Congregational church. The church was strongly committed to missionary work and the Foulgers offered an open house for Christian missionaries of any denomination. Becoming aware of the need for a school for missionaries' daughters, Dorothea Foulger enabled its foundation in Marsh Street supported by subscription.

The first pupils were five small girls, but the school rapidly grew in both size and reputation. Pupils were taught reading, writing, accounts, English language, history, geography, and Latin. Languages were deemed important as many pupils were expected to enter missionary service in later years. By the 1870s the school had outgrown its Marsh Street premises and in 1882 it moved to Sevenoaks, Kent.

Looking for VE Day home-schooling activities for this week? Take a look at our new virtual exhibition ‘Victory in the St...
05/05/2020
Victory in the Streets: How Waltham Forest Celebrated VE Day | Vestry House Museum

Looking for VE Day home-schooling activities for this week?

Take a look at our new virtual exhibition ‘Victory in the Streets’ and have a go at:
• reading our family friendly VE Day & World War 2 fact sheet
• testing your knowledge with our quiz
• listening to VE Day tribute poems
• making your own paper bunting

All resources can be found here: https://bit.ly/VEDayVHM

#AllTogetherNowWF #VEDAY75 #MuseumFromHome

Following Nazi Germany signing the act of military surrender in Berlin on 8 May 1945, celebrations erupted throughout Europe and North America. In the United Kingdom, over a million people took to the streets to celebrate the end of almost six years of total war. Street parties were held in every co...

As we prepare to mark 75 years since VE Day, we've launched 'Victory in the Streets', a virtual exhibition revealing how...
04/05/2020

As we prepare to mark 75 years since VE Day, we've launched 'Victory in the Streets', a virtual exhibition revealing how Waltham Forest celebrated the end of war in Europe: https://vestryhousemuseum.org.uk/victory-in-the-streets-how-waltham-forest-celebrated-ve-day/

This image shows Sidmouth Road in Leyton, where on Wednesday 9 October 1940 a high explosive bomb fell and destroyed or damaged many of the houses. Over a million houses were destroyed during the Blitz bombing campaign and more than 40,000 civilians were killed. When Nazi Germany surrendered, street parties were held across the country and the residents of Sidmouth Road can be seen here smiling and celebrating in front of the road’s bomb-damaged houses.

Our photograph of the William Girling Reservoir near Chingford marks the anniversary of the birth of civil engineer Sir ...
01/05/2020

Our photograph of the William Girling Reservoir near Chingford marks the anniversary of the birth of civil engineer Sir Robert Wynne-Edwards on 1 May 1897. Wynne-Edwards was employed by John Mowlem and Co to build the William Girling Reservoir for the Metropolitan Water Board in 1935. His recommendation for the removal of a layer of soft clay was overruled, and part of the reservoir's embankment later collapsed in 1937. The British Research Station report vindicated Wynne-Edwards' construction plan, leading to a redesign in 1938 incorporating his original recommendation. The case attracted publicity and helped to establish the new science of soil mechanics in Britain.

On #InternationalDanceDay we remember former Leytonstone resident Christopher Gable (1940-1998), principal dancer with t...
29/04/2020

On #InternationalDanceDay we remember former Leytonstone resident Christopher Gable (1940-1998), principal dancer with the Royal Ballet from 1961-1967. In 1965 the role of Romeo in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's 'Romeo and Juliet' was created on him. Gable co-founded Central School of Ballet in 1982, and was Artistic Director of Northern Ballet Theatre (now Northern Ballet) from 1987-1998.

This 1963 British Pathé film shows Christopher Gable at home in Leytonstone with his wife and fellow Royal Ballet dancer Carole Needham: https://t.co/mOXAeY999P

This newscutting from our Local Studies Library is from the Daily Mail, 24 April 1964.

Edward Newman was born on 27 April 1918 at 9 Coleridge Road, Walthamstow. An eminent computer engineer, Newman co-develo...
27/04/2020

Edward Newman was born on 27 April 1918 at 9 Coleridge Road, Walthamstow. An eminent computer engineer, Newman co-developed the Pilot ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) in 1950 and later led research in pattern recognition. This Ordnance Survey map section shows Coleridge Road in the early 20th century.

We are indebted to Kirstin Sibley for her extensive research on Edward Newman's work and local connections. The Invisible Numbers exhibition for the E17 Art Trail in 2017 featured the display 'E A Newman and Pilot ACE: Turing’s Legacy', created by Kirstin Sibley with illustrator Andrew Baker and technical adviser Oliver W Duke-Williams. In this blog post Oliver W Duke-Williams describes the significance of the Pilot ACE in early computing: https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/dh/2017/06/13/invisible-numbers-ted-newman-and-the-pilot-ace/ The exhibition's Pilot ACE newspaper is held in our Local Studies Library.

ASEA Electric, Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow in the 1940s when Peggy Knight worked there as a shorthand typist. Peggy Knig...
19/04/2020

ASEA Electric, Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow in the 1940s when Peggy Knight worked there as a shorthand typist. Peggy Knight was recruited to the Special Operations Executive in World War Two, and parachuted into France in May 1944. For her courageous service she was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1947. Today is the centenary of her birth on 19 April 1920. Thanks to Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society for this account of Peggy's life and local connections:
http://www.leytonhistorysociety.org.uk/peggy_knight_1.html
Peggy's photograph appears in this feature:
https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/579480.from-the-typewriter-to-blazing-sten-gun/

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Comments

I have just noticed the madhatter event is sold out. I was planning to take my 3 years old with his little Peter rabbit costume along with my friend. I am gutted is sold out. Is there any waiting list or anyway to get an extra ticket? I would feel so bad my little boy misses out on this, he would love it so much!
Can you help? Do you know anyone who has/had a corner shop or worked at one in East London? As part of a heritage project for The National Trust we would like to arrange oral history interviews and collect photographs to capture the story of migration and the importance of the corner shop in the community. These will be archived with The British Library. The types of shops included will be newsagents, general stores, post offices and grocery shops in East London. If you know someone who can take part then please DM me or comment below.
There was recently a very interesting post by members of the group walthamstow memories. There are so many photographs of couples married at st Mary’s church. If this has not been done before it’s a wonderful idea for a future exhibition
Thank you for hosting a Honey Pot Theatre Company. Knitting Bee seemed to go down a storm and we had a great time too.
I remember going to local history talks at the Vestry House in the late 70s given by Mr Tonkin.
CGS were working in Shernhall Street today and were amazed to uncover this little beauty. Our clients have lived here since 1952 and had no idea the boiler was there. Amazing find indeed. Tel: 07816 504 352
Vestry House Museum aparfrom the santa thing, do you have to pay for the other christmas stuff such as the performances. or is it free to get in.
We had an awesome time visiting the wonderful Vestry House. Thank you to our local residents and Councillor Berberi for sharing your time with me.
Please look at the comments I’ve posted about the film nights! Can someone get back to me please?
My grandfather was a h simpkins who had the mineral water factory in the 1930’s. I believe my uncle donated labels etc which I believe are in your archives. It is not easy for me to get to London is there any way of photographs being taken for me and I’m happy to pay. Thank you
Hi there. Who do i contact re private hire of the space please? Many thanks.
My suggestion for personalising the old bike in the exhibition.