Brent Museum and Archives

Brent Museum and Archives We collect material relating to the history of Brent and its people. Come and explore our galleries on the 2nd floor of Willesden Green Library.
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Formerly Grange Museum of Community History, Brent Museum is now based in The Library at Willesden Green. The museum collection consists of thousands of objects relating to the Brent in the past and in the present. Brent Archives hold collections related to the London Borough of Brent and its residents and can help with many local history enquiries. The Archive Searchroom is open at the following times:

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 9am - 5pm
Thursdays: 1pm-8pm
Saturdays: 10am-5pm (closed for lunch from 1-2pm)

We hold the records of Brent Council and its predecessors, historical maps and street directories, electoral registers, school records, and an extensive collection of old photographs and postcards. Our local history collections include a large reference collection, and local newspapers dating back to 1870. We also collect the records of local groups and organisations; if you have records you would be interested in donating, please contact us. For our house rules regarding posts and comments please visit - https://www.brent.gov.uk/houserules

Operating as usual

Happy May Day! 💐🎉May Day is an ancient holiday that marks the halfway point between spring and summer. Festivities inclu...
01/05/2021

Happy May Day! 💐🎉

May Day is an ancient holiday that marks the halfway point between spring and summer. Festivities include dancing around a maypole, singing folk songs and madrigals, and Morris dancing as seen in this photo of students from Chamberlayne Wood Primary School.

The early May bank holiday is associated with May Day, however it was introduced by the Labour government in 1978 to mark International Workers’ Day which also falls on the 1st of the month.

Happy May Day! 💐🎉

May Day is an ancient holiday that marks the halfway point between spring and summer. Festivities include dancing around a maypole, singing folk songs and madrigals, and Morris dancing as seen in this photo of students from Chamberlayne Wood Primary School.

The early May bank holiday is associated with May Day, however it was introduced by the Labour government in 1978 to mark International Workers’ Day which also falls on the 1st of the month.

For #Archives30, we're sharing #SomethingBig from our collection.This library shelving system is filled with tiny indica...
28/04/2021

For #Archives30, we're sharing #SomethingBig from our collection.

This library shelving system is filled with tiny indicator books which each represent a book in the library! They list information including the author, title, publication date, and the list of people who have borrowed the book. People would use these to pick a book and then a librarian would swap it with the real book at the reception!

Seeing how big just the one for 'F' is, they all must have taken up a lot of space!!

See more at Explore Your Archive

For #Archives30, we're sharing #SomethingBig from our collection.

This library shelving system is filled with tiny indicator books which each represent a book in the library! They list information including the author, title, publication date, and the list of people who have borrowed the book. People would use these to pick a book and then a librarian would swap it with the real book at the reception!

Seeing how big just the one for 'F' is, they all must have taken up a lot of space!!

See more at Explore Your Archive

27 years ago, on the 27th April!Countdown to Democracy, the Anti-Apartheid Movement's (AAM) final campaign, was launched...
27/04/2021

27 years ago, on the 27th April!

Countdown to Democracy, the Anti-Apartheid Movement's (AAM) final campaign, was launched in January 1994. The first free election was to take place on 27 April 1994, and the recently freed anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was running for president with the African National Congress (ANC). The campaign called for Britains to raise money for the ANC, as well as asking them to cast symbolic votes as part of their 'votes for freedom' appeal. The ANC went on to win this election, marking the end of the racist apartheid regime. They have been in power in South Africa ever since.

The AAM was a British-based protest group founded in the 1959. Members led campaigns to raise awareness of the apartheid regime in South Africa, put pressure on the government to introduce economic sanctions, boycott South African products and events, free Nelson Mandela from prison, and more.

Image © AAM Archives Committee
Courtesy Brent Museum and Archives

#archives #antiapartheid #Apartheid #southafrica #brent #blackhistory #freedom #democracy #struggle #ANC #NelsonMandela

27 years ago, on the 27th April!

Countdown to Democracy, the Anti-Apartheid Movement's (AAM) final campaign, was launched in January 1994. The first free election was to take place on 27 April 1994, and the recently freed anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was running for president with the African National Congress (ANC). The campaign called for Britains to raise money for the ANC, as well as asking them to cast symbolic votes as part of their 'votes for freedom' appeal. The ANC went on to win this election, marking the end of the racist apartheid regime. They have been in power in South Africa ever since.

The AAM was a British-based protest group founded in the 1959. Members led campaigns to raise awareness of the apartheid regime in South Africa, put pressure on the government to introduce economic sanctions, boycott South African products and events, free Nelson Mandela from prison, and more.

Image © AAM Archives Committee
Courtesy Brent Museum and Archives

#archives #antiapartheid #Apartheid #southafrica #brent #blackhistory #freedom #democracy #struggle #ANC #NelsonMandela

Halloween, children and teacher dressed as witches, Chamberlayne Road School#Archives30 #SomethingScary #ArchiveExplored...
26/04/2021

Halloween, children and teacher dressed as witches, Chamberlayne Road School

#Archives30 #SomethingScary #ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #BlackAndWhitePhotographs #OldPhotographs #Halloween

Halloween, children and teacher dressed as witches, Chamberlayne Road School

#Archives30 #SomethingScary #ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #BlackAndWhitePhotographs #OldPhotographs #Halloween

Happy St. George’s Day! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿As well as being the patron saint of England, St. George is also the patron saint of othe...
23/04/2021

Happy St. George’s Day! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

As well as being the patron saint of England, St. George is also the patron saint of other countries including Bulgaria, Ethiopia, and of course Georgia. Brent is similarly home to a wide range of nationalities.

Did you know that Brent has a coat of arms? They were created from the arms of Wembley and Willesden and include symbols associated with England and St. George. The yellow lions come from the Wembley arms and represent John Lyons, a wealthy 16th century landowner. However, lions are also the national animal of England. The blue dragon comes from the Willesden arms and St. George is famous for slaying the mythical creature.

Happy St. George’s Day! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

As well as being the patron saint of England, St. George is also the patron saint of other countries including Bulgaria, Ethiopia, and of course Georgia. Brent is similarly home to a wide range of nationalities.

Did you know that Brent has a coat of arms? They were created from the arms of Wembley and Willesden and include symbols associated with England and St. George. The yellow lions come from the Wembley arms and represent John Lyons, a wealthy 16th century landowner. However, lions are also the national animal of England. The blue dragon comes from the Willesden arms and St. George is famous for slaying the mythical creature.

Interior, Willesden Green Library, after changes in layout, 1970s or 1980s.The area opened up by knocking the archway th...
18/04/2021

Interior, Willesden Green Library, after changes in layout, 1970s or 1980s.

The area opened up by knocking the archway through, removing most of the shelving and providing additional study space.

#Archives30 #ArchivesBuilding #ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #BlackAndWhitePhotographs #OldPhotographs #Willesden #WillesdenLibrary

Interior, Willesden Green Library, after changes in layout, 1970s or 1980s.

The area opened up by knocking the archway through, removing most of the shelving and providing additional study space.

#Archives30 #ArchivesBuilding #ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #BlackAndWhitePhotographs #OldPhotographs #Willesden #WillesdenLibrary

EVENT REMINDER! On 20 April, 11am-12pm, join us on Zoom for a chat and to share memories and stories of the buildings, o...
16/04/2021
Coffee Morning: Talking Brent’s Heritage

EVENT REMINDER! On 20 April, 11am-12pm, join us on Zoom for a chat and to share memories and stories of the buildings, open spaces, streets, shops and people that make up Brent. Look at photos and learn about different times and communities, from Irish dance halls in Cricklewood to ‘Little India’ shops on Ealing Road.

Click the link to Eventbrite for more information and to book.

Join Brent Museum and Archives to share memories and stories of the buildings, open spaces, streets, shops and people of Brent.

Ramadan Mubarak! 🌙Today is the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of spiritu...
13/04/2021

Ramadan Mubarak! 🌙

Today is the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of spiritual reflection, and Muslims devote more time to prayer and reciting the holy book, the Qur’an. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Today, this is from 4:36AM to 7:56PM.

We wish all Muslims a happy and blessed month.

Ramadan Mubarak! 🌙

Today is the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is a month of spiritual reflection, and Muslims devote more time to prayer and reciting the holy book, the Qur’an. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Today, this is from 4:36AM to 7:56PM.

We wish all Muslims a happy and blessed month.

WATCH NOW: The Lost Portrait of Mary Seacole and its Forgotten Artist. Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, advent...
13/04/2021

WATCH NOW: The Lost Portrait of Mary Seacole and its Forgotten Artist. Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, adventurer and writer who is perhaps best known for her contributions during the Crimean War (1854-6). She is celebrated as a pioneer within nursing and as a heroine of war. In this illustrated talk author Helen Rappaport Writer explains how she discovered the lost portrait of Mary Seacole in 2002, how she authenticated it with the help of the National Portrait Gallery and uncovered the life of its previously unknown artist, Albert Charles Challen. This talk accompanies the Coming Home exhibition, produced by Brent Museum and Archives in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/N_K5gV0qSvo

WATCH NOW: The Lost Portrait of Mary Seacole and its Forgotten Artist. Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, adventurer and writer who is perhaps best known for her contributions during the Crimean War (1854-6). She is celebrated as a pioneer within nursing and as a heroine of war. In this illustrated talk author Helen Rappaport Writer explains how she discovered the lost portrait of Mary Seacole in 2002, how she authenticated it with the help of the National Portrait Gallery and uncovered the life of its previously unknown artist, Albert Charles Challen. This talk accompanies the Coming Home exhibition, produced by Brent Museum and Archives in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/N_K5gV0qSvo

We're all waiting for warmer weather and this photo shows people enjoying the open air swimming pool at Willesden Sports...
12/04/2021

We're all waiting for warmer weather and this photo shows people enjoying the open air swimming pool at Willesden Sports Centre.

#Archives30 #SportsArchives #ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #BlackAndWhitePhotographs #OldPhotographs #swimmingpool #willesden

We're all waiting for warmer weather and this photo shows people enjoying the open air swimming pool at Willesden Sports Centre.

#Archives30 #SportsArchives #ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #BlackAndWhitePhotographs #OldPhotographs #swimmingpool #willesden

This tin of okra is our #ArchiveFoodAndDrink item of choice. 🍽Okra are green pods with slightly fuzzy skin and edible se...
07/04/2021

This tin of okra is our #ArchiveFoodAndDrink item of choice. 🍽

Okra are green pods with slightly fuzzy skin and edible seeds. They are also known as bhindi or lady’s fingers because of their long elegant shape.

Okra are used widely in Indian, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun cuisine. Okra seeds release a sticky liquid when chopped and cooked so the vegetable is often used to thicken soups and stews such as gumbo, the official state dish of Louisiana.

This particular tin is from Natco Foods, a popular Asian food company. It cost 26p to purchase, roughly £1.52 in today’s money.

#Archive30

This tin of okra is our #ArchiveFoodAndDrink item of choice. 🍽

Okra are green pods with slightly fuzzy skin and edible seeds. They are also known as bhindi or lady’s fingers because of their long elegant shape.

Okra are used widely in Indian, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun cuisine. Okra seeds release a sticky liquid when chopped and cooked so the vegetable is often used to thicken soups and stews such as gumbo, the official state dish of Louisiana.

This particular tin is from Natco Foods, a popular Asian food company. It cost 26p to purchase, roughly £1.52 in today’s money.

#Archive30

🚨 EVENT REMINDER! 🚨Tomorrow at 11AM, author and historian Helen Rappaport Writer will be giving an illustrated talk on h...
06/04/2021
The Lost Portrait of Mary Seacole and its Forgotten Artist

🚨 EVENT REMINDER! 🚨

Tomorrow at 11AM, author and historian Helen Rappaport Writer will be giving an illustrated talk on her discovery of the lost portrait of Mary Seacole, how she authenticated it with the help of experts at the National Portrait Gallery and uncovered the life of its unknown artist, Albert Charles Challen.

Tickets are FREE and available to book below!

https://bit.ly/39NIHgh

Discover the intriguing story behind the iconic National Portrait Gallery painting of British-Jamaican Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole.

We will be hosting a free Coffee Morning later this month! Come along for a chat and to share memories and stories of th...
05/04/2021
Coffee Morning: Talking Brent’s Heritage

We will be hosting a free Coffee Morning later this month!

Come along for a chat and to share memories and stories of the buildings, open spaces, streets, shops and people that make up Brent. Look at photos and learn about different times and communities, from Irish dance halls in Cricklewood to ‘Little India’ shops on Ealing Road.

Join us on Zoom at 11am-12pm on 20 April. Click the link to Eventbrite for more information and to book.

Join Brent Museum and Archives to share memories and stories of the buildings, open spaces, streets, shops and people of Brent.

Happy Easter! We found these adorable Easter cards on the online catalogue, 1930-1955.How’s your Easter going? Let us kn...
04/04/2021

Happy Easter! We found these adorable Easter cards on the online catalogue, 1930-1955.

How’s your Easter going? Let us know in the comments.

#ArchiveExplored #ExploreYourArchive #ArchivesOfInstagram #EasterSunday #Easter #EasterCards #OldPhotographs

Interested in fashion and art?👗🎨Join us on Zoom on 24th April, 2-4PM, for a FREE fashion illustration workshop led by Su...
03/04/2021

Interested in fashion and art?👗🎨

Join us on Zoom on 24th April, 2-4PM, for a FREE fashion illustration workshop led by Sue Dray.

Sue has over 40 years of illustration expertise. She has drawn backstage and from the front row at London and Paris Fashion Week and has illustrated for high profile clientele including Vivienne Westwood and Margaret Atwood.

By participating in the workshop, you will have the chance to win a £10 Cass Art voucher AND have your work displayed in the Fashioning Our History exhibition at Willesden Green Library, 17th May – 13th June.

For tickets and to find out more, click here: https://bit.ly/39x0Uid

Working women, 1914. This image shows the interior of the Royal Willesden Laundry on the High Road, Willesden. During th...
27/03/2021

Working women, 1914.

This image shows the interior of the Royal Willesden Laundry on the High Road, Willesden.

During the First World War, it was turned into a munitions factory as part of the war effort. In the photograph you can see that the staff are mostly women. Instead of bundles of laundry, there are crates with small packages, possibly containing ammunition. The women wear overalls and have their heads covered.

#WomensHistoryMonth #workingwomen

Working women, 1914.

This image shows the interior of the Royal Willesden Laundry on the High Road, Willesden.

During the First World War, it was turned into a munitions factory as part of the war effort. In the photograph you can see that the staff are mostly women. Instead of bundles of laundry, there are crates with small packages, possibly containing ammunition. The women wear overalls and have their heads covered.

#WomensHistoryMonth #workingwomen

16-21? Budding filmmakers in Brent, we need you! 🎬National Portrait Gallery and Brent Museum and Archives have teamed up...
24/03/2021

16-21? Budding filmmakers in Brent, we need you! 🎬

National Portrait Gallery and Brent Museum and Archives have teamed up to tell the stories of people associated with Wembley Stadium and we want you to be involved!

Deadline extended to 9th April, find out more below:

16-21? Budding filmmakers in Brent, we need you! 🎬

National Portrait Gallery and Brent Museum and Archives have teamed up to tell the stories of people associated with Wembley Stadium and we want you to be involved!

Deadline extended to 9th April, find out more below:

22/03/2021
Amy Johnson: Flying From Kingsbury

Whilst working as a secretary, Amy Johnson learnt how to fly at the London Aeroplane Club based at the Stag Lane Aerodrome on the border between Kingsbury and Barnet.

On 9th June 1929, she made her first solo flight of 5 minutes after 16 hours tuition. Less than a year later, she became the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia. This is the story of her record breaking feat.

#WomensHistoryMonth2021

Lá Fhéile Pádraig! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ☘ 🇮🇪Brent is home to the largest Irish population in the UK and the communit...
17/03/2021

Lá Fhéile Pádraig! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! ☘ 🇮🇪

Brent is home to the largest Irish population in the UK and the community has significantly shaped our area. Whilst today is normally marked with a parade in the borough, we hope that you are still able to celebrate at home.

In honour of the day, we are sharing some historic images from our collection related to the Irish community in Brent. The first image is of a dance competition. Traditional dance forms from stepdance to céilí are a recognisable part of Irish culture.

The second image is a team photo from a hurling match held in Mitcham, South London. Hurling is a traditional Gaelic sport where wooden sticks or ‘hurleys’ are used to hit a small ball, a ‘sliotar’ into a goal.

The final image shows Joe Lynch performing at the Bamba Club in Kilburn. Lynch was a famous Irish actor of his time and the Bamba was a popular spot for the community to go dancing or watch live gigs.

Celebrating #Womenshistorymonth with our NEW learning resource for children age 11-16 (and anyone else who is interested...
16/03/2021

Celebrating #Womenshistorymonth with our NEW learning resource for children age 11-16 (and anyone else who is interested!) on Mary Blake and the Suffragette movement in Brent!

Mary Blake was born on 4th October 1872. During the First World War, she supported the Suffragette movement and became secretary of the Willesden branch until the end of the war. Find it in our online resources here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eAtIvB8RUFvQEeKHzA16aeaW_4M1TJnz/view

Celebrating #Womenshistorymonth with our NEW learning resource for children age 11-16 (and anyone else who is interested!) on Mary Blake and the Suffragette movement in Brent!

Mary Blake was born on 4th October 1872. During the First World War, she supported the Suffragette movement and became secretary of the Willesden branch until the end of the war. Find it in our online resources here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eAtIvB8RUFvQEeKHzA16aeaW_4M1TJnz/view

Address

The Library At Willesden Green, 95 High Road, Willesden, London, NW10 2SF
London
NW10 2SF

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 20:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 20:00
Thursday 09:00 - 20:00
Friday 09:00 - 20:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

+442089373600

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Comments

Hello, I wondered if you can help me, I am tracing family history. My great grandma once worked in a public house in Wembley run by the Collins family. I believe she worked there 1930S-1950s. Its a long shot but is thRe any historical records of public houses in Wembley? thank you for your time.
Thank you with best wishes from me ❤️ and from Repablik North Macedonia.
Willlesden Green Library is OPEN as is the Heritage Gallery. It's a uncertain time for all us, but community is everything. The BROADWAY Conversation Cafe will still be running on March 17th and March 19th this week. Please do come along and share your thoughts and stories of the area. Tea, cofee, biscuits, clean surfaces and hand sanitzer. Our only stipulation is, please do not come if you are feeling unwell. Here are the details - we would love to see you. Thursday 19th March To book a place on our free workshop on March 19th, click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/91456241079 Tuesday 17th March To book a place on our free workshop on March 17th click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/91454018431
The BROADWAY Exhibition is open until April 4th. A photographic and immersive celebration of the often unseen community in Cricklewood and Willesden. We are also holding twoFREE Workshops on March 17 and March 19 where we would love to hear YOUR stories, past and present about living here.To book a place on our free workshop on March 17th click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/91454018431 To book a place on our free workshop on March 19th, click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/91456241079
Hello Brent! Do you have any old home movies? If so, bring them along to the free London's Home Movie Day at the Cinema Museum. Saturday 19th October, 11-4, family friendly and tea and cake available!🎬
I don't know whether you know the london garden trust book on Repton