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Art Space , Then and Now

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Art Space November 2017 ‘Then and Now’   In 2007...

Borg/McEnroe – Reviewed by Jamie

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You’re probably thinking; “a biopic film about tennis, not exactly...

Museum News

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The Secret World of Wills

Friday, February 21, 2014

  Colin and Roy, our expert volunteer collection assitants in the Local History section of our off-site store, came across a fantastic group of wills, dating from the 1700’s. Here they share their insights and some odd and amusing stories from the wills. “Tucked away in the Bishops Stortford Cemetery is a store used by the Museum for storage of local history artefacts, which, due to lack of room, cannot be put on display at its main site in the Rhodes Centre. It is, therefore, perhaps appropriate that in this last resting place of many of its local citizens, the...

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Henry Moore Elephant Skull on display at Rhodes in  2006

Looking back…art at Rhodes

Monday, February 3, 2014

Previous Exhibitions Gallery at Bishop’s Stortford museum (originally called Thorleybourne Gallery, now better known as just ‘The Gallery’) has had a rich and varied program since its launch eight years ago, but there are no written, or any other record of it…Historians need, in my case, art historian, is that something worthy, should be underlined, highlighted and preserved from oblivion. Thus, a decision was made to use this cyber space and make it help us correct the wrongs! We won’t be examining but merely listing all the important exhibitions with the short brief about every one of them that we...

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18th century clock by Thomas Page of Bishop's Stortford - Photograph courtesy of Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers

A clock from times gone by

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tick tock tick tock tick tock….. Just in time for New Year …….. Things have been ticking along nicely at the museum and we are happy to introduce a fantastic new object which the museum has recently acquired: it is (drum roll please)…….an ornate bracket timepiece lantern clock made here in Stortford in the early part of the 18thcentury, by local clock maker Thomas Page.   We love this object, but very little is actually known about Mr Page. We do have another of his clocks in the collection, a long case clock and there is an almost identical clock to our new...

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In Conversation With…. Ian Gill, artist and creator of Conceptual Reality in Steel

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We talked with Ian Gill, a local artist and award winning metal sculptor, about his art and his wish to exhibit in his home town of Stortford. His free exhibition, “Conceptual Reality in Steel” is currently running at Rhodes until the 9th of December and is a true artistic feast not to be missed!   Alex: How long have you been into sculpture making? Ian: I have been producing sculpture for the last 15 years. I studied at Hereford College of art and design back around the mid-90s alongside my blacksmithing apprenticeship; this gave me a great foundation to produce the...

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Crime on the home front – WW1

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

 It is November, the time for remembrance and so it is time for an update on our WW1 project. In February we blogged about our Heritage Lottery Funded police records project, but a lot has happened since then, so we thought we should write an update. Every so often over the next few months we will blog about this project and focus on a specific angle. This month we will look at: the Herts Memories website the 2014 exhibition the oral history project Let’s start with the Herts memories website. This is being developed by Daphne Knott from HALS and a...

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'Alone together' - Copyright Michael Cook

‘Glancing around’ by Michael Cook

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We have a fantastic new exhibition of mixed media drawings in our Art Space (1st Floor at Rhodes). It is on display from 8th until 29th October and is free to visit. The artist is Michael Cook, and Deputy Curator Alex Andrijevic describes his exhibition for you here. Michael Cook has, in his own words ‘drawn and painted as long as he can remember’.  After gaining a First class honours degree in architecture and design he took a special interest in historic buildings and since leaving a prestigious architect’s practise, he has taken up graphic work full time. Michael Cook has...

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Stortford’s Famous Polo Ponies- Part 2 Sir John Barker

Monday, September 23, 2013

As discussed in a previous blog post, Sir John Barker was responsible for founding what was once the most successful and world-renowned polo pony stud in England, right here in Bishop’s Stortford. Sir John died in 1914 and is generally slightly overlooked as a character of Bishop’s Stortford history, with a lamentably thin Wikipedia entry, although his past and connections are extremely interesting. An eminent Storfordian  of the late Victorian and Edwardian era, Sir John was born in 1840, at Maidstone, Kent, the son of a carpenter and brewer.  After  an apprenticeship as a draper in Maidstone and gaining further retail experience, he...

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Gate posts from Rye Street - 2013

Stortford’s Famous Polo Ponies- Part 1

Thursday, September 5, 2013

  Have you ever wondered, as you travel north along Rye Street, after the roundabout for the swimming pool, towards the houses of Meadowlands, what story may lay behind the two substantial brick-built gate posts and the somewhat dilapidated brick wall, topped in places with iron railings? Adding to the intrigue, on the other side of the wall is a wild, unkempt meadow rolling down to the River Stort. An entry in a guide book to Bishops Stortford and District, from a donation we were processing, provided a key clue.   This was only a slim volume, dating from about...

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The museum’s new seal matrix has our “stamp” of approval- what do you think?

Monday, August 5, 2013

As part of our lunchtime lecture on Archaeology of the local area, the museum introduced one of its newest acquisitions: a fantastic medieval seal found only a short distance away in the village of Thorley.  The museum was lucky enough to acquire the seal through generous funding aide from the Hertfordshire Heritage Fund, our local NADFAS group and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, as well as sales from the museum’s book “Stortford Histories”, so many thanks to all parties involved. This seal matrix represents a rare example of a medieval object from our community, as although the local area is rich...

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Stortford stories for children

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thanks to a grant from SHARE Museums East, Bishop’s Stortford museum is about to publish a book of children’s stories. Tales from Stortford’s history have inspired Deputy Curator Aleksandra Andrijevic to write the book, which is called ‘The Sheep, The Donkey and other Stortford tales’. Using resources which include past editions of the Herts & Essex Observer, Violet Sparrow’s book ‘Yesterday’s Stortford’ and inspired by objects from the museum’s collection, Alex came up with nine short stories, titled: Steve the Brave, Here comes the Light, A curious fire, Mr Shoemaker, Festive mix-up, Mysterious muffins, A false friend, Great World traveller...

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The Stortford Match Factory

Saturday, June 1, 2013

One of our recent donations was a set of fourteen match boxes which were of particular local significance as they were all made in Bishops Stortford. The existence of a local match box factory may come as surprise to some of our newer or younger residents.  For nearly fifty years, from 1923 to 1970, match boxes were produced in a factory located at a site between the line of houses fronting onto Dane Street and the railway line.  No trace of the factory now exists as the factory was demolished and redeveloped as Red Lion Court, in the mid 1980’s. ...

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Netteswell House, before it became the museum

Celebrating the museum’s 75th birthday

Monday, May 13, 2013

This year is the museum’s 75th birthday… and we are celebrating. In 1938 war was on the horizon, jazz was playing at Carnegie Hall, off-the-brow hats and fur coats were all the rage and the Rhodes Memorial Museum first opened its doors, on 11th July. Now three quarters of a century later we are organizing a series of events at Rhodes to mark our 75th Anniversary. First up is our lunchtime lecture ‘Rhodes in portraits’. Deputy Curator and art historian Alex Andrijevic will be giving a talk on how Rhodes has been represented in visual form.  This will be held...

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