Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Museum brings Christmas past to life... for the last time?

In the spirit of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, Barnet council is proudly advertising the festive programme at the Church Farmhouse Museum in Hendon. Good, people should go - it's a lovely building with interesting exhibitions, a fine view down Greyhound Hill, and that little corner is a reminder of what Hendon and other hamlets looked like in centuries past.

What the press release doesn't tell you is that the Museum will close if the council's cuts budget goes through. So it is, possibly, for the last time that the Church Farmhouse Museum "brings Christmas past to life". What a cruel - and avoidable - irony.

Barnet council press release here. Church Farmhouse Museum website here.

Current programme (from the website):


(2 October 2010- 3 January 2011)

The Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley is arguably the oldest surviving purpose-built cinema in London. This exhibition celebrates the Phoenix’s centenary, placing it in the context of the history of cinemas in Barnet and Haringey boroughs, and using material from its own archives and from the Cinema Museum.

Children visiting the exhibition are invited to create their own ideas of what the cinema of the future might look like, either in drawings or in Lego models.

The exhibition is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Film London and the UK Film Council’s Digital Archive Fund, supported by the National Lottery.


(9 October 2010- 9 January 2011)

Church Farm is celebrating its 350th anniversary, as it was built in 1660, the year of the restoration of Charles II. This exhibition looks at the trial and brutal executions in 1660 of many of those who signed the death warrant of Charles I in 1649. This is the first time that the exhibition, which is on loan from the Cromwell Museum at Huntingdon, has been shown in London.

The Moving Toyshop

Church Farm’s continuing exhibition of 20th Century toys and games is based on the extensive private collections of Friends of the Museum Irene & Mark Cornelius and Brenda Faris. It will feature new displays of teddy bears, dolls and dolls’ houses this Summer, and there is now a Teddy Bear Trail for children to follow through the Museum’s Victorian kitchen, laundry room and dining room.

As well as toys and games for the very young to play with, the exhibition now gives an opportunity for older children to make their own models out of Lego or Lott’s Bricks. (Lott’s Bricks were made nearby in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and were one of the most popular construction toys of the 1930s.)

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