Uneathing Havering: Beyond the museum

By adam corsini on 6 Dec 2013

Havering's History UncoveredHavering locals hold a piece of history in their handsVisitors learn about Havering's history from Adam CorsiniHavering's history is uncovered in the local shopping centre!

Quite some time ago, a visitor to the 1851 Great exhibition in Hyde Park bought a souvenir tobacco pipe, smoked it and headed east out of London where they threw it away. A long time ago, a Roman Londoner heading to Colchester stopped off along the way somewhere near Romford. An exceptionally long time ago, a group of people followed the migrating wildlife to what would become the north eastern section of the Thames, knapped some flint and set up camp. This past month, the Museum of London has followed suit and I’ve been popping up in East London too, bringing back the past to the people of Havering.

We’ve been to a shopping and leisure centre (The Brewery), a theatre (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch) and a supermarket (Tesco Extra); places you probably wouldn’t be expecting to come across 150 year old toothbrushes and tobacco pipes, 1800 year old pestle and mortars and 40,000 year old flint handaxes. But over 2500 people have.

And this is what they’ve had to say:

‘Really good to see the museum coming to our bit of the world’ Tesco Extra visitor
‘You’re like the matinee before the matinee – how wonderful’ Queen’s Theatre visitor

And it’s not just a show and tell activity we’ve had going on; hundreds of bags of roman pottery from Havering have been resting in our archaeological archive in need of some care and attention. Visitors to our events have had the opportunity to get involved, learning from our Archaeology Ambassadors how to improve the way their local history is stored.

‘I feel like I’m part of the museum now’ Brewery visitor
‘I liked making the objects look better by putting them in the new bags. Using a stapler made me feel like I was working in an office’ young visitor to our events

Our time is nearly over in Havering, however there is one more chance to be involved. Join us as we celebrate Havering’s history on Sat 7 Dec, 10.00 – 16.00 for a FREE day of activities at Romford’s Havering Museum.

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