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Object of the week 29 April-4 May

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online. Next month on the Thursday 22 May Local and European Parliamentary Elections will take place across the country.

Eligible Redbridge residents will exercise their right to vote at polling stations around the Borough to elect a Member of Parliament to represent them in the House of Commons and European Parliament.

Next month will also mark the 132nd birthday of Woodford resident (from 1924 to 1956) Sylvia Pankhurst. Sylvia was best known as a ‘Suffragette’ who campaigned for the right for women to be able to vote. Sylvia and other members of the group were repeatedly imprisoned for they protests.

Women finally won equal voting rights in 1928 after the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 was passed giving women the same voting rights as men.

This week our object of the week is a set of badges, kindly on loan from the Museum of London. Pieces like these were produced by the Suffragettes to help promote their campaign for women’s rights to vote.

To find out more about Sylvia Pankhurst’s visit our display A Campaigner’s Story at Redbridge Museum, or view details of our past exhibition ‘Celebrating Sylvia Pankhurst’ here

Remember If you are not registered to vote this year you have until Tuesday 6 May 2014 for the Electoral Registration Team to receive your signed and completed form.

object of the week 28 april Redbridge Museum is open Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm

Name  Badges

Associated Dates – 1900s

On loan from – Museum of London

Location– On display,  Redbridge Museum 2nd Floor, Redbridge Central Library, IG1 1EA

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Post Author:  A Deo


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Handball Secondary School Competition

On Wednesday 23 April, the second Redbridge Schools Handball Competition washeld at SportHouse, the purpose built Olympic Handball training centre in Barking & Dagenham.

Nine Schools (including three out of borough schools) attended with a total of 18 teams split across three competitions. Congratulations to all of those who took part.

Oaks Park Girls Runners Up 


Girls mixed years
1st The Palmer Catholic Academy
2nd Oaks Park High School

 Boys years 8-9
1st The Palmer Catholic Academy
2nd Wanstead High School 

Boys year 10s
1st Wanstead High School
2nd Oaks Park High School

Most Improved
Mayfield Boys

Handball sessions continue at Sporthouse on Wednesday evenings from 5pm at just £1 per session. For more details call 020 3004 4123

Post Author: Jenni Sheehan

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Object of the week 21-27 April

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

This week Redbridge will be celebrating St. George’s Day on Wednesday 23 April, with lots of fun events and activities taking place across the Borough. St. George is the patron saint of England and has been more widely celebrated in recent years.  St George is usually shown as a strong male figure wearing armour and riding a white stallion.

This week our object of the week is the original artwork for a brochure designed to celebrate Ilford becoming a Borough on 21 October 1926. It shows a figure very much like St. George although he is holding a union flag, rather than the flag of England.

For the borough celebrations, the Duke of York (who became King George VI) accompanied by his wife Elizabeth (the current Queen’s mother)  came to Ilford and presented the Royal Charter, raising the status of the then Urban District of Ilford to a Borough.

The inspiring inscription reads as ‘A Just Pride in our Yesterday….A Far-Sighted Care for our TO-MORROW…This is that by which Alone..We Live worthily our Splendid TO-DAY’.

The achievement of becoming a Borough recognised the huge growth in Ilford’s population since the 1880s, and subsequent development of Council service – parks, health, education, electricity supply, roads and trams.

Redbridge Museum is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm

Find out what is happening in Redbridge for St George’s Day
Find out more about St. George here

object of the week 22 april 

Name – Charter Day illustration

Associated Dates – 1926

Location – On display, Redbridge Museum 2nd Floor, Redbridge Central Library, IG1 1EA

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Post Author:  A Deo

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Help needed at ‘Mulching Bonanzas’!

In February 2014 The Nature Conservation Rangers, in partnership with Trees for Cities, undertook a project to plant 7,500 new trees atBroadmead Recreation Ground. With the help of hundreds of volunteers all of the trees were successfully planted! However, this was the easy part…

The next step is to spread wood chip (also known as mulch) around the base of all these trees in order to stop weeds growing – a mammoth task indeed! We are looking for volunteers to help us on these workdays – and it really is a case of ‘the more the merrier!’ We already have some ‘Mulching Bonanza’ dates scheduled for Summer:

  • Tuesday 6 May
  • Thursday 3 July
  • Thursday 17 July
  • Thursday 7 August 
  • more dates to be confirmed

blog photo

We provide all of the tools, tea and coffee, and of course lots and lots of biscuits! The events last from 10am to 2.30pm and we will meet at Broadmead Recreation Ground, the entrance on the corner of Navestock Crescent and Broadmead Road. The site is near Woodford Underground Station and free parking is available in the area.

We would also be interested in hearing from corporate groups who would like to give time to this good cause – so please spread the word!

For more information please contact the Nature Conservation Rangers on 0208 559 2316 or email

Post Author: Tess Pettinger

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Object of the week

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

This week we mark the forty day period of Lent, which comes before Easter in the Christian Calendar. Lent is marked by fasting and is a time of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter.  During Lent it is common for believers to give up a favourite food or confectionary. Our Object of the Week is something that might be given up for Lent, chocolate!

This 1920s chocolate box from makers Cadbury’s (now Cadbury) was first produced in 1927 and continued to be produced until1932. Inside it offered consumers an assortment of new chocolate centres in a well-balanced variety.

To find out more about life in the 1930s, visit Redbridge Museum’s Kitchen display.

Redbridge Museum is open Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm

Name – Cadbury’s Mayfair Chocolates

Associated Dates – 1927

Location – On display,  Hidden Museum Object’s, Redbridge Central Library, 1st  Floor, Ilford, Essex IG1 1EA Cadburys tin


Photo credit – courtesy of Cadbury Archives, Mondelēz International

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Post Author:  A Deo

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Object of the Week

At the heart of Redbridge Museum is a unique collection of over 7000 objects, oral history and film. Once a week we will be selecting one object from Redbridge Museum’s collection to share with you online.

This week, 7-13 April, we celebrate the opening week of our new display Kelvin Hughes – Land, Sea and Air. This new small display looks at the Kelvin Hughes company, who were based in Hainault from 1917 to 2012. This world-class firm makes navigational equipment, mainly for ships and aircraft.

This display looks at the history of the firm through the eyes of some of the people who worked there. It also features some of the things they made, which have been recently donated to Redbridge Museum by Kelvin Hughes.

Our object of the week is a Sextant made by Henry Hughes & Co., in the 1930s. This instrument was used to measure the angle between two visible objects. It was an important part of equipment to help seamen make accurate calculations.

To find out more, visit the display Kelvin Hughes – Land, Sea and Air from 8 April – 4 October 2014 or call 020 8708 2317.

Name – Sextant

Associated Dates 1930s

Location – On display, Redbridge Museum 2nd Floor, Redbridge Central Library, Ilford IG1 1EA

Object of the week Mar14 

Website Check out our website!

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Post Author:  A Deo

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Best selling author Adele Parks comes to Wanstead Library 

Adele Parks is a much loved author for her contemporary women’s fiction novels, selling over two million copies in the UK. However, she’s changed things up a bit with her fourteenth novel as its set in the 1920s and covers the loss, glamour, pain and passion surrounding four women during the aftermath of World War One. Having read and loved Spare Brides Raeesa Mukhtar was lucky enough to chat to Adele when she came down to Wanstead Library to talk about her latest book as part of Cityread London. 


When I arrived at Wanstead Library the seats were already filling up for Adele’s much anticipated talk. I didn’t have a chance to save myself a seat as I was taken straight through to talk to Adele, who was using her time productively by learning a bit of French on her smartphone! She was more than happy to put her language skills on pause though, so that I could ask her my burning questions.


R: So the first thing many of your fans will notice is that Spare Brides is not like your other novels, it’s set in a completely different era, the 1920s. How did you come about making that change?

A: ‘I’d written thirteen contemporary novels and they’d all been top ten best-sellers and so the temptation is to continue doing what you know you’re good at. But just like any job, you’re never at your best when you become comfortable, you’re actually at your best when you’re slightly uncomfortable. So that’s why I wanted to do something a bit different. As well as this, we were coming up to the centenary anniversary of the war and quite rightly we’re going to commemorate all the brave soldiers. However, to me the sacrifice the women made was also very significant and women’s history isn’t in the history books, its passed down through mothers telling their children about their history. So, if you haven’t married and had children, who is going to tell your story? So I felt the women of the 1920s had been silenced and I just wanted to tell their story’.


R: The way in which you tell their story is truly compelling. I think what stands out most is that each of the four women that are central to the plot, stand for a different aspect of the 1920 like the glamour and the heartbreak. How did you go about creating these friends that are also very different from one another?

A: ‘The way I work is I plan my story before I start my research so I know what I’m looking for. So I knew that the story would revolve around Lydia, the one woman who has the husband but can’t forgive him for taking a desk job, and not actually fighting. Then I thought about how she would need really supportive friends. I wanted her to have Sarah, a woman that went through the horror of losing her husband and is now struggling to take care of her family, as a sharp contrast to Lydia who cannot see how lucky she actually is to have her husband alive. Then I thought it would be quite interesting to have Beatrice – the woman who’s never seen romance because that tragedy is quite profound. Then in contrast to her, I wanted Ava, someone who really had razzed around quite a bit, and who was comfortable with that because she was financially independent and emotionally secure. So they organically formed as a contrast to one another and as genuine women that existed at that time’.


R: As you have been saying, a huge amount of research has gone into writing the book. What were the most interesting facts you discovered when you were researching the war?

A: ‘There were some extraordinary things. The more research I did through primary resources, the more I found the men and women to be more like us than we are led to believe. A lot of the facts came from letters and diaries written at the time which revealed intimate thoughts such as the feeling of being cheated. When they came back they were so damaged and I was quite surprised about the drug and alcohol abuse which no one thinks about in this period. Also the assumption that they were just frivolous party people in the 1920s when actually they were fighting to forget so they were doing a lot of drowning their sorrows and that surprised me as well’.


R: So this damaged soldier that you alluded to, is Sergeant Major Edgar Trent, describe him as a character (without giving away any spoilers!)

A: ‘He is a hero. He is really a proper hero. He is damaged and I think genuine heroes quite often are. I think he’s had to absorb so much more than we know which is also true of the modern world as well, people who do noble things have to absorb an awful lot of pain as well’.


R: Would you say Beatrice stood for a lot more than just being another character, because she didn’t really get to start a life at all before the war started and once it was over, she no longer even had the opportunity to start a family because things were so tough?

A: ‘Yes, Beatrice’s youth was literally grabbed from her and she is the Spare Bride. These women were suddenly pushed out into quite an aggressive world where they were expected to stand on their own two feet, find their own income, they had no protection. There was no gentle release, they were just shoved out there and I think Beatrice was robbed and she does represent her generation as being robbed’.


R: Are there any traces of your previous novels in Spare Brides?

A: ‘I think fans of my work would hopefully agree that over the last few years particularly, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of my own genre by introducing topics such as Alzheimer’s, adoption and all sorts of things that aren’t traditionally in commercial women’s fiction. The things I enjoy most about writing is writing about relationships and not just boy-girl relationships but relationships between friends, sisters, parents and children. So, even though this is a massive departure because its set in the 1920s, in many ways its quite similar to what I’ve done before because it is about four women who are incredibly good friends, but in incredibly testing times. Although in Spare Brides I am asking a lot more from my readers because I’m asking them to engage with a war that’s now a hundred years old but I’m also trying to get them to engage with the youth struggling to rebuild their lives afterwards’.


Time had literally flown by and the next thing I knew it was time for Adele to start her talk. Adele tested our knowledge of the war by throwing out some questions regarding the numbers of men that had been lost during the war, in order to put her novel into context. She also teased the audience by reading some extracts. This certainly sparked off the Q&A session where the intrigued audience wanted to know more about this fascinating topic that Adele has depicted so well in her book.

The murmurs of fascination and intrigue spread throughout the library with people rushing to get copies of Spare Brides immediately and having them signed by Adele was also a real treat.


Post Author: Raeesa Mukhtar