Past Exhibtions

Enfield Museums Service

Past Exhibitions

An archive of some of the past exhibitions held at the Museum of Enfield in the Dugdale Centre, and in its previous venue Forty Hall.

Enfield at War: 1939-45

20 July 2019 - 26 March 2020

The Great War – the ‘war to end all wars’ – came to an end in 1918 but just over 20 years later a second world war was in progress. Once again, men from all corners of the globe were involved in conflict and everyone was affected by the turmoil it caused.

Civilians who were not in the armed forces and fighting on the various fronts but on the ‘Home Front’ were affected just as much but in different ways. Air Raids; rationing of food, clothes and fuel; changes to work patterns; evacuation and a disrupted education were just some of the ways that the lives of the residents of the three former districts of Edmonton, Enfield and Southgate were affected.

2019 was the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and the Museum of Enfield took the opportunity to put on an exhibition to show some aspects of the Borough during this period and to mark the enormous contribution that local residents made both at home and abroad.

Hidden Treasures: Revealing Broomfield House and Park

28 July 2018 - 22 April 2019

Broomfield House has a history stretching back to the 16th century, with some notable owners. Along with the surrounding park, it was bought for public use in 1903. The House sadly suffered a number of fires but key items were salvaged and stored with the aim of restoration. Many people have fond memories of this once loved building, its museum, art displays, café and baby clinic.

The exhibition explored the history of Broomfield House to the present day, bringing the house and landscape back to life through photographs, paintings and objects. It was a rare chance to see a restored section of the Baroque Lanscroon murals, and re-discover one of Enfield’s long lost treasures

The exhibition was co-organised with The Broomfield House Trust, supported by The Enfield Society.

Click here for the exhibition photo gallery.

Broomfield's Murals and Greek Myths - Blog by Konstantinos Mitropoulos , 2018 Erasmus Student at the Museum of Enfield.

Terrific Toys: Made and Played in Enfield

13 April 2017 - 15 April 2018

This exhibition celebrated the golden age of toys and games, made in Enfield by famous names such as Spears Games and Lesney Matchbox, and played with by generations of local children. Through objects, images and personal stories, the exhibition took visitors on a trip down memory lane, discovering toys from their childhood and introduced a new generation to some of the world’s best-selling toys, once manufactured in the borough.

For more information click here

The Enfield Society: 80 Years of Action

25 May 2016 - 08 January 2017

2016 marked the 80th anniversary of The Enfield Society, founded as The Enfield Preservation Society in 1936. To mark this important anniversary, the Society, in conjunction with the Museum of Enfield, hosted an exhibition looking at the rich history of the Society through objects, photograph and archive material.

The exhibition traced its major successes and achievements, explained the work of the Society, highlighted some of the current issues and outlined what the future might hold.

View the panels here: Acknowledgements Panel, Smaller Panels

Just Married: 150 years of Enfield Weddings

02 April 2015 - 10 January 2016

Weddings are dramatic and life-changing events. Though universal, wedding traditions and customs differ significantly across cultures, religions, and social class. For many, the occasion provides a unique opportunity to express and celebrate their own identities, values and beliefs. As society changes, so do our weddings.

In 2015, Enfield Museum put together an exhibition to celebrate the weddings of the people of Enfield - from the traditional to the not so traditional. This exhibition explored how society has changed over time through the changes in wedding practices. It also highlighted interesting and important weddings that took place within the borough.

View the exhibition panels here

Enfield at War: 1914-1918

28 March 2014 - 11 January 2015

In August 1914, Britain declared war with Germany. The next four years saw a conflict unlike any that had gone before it, stretching across the globe and claiming the lives of more than 29 million people. From bombing raids by German airships to wounded soldiers returning from the front, this was a dramatic and life-changing chapter in Enfield's history.

Enfield Museum put on this exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. It looked at how the war affected the residents of Enfield - both in the trenches and on the home front. It also delved into the important roles and contributions to the war effort of those living within the borough.

View the Enfield At War panelsand Small Arts Factory panelsfrom the exhibition.

Water Water Everywhere: 400 years of the New River

26 April 2013 - 05 January 2014

In September 1613, the New River was formally opened. Despite its name, it is not new and not a river, but a man-made canal that stretches from near Ware in Hertfordshire to Islington. It was built as a conduit to supply London with much-needed fresh drinking water.

Enfield Museum put on this exhibition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the New River's completion. It looked at the course of the river in the borough and at the associated bridges, aqueducts and pump houses. It also explored the problem of providing clean water, as well as the sanitary arrangements of our homes and workplaces.

View the Water Water Everywhere Exhibition panels here.

Our Sporting Life

22 June 2012 - 24 February 2013

From the Walker cricket ground of Southgate to the golf courses around Enfield Town, the tennis courts of Bounds Green and the athletic tracks of the Lee Valley, 'Our Sporting Life' explored our borough's sporting heritage through a range of historical and contemporary objects, photographs, paintings and documentation.

This exhibition looked at some of the sports, clubs, teams and individuals who have helped shape Enfield's social, cultural and environmental landscape, and how the Olympic Games have inspired Enfield's communities and athletes, past and present.

View the 'Our Sporting Life' exhibition panels for part 1 and part 2

Remembering Star Wars: a social history of cinema in Enfield

07 October 2011 - 04 May 2012

The exhibition looked at the impact of Star Wars, how the cinema experience has changed over the last 30 years and the influence that the movie has had on the merchandising of toys.

The exhibition also looked at the changing fortunes of the cinemas in Enfield, from the first films that were shown in Edmonton Town Hall in 1899 to the purpose-built cinemas of today.

Roman Enfield: from settlement to London Borough

17 March 2011 - 03 May 2011

This exhibition told the story of the Roman settlement at Bush Hill Park, including why it was established and the lives of its inhabitants. It included hundreds of artefacts that were excavated in the borough, many of which were on display for the very first time. Lastly it explored how, since Roman times, Enfield has been shaped by people and cultures from across the globe.

The exhibition was a Stories of the World project, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, led by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

View the exhibition panels here

Making Tracks: 100 years of the railway from Grange Park to Cuffley

28 April - 20 June 2010

On the 4 April 1910, without any formal ceremony, the new railway line between Grange Park and Cuffley opened. From the beginning, the route was busy with passengers and freight and continues to be a well-used commuter route into central London.

Nearly a hundred years after the line first opened, a group of local railway historians approached Enfield Museum Service and suggested that an exhibition be held in 2010 to commemorate its centenary. This exhibition was the result of that collaboration.

View the Making Tracks Exhibition Panels

Little Poland in Enfield

09 October - 21 November 2010

An exhibition to celebrate the heritage of three generations of Polish people: those who settled in Enfield after the Second World War; those who arrived in the period 1960s - 1990s; and immigrants who arrived after Poland joined the European Union (EU) in 2004.

This exhibition, which included photographs and artefacts related to the Polish community in Enfield, their history, customs and celebrations, is hosted by Enfield Museum Service and organised in conjunction with A. Mickiewicz Polish Saturday School in Enfield. It is a part of the Polish heritage project ‘Stories of Three Generations of Polish Immigrants' funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

View the exhibition panels here

Enfield and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

23 August - 28 October 2007

2007 represented the 200th anniversary of the parliamentary abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. The act outlawed the slave trade throughout the British Empire and made it illegal for British ships to be involved in the trade.

It would be nearly 30 years before slavery itself was finally abolished throughout the British Empire. The 200th anniversary gave us the opportunity to remember the millions who suffered, to pay tribute to the courage and moral convictions of all those - black and white - who campaigned for abolition, and to demand to know why today, in some parts of the world, forms of slavery still exist.

The 1807 act marked an important point in this country's development towards the nation it is today. 2007 was a unique opportunity for the people of Enfield and the United Kingdom to reflect on the wider story and the role of ordinary people as well as politicians in helping to bring an end to slavery.

View exhibition panels here

Enfield at War: 1939 - 1945

28 May - 24 July 2005

On 3 September 1939 the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced to the British nation that: 'This country is at war with Germany. May God bless us all. May he defend the right, for it is evil things that we shall be fighting against, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution; and against that I am certain that right will prevail.'' With those words the people of Britain and Enfield were at war.

This exhibition told some of the stories of the people who served in the forces or lived on the Home Front in the three former districts of Edmonton, Enfield and Southgate which, since 1965, have made up the London Borough of Enfield.