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In The Company Of Finchcocks - Chamber Organ Masterclass with Stephen Farr

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to take part in a Chamber Organ Masterclass with the widely esteemed Stephen Farr.

  • View of Organ , English chamber organ (c.1800, possibly by Joseph Beloudy)
    English chamber organ (c.1800, possibly by Joseph Beloudy)

We would like to invite up to six organists and early keyboard musicians to apply for the Chamber Organ Masterclass at the Horniman on Thursday 12 September 2019, 2pm-5pm.

Stephen Farr will focus on historically informed performance practice and will guide players through appropriate techniques and interpretation using their chosen repertoire. All players will receive tuition on the Finchcocks English chamber organ (c.1800, possibly by Joseph Beloudy) now restored to playing condition. It retains its original pedal-bellows.

Prospective players are encouraged to apply early, as places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Auditors (most suitable for ages 12 and over) are also welcome and may attend free any time during the afternoon.

If you wish to play in the Masterclass please complete a Player Application Form and return it to Beatrice Booker: bbooker@horniman.ac.uk.

Once your place is offered, you will be required to secure it within two working days by paying the £20 registration fee. After two days, non-secured places will be offered to the next applicant. Full payment details will be provided on receipt of the application form.

Please note:

  • Permission to play the organ is at the sole discretion of the Horniman.
  • Practice time can be allocated on request.
  • The full specification for the instrument is available.

  • full length view of organ. , English chamber organ (c.1800, possibly by Joseph Beloudy)
    English chamber organ (c.1800, possibly by Joseph Beloudy)

About Stephen Farr

Stephen Farr’s performing career has taken him throughout Europe, North and South America, and to Australia. He has held appointments at Christ Church, Oxford, and Winchester and Guildford Cathedrals before pursuing a freelance career as a soloist and continuo player.

Farr’s extensive solo discography encompasses music from the 16th to the 21st century and he has played with many of the world’s leading ensembles, and appeared in major venues. His numerous appearances at the BBC Proms include a solo recital in the 2011 season and a concerto in the 2015 season.

Farr is the Director of Music at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge, and teaches organ at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  He was Organ Scholar of Clare College, Cambridge, obtaining a double first in Music and an MPhil in Musicology; he also completed a PhD on the organ and harpsichord works of Judith Bingham.

Sponsors

The Windrush Generations: Experiences of passing

2019 is the first year that the nation celebrates Windrush day as an officially recognised anniversary, so we spoke with Caribbean elders and heard their experiences.

Rachael Minott, Horniman’s Curator of Anthropology (Social Practice), with the help of Shasti Lowton, created a series of events where multiple generations of Caribbeans could gather and share food, stories and advice. 

Here, the group discuss how different generations respond to the passing of their loved ones.

Norman:

I didn't know my great grandfather, neither from madda nor fadda, but my mother grandfather, he was a lovely man and he was very old. I remember when he was ill they said he was shraveling.

We went to see him, and then we went to church. When we came back from church they said he died. I could remember all of us went into the bed with him! And jump up in the bed and stay in the bed with him a long time with him, because he was really a lovely man, he was old and peaceful.

Catherine:

In our current Caribbean society, you wouldn't see many people get into bed with somebody who’s passed. That's because you had such closeness, I think we are missing those close relationships with our family members so you wouldn't dream of doing that.

But also again, society views death differently, English society, and we pick that up unfortunately, and so they are there and we are here. Before, you would spend time hugging them until they went cold.

Lyn:

The way you brought me up, I know that when someone passes you wash the body, you sit with the body, and you talk to the body. It’s normal.

But if I say that to a friend of mine - even Caribbean friends, or those of Caribbean decent - would look at me strangely. They don't really wash the body, their older relatives would but the younger ones of my generation and younger wouldn't think of doing that.

Rather than saying the kids don't do it, well the kids won’t do it if they don’t know how to do it, unless they have been taught.

That's the thing about tradition, heritage and all that stuff -you have to pass it on.

If you don't pass it on, if you don't do it around people, people never pick it up. You have to teach.

Let’s Beat Plastic Pollution

As an organisation, we strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible. From improving energy efficiency inside to recycling and composting outside.

In light of our current #BeatPlasticPollution pop-up display in the Aquarium, we are looking at the effects plastic is having on the world’s oceans, marine life and us.

Did you know?

  • Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are bought every minute.
  • 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. 
  • Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away.
  • Plastic rubbish on our streets is washed into storm drains, to the sea polluting our oceans.
  • A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world-around the size of 500 jumbo jets.
  • Most plastic in the ocean breaks up into tiny particles, which are then swallowed by fish.

  • Fishtank and fact, Horniman Museum and Gardens
    , Horniman Museum and Gardens

  • If current trends continue, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050!
  • By 2050, 99% of seabirds could have ingested plastic. Wild seabirds have started laying eggs that contain substances and chemicals found in plastic.
  • Animals get tangled in plastic rubbish like six-pack rings and old fishing nets.

  • Fish and fact 3 , Horniman Museum and Gardens
    , Horniman Museum and Gardens

  • Clownfish and plastic, Horniman Museum and Gardens
    , Horniman Museum and Gardens

  • Whales entangled in derelict fishing gear can endure a slow death - the 'ghost nets' that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen, are often nearly invisible in the dim light, so hard to avoid.
  • Right now, there are microplastics inside your body, in the food you just ate and the air you’re breathing. It is still unknown to scientists what effect this may have on our bodies.
  • Coral reefs are smothered in plastic bags and litter destroying this important habitat. See what pioneering work our Aquarists with international partners are doing to help restore our coral reefs in Project Coral.

  • Fish and fact 2, Horniman Museum and Gardens
    , Horniman Museum and Gardens

It may feel like one person can’t do much, but by not taking that plastic bag at the supermarket or by using the cafe coffee cup on your morning order you are helping to make a big difference to our environment for our future to come.

Things we can do to help

  • Support local and national organisations – like us – who are taking action against plastic pollution.
  • Ask your local restaurant to stop using plastic straws, bamboo, paper and metal are the smarter alternatives. The Horniman Café refills water bottles, stocks canned water and uses plant-based packaging.
  • Bring your own coffee mug or travel mug to work.
  • Choose reusable products that are designed to be durable, repairable, reusable, refillable or upgradable.
  • Recycle - Separate your waste and turn metals, paper, glass, plastic and bio-waste into valuable resources.
  • Take part in a beach, park or street clean up. Get involved: there are probably clean-up efforts happening near you. If not, start one! Think creatively—the possibilities are endless!
  • Do not flush litter down the drain, much of it ends up in the ocean.
  • Helping to create cleaner streets, parks, forests, and beaches is a positive benefit for people and wildlife.
  • Spark a conversation about zero-waste living on social media.
  • Upgrade your apps! Find water-drinking stations using the Refill app or swap and find unwanted items on the Freecycle app on iOS and Android.

 

  • Reusable bottles and travel mugs in gift shop., Horniman Museum and Gardens
    , Horniman Museum and Gardens

  • Why not use reusable carry bags, totes or basket instead or the single-use plastic bag.
  • When you are out and about a reusable drinking bottle is long-lasting, refillable and so much more stylish. Our Gift Shop stocks a selection of reusable bottles, cups and tote bags.

 


Find out how we are working to become a more environmentally friendly organisation on our sustainability page.  Our #BeatPlasticPollution pop-up display is in the Aquarium until Thursday 1 August 2019.

The Windrush Generation: Teaching the Other Generations

2019 will be the first year that the nation celebrates Windrush day as an officially recognised anniversary, so we took this opportunity to talk with Caribbean elders and hear their experiences.

Rachael Minott, Horniman’s Curator of Anthropology (Social Practice), with the help of Shasti Lowton, created a series of events where multiple generations of Caribbeans could gather and share food, stories and advice. 

Here, the group discussed what they wish they could teach the generations.

Vanes Creavalle

I think maybe the power of accepting change.

Because it’s really hard to accept change, especially when you’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot of things, and I feel like you need to be more accepting of change in that there are different people. 

We have a really multicultural society but we seem very sheltered and isolated within our communities, which in some cases is good cos its nice we can develop our cultures and traditions, but in other senses, it's limiting what we can do.

Like saying, because I’m Caribbean I’m only going to have with Caribbean people, it stops us from making a much greater impact.

I think to have the diversity in that, telling your story to Caribbean people, but telling your story to others is important because there can be a mutual understanding. And I feel like until we have that understanding we are not really going to go anywhere.

Because you can always say, 'this is my story, this is my story'. And you can tell your family that story, but apart from that, where is your story going?

I don't think there is any further conversation.

  • Windrush: Howard, Vanes and Catherine laughing together, Howard, Vanes and Catherine laughing together
    Howard, Vanes and Catherine laughing together

So I think there needs to be more acceptance of change, as well as more conversations with not just your family, or the people in your race, or people you talk to normally - but more open conversation with everybody so we can come together and share what we have.

And then when we share we can create something much better in the future.

Catherine Ross

My granddaughter is eight going on eighty - she knows everything.

She’ll come up to me and say - cause she thinks I know nothing, I’m only her Grandma - she’ll say, 'I bet you don't know' or 'Did you know?' And I’m like, I’ve been here sixty-odd years, I think I will know a few things!

But you have to put on these things and be like, 'Really? And what happens next...' cause I’m pushing her with follow questions to see how much she does know, so then I can give my input.

She always feels like she has to teach me when I come visit, something she feels I won’t know. And I feel like that is really, really good.

But there are things that she does know that I’m sure I didn’t know until I was fifteen! You know what I mean, so I think the younger generation know a lot more than we ever did, and I certainly knew more than my dad.

  • Catherine Ross, Catherine Ross
    Catherine Ross

But only because they came from the Caribbean to here, and you know I grew up here, so I felt I knew everything and now my granddaughter is doing it to me, she knows more than I do.

I think it’s nice each generation can help the next.

Howard Richards

That's the goal though, you raise a child, the child learns you, then they go out and learn the world - and then they come back and teach you. Simple.

So the child becomes stronger. 

  • Windrush - Howard Richards, Howard Richards
    Howard Richards

The Windrush Generation: Memories of Family

2019 will be the first year that the nation celebrates Windrush day as an officially recognised anniversary, so we took this opportunity to talk with Caribbean elders and hear their experiences.

Rachael Minott, Horniman’s Curator of Anthropology (Social Practice), with the help of Shasti Lowton, created a series of events where multiple generations of Caribbeans could gather and share food, stories and advice. 

Here, the group shares some of their thoughts and memories connected to family.

  • Windrush: Howard, Vanes and Catherine laughing together, Howard, Vanes and Catherine laughing together
    Howard, Vanes and Catherine laughing together

Catherine Ross

Mum and Dad - Did you think when you settled your family of six in Nottingham from St Kitts all those years ago that one day you would have 210 descendants!

That through a series of marriages and romantic liaisons they would all claim and assert their familial link to you both with such fierce pride and love.

Many of these have Caribbean blood running through their veins and not just from St Kitts! In some of them, the blood of the English and the Irish have a presence and a vibrancy, but all of them have your indomitable spirit, that marvellous trait that brought you from sunny shores to a place that couldn’t be more different.

Where your courage and persistence helped you succeed in creating a home for your family, providing for your growing family needs and inspiring your family and others to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.

  • Catherine Ross, Catherine Ross
    Catherine Ross

Many a time I recalled a phrase you used when it was taking one of us a time to grasp things you were trying to teach us, “Yuh ears hard?”

That’s what I remember, Mum and Dad, the many Caribbean sayings you used in so many situations – from teaching us good manners to expressing your delight or annoyance over matters.

One thing all my siblings and I say when we get together for family reunions, is how much we are like you both in this regard. We hear ourselves chiding our children in the phrases we were regularly admonished with. We laugh and thank the Lord for you, the best parents ever.

Have we become more like you since your passing over a quarter of a century ago? We all say we hope so, and if we keep trying to be then the world will be a better place, how could it not be if we put our faith into practice and we try and help others less fortunate in whatever situation and community we find ourselves. 

We now realise, as you said, the best gift we will ever be given is family, they are a blessing and so we should treat them well and kindly because “You never miss the water till the well runs dry”.

If we had realised the importance of this saying of yours then we would have asked more questions of you: learned more life lessons from you and would have had even more of your wisdom to share with others - the world would have been an even more beautiful place.

We thank you for what you have shared with us and many others do too.

As people of the Windrush generation, you brought hope to these British shores, showed what rewards courage can bring and left a vibrant legacy, a beacon for all who inhabit the British Isles to be grateful for those who came from the Caribbean Isles.

I applaud you for your efforts, I recognise you for your achievements and I love you for showing us that it’s the people who make a difference to life. Thank you.

Vanes Creavalle

My Grandad. He was a photographer and the idea that he was capturing moments in history - I think it’s just really amazing to capture single moments. I think that's really beautiful.

As they say, pictures can tell a thousand words, so capturing moments in history, family moments and peoples smile even - I just think it’s so beautiful to take pictures.

In our house there is actually a picture of my granddad taking a picture and, as my dad always says, there are not many pictures of the people who take pictures.

I think that kind of capturing someone in their element doing something that they love, I think that's really powerful - that's always inspired me.

  • Windrush - Howard talking to Vanes, Howard talking to Vanes
    Howard talking to Vanes

Howard Richards

The best childhood memory I’ve got is my grandmother.

My mother and father came to England, leaving me in Jamaica. I was born in St Andrews in my father’s house where I was left with my Hanti.

My grandmother lived in Trewlany, which is on the north coast, St Andrews is in Kingston, in fact. My grandmother came from Trewlany and took us from my Hanti and brought us to Trewlany to live with her.

We walked with no shoes on the foot: beautiful. We walked through cane trees: beautiful.

I used to think about coming to England. I’m going to go to England one day and see my mother and father. But when I left Jamaica to come here I cry for all three, four weeks, because I missed my grandmother.

The Windrush Generation: Reflections on Food

2019 will be the first year that the nation celebrates Windrush day as an officially recognised anniversary so we took this opportunity to talk with Caribbean elders and hear their experiences.

Rachael Minott, Horniman’s Curator of Anthropology (Social Practice), with the help of Shasti Lowton, created a series of events where multiple generations of Caribbeans could gather and share food, stories and advice. 

Together, the group planned a meal and shared some reflections about food.

  • A composite from the Windrush project, The group shared memories of food and drink. Clockwise from top left: Normal and Dunstan, the group eating, Catherine and Lyn, Shasti and Morella.
    The group shared memories of food and drink. Clockwise from top left: Normal and Dunstan, the group eating, Catherine and Lyn, Shasti and Morella.

Morella Forde

Mum goes to church on Sundays but as teenagers we were left to make our own choices so sometimes we too went to church.

When we came back home we had to help her in the kitchen to prepare the Sunday meals of our stewed red beans, rice, ground provisions like yams, sweet potatoes, macaroni cheese, etc, not forgetting our green bananas with fried fish and stewed chicken.

  • Windrush - Morella Forde, Morella Forde
    Morella Forde

On Saturdays mum still cooks our national dish of broth, and we have conversations of Dominica and England as mum tells us stories when she first came to England, and the problems she had with the racism in finding a place to live and work.

She believed she could come to England to get some money and go back to build and improve her lifestyle, and instead she was in a worse position.

She rented one room - sharing with other people - and money was to the minimum.

Dad would have his friends round to play dominoes and have their rum or whiskey drinks, as they played just like in Dominica. The men have not lost playing dominoes tradition after dinner.

Dinner time was always a time we made to give jokes and stories - remembering the Anansi stories which were always so funny. We played calypso and soca music, and danced.

It’s lovely that we kept these traditions because it reminded me so much of my homeland and these memories are precious to me.

Howard Richards

My grandmother’s cooking was beyond my comprehension, beyond anyone’s comprehension.

She could twiss up hot chocolate, anything she touched her hands on, it was something out of the world!

  • Windrush - Howard Richards, Howard Richards
    Howard Richards

Lynda Louise Burrell

Whenever I smell Dettol, I remember Grandma. It transports me back in time to Grandma’s house - clean, and comforting, and a range of childhood memories tumble over each other.

Caribbean spiced bun and cheese, stewed chicken, Guinness punch, and ackee and salt fish, the smells that make up the quintessential Caribbean Home.

Something that Grandma instilled in me early was that you should always have food on the stove, as you never know when someone may stop by and a good Caribbean must always be able to offer visitors something to eat.

  • Windrush - Lynda Louise Burrell, Lynda Louise Burrell
    Lynda Louise Burrell

Well, my modern busy lifestyle doesn’t always allow me to follow this social etiquette, but again who would have thought in those days that one day society would have a system for cooked food to be delivered from a restaurant to your home with just a phone call, within minutes, and some of the suppliers can deliver drink too!

So, within minutes of the arrival of guests, and some great welcome and engaging conversation, you could be wining and dining - and as the Caribbean saying goes, “telling jokes!”

That’s what I miss most - not just Grandmas' good advice, advice for all seasons and reasons, but her laughter and the jokes we shared.

  • Windrush menu, The menu for the day
    The menu for the day

The Windrush Generation: Stories, memories, food and advice

2019 will be the first year that the nation celebrates Windrush day as an officially recognised anniversary so we took this opportunity to talk with Caribbean elders and hear their experiences.

Rachael Minott, Horniman’s Curator of Anthropology (Social Practice), wanted to use the World Gallery at the Horniman as a tool to better appeal to the people of Forest Hill, as 24.5% of Forest Hill population is of Caribbean descent.

Rachael, with the help of Shasti Lowton, created a series of events where multiple generations could gather and share food, stories and advice. These events would allow a discussion of the Windrush generation’s impact within families.

Who are the Windrush generation?

On 22 June 1948, the HMT Empire Windrush, arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, having sailed from Kinston, Jamaica.

Among its passengers were 492 people from the Caribbean who arrived, as all colonials were, British subjects of the Empire, with the same rights of movement and settlement as all who lived in Britain.

  • HMT Empire Windrush, HMT Empire Windrush, at sea between 1945 and 1954. , Royal Navy Official Photographer, Imperial War Museum via wikicommons
    HMT Empire Windrush, at sea between 1945 and 1954. , Royal Navy Official Photographer, Imperial War Museum via wikicommons

This date is now regarded as the symbolic starting point of a wave of Caribbean migration, with those who migrated between 1948 and 1971 referred to as the Windrush generation.

As a part of the post-war relief effort, these people helped to build the NHS, staffed the transport systems and worked in the industrial heart of the UK.

Music, food, language, fashion and art have all been transformed by Caribbean cultural influence, and fundamental human rights were championed by this community, among others, as they fought for equality.

This generation of migrants were pioneers, changing a cultural landscape and facing challenges of ignorance and prejudice. Their legacy can be felt across the world, but it is within the intimate connections of communities, within families and between friends, that their legacy touches our hearts.

What is the Windrush scandal?

On 18 June 2018, the government announced that a National Windrush Day will take place on 22 June every year to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants.

However, 2018 also saw what has become known as the ‘Windrush Scandal’ where it emerged that for years this generation has faced deportation, withdrawal of care, and evictions due to failures by the Home Office to keep records of their legal status.

How did this happen?

The Immigration Act of 1971 firmly established a distinction among British subjects concerning rights to enter and stay in the UK, but it preserved certain immigration rights of Commonwealth citizens who had already settled.

A decade later, the British Nationality Act 1981 established what is now known as British citizenship. However, at this moment many Commonwealth citizens ceased to be British subjects, but did not become British citizens.

Changes to Immigration law in 2012, required people to have documentation to work, rent a property or access benefits, including healthcare. The Immigration Acts of 2014 and 2016 imposed compulsory immigration checks for access to these services.

Residents were expected to hold expensive biometric residence cards introduced in 2008 with formerly accepted documents deemed invalid proof of status.

This led to a number of people from the Windrush generation being wrongful classified as illegal immigrants. They were unable to use the Home Office database to prove their right to remain, as the government had destroyed all the landing cards in their care in 2009.

  • Windrush Scandal protest – from Parliament Square to the Home Office. London, Windrush Scandal protest – from Parliament Square to the Home Office. London, Steve Eason via Flickr CC BY 2.0
    Windrush Scandal protest – from Parliament Square to the Home Office. London, Steve Eason via Flickr CC BY 2.0

What was the result?

Nationwide protests, speeches in parliament and a swell of public support saw a change in Home Secretary, an apology from Theresa May and a commitment to support and compensate those who have been affected.

Since then, the Home Office has admitted that of the 164 people who were known to be wrongly detained or removed from the country, at least 19 died before officials were able to contact them to apologise; another 27 have not been traced.


Windrush Day must not be separated from the Windrush scandal that highlights the mass injustices still faced by this generation of Caribbean migrants.

The influence of this group on Britain and British identity has been staggering and we owe them so much.

This Windrush Day we will celebrate their contribution to our country, through sharing some of their thoughts and memories as well as pictures from these gatherings, so watch this space.

Hear It Live! Performance opportunities in the Music Gallery

We are looking for performers to take part in our Hear It Live! music performance series.

  • Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668, Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668
    Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668

In 2016, the Horniman acquired three historic keyboard instruments from the celebrated Finchcocks Musical Museum, thanks to support from National Lottery players.

A four-year project conserving, repairing and documenting the instruments will culminate in their installation into the Horniman’s Music Gallery this summer. They will then feature in an expanded events programme.

Beginning in mid-July, the Hear it Live! performances will move from monthly to weekly events.

As in the past, the series will feature 30-minute recital/talks, but the day is changing from Tuesday to Thursday afternoons (from 3.30pm to 4pm) in the Horniman’s Music Gallery.

The four expertly maintained early keyboard instruments that will be heard are:

  • A Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668
  • A square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777
  • An English chamber organ, possibly by Joseph Beloudy, London, c.1800
  • A double-manual harpsichord by Jacob Kirckman, London, 1772

The programming for these events will include a wide range of repertoire, both solo and ensemble. The events are free to the public but the musicians will receive an agreed fee. We are open to proposals made up of two or three consecutive weekly or monthly performances on a given theme.

Due to the rarity, age and sensitive condition of the instruments, all performers must have had previous experience playing historic keyboards and must be willing to attend in advance a brief introduction to the instruments with Mimi Waitzman, Deputy Keeper of Musical Instruments.

If you are interested in performing, please complete the application form below and return it to Beatrice Booker, Programming and Administrative Assistant (Musical Events) bbooker@horniman.ac.uk as soon as possible.

  • Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668 , Close up of the Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668
    Close up of the Neapolitan virginals by Onofrio Guarracino, 1668

  • Square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777, Square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777
    Square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777

  • Square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777, Square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777
    Square piano by Adam Beyer, London, 1777

  • English chamber organ, possibly by Joseph Beloudy, London, c.1800, English chamber organ, possibly by Joseph Beloudy, London, c.1800
    English chamber organ, possibly by Joseph Beloudy, London, c.1800

Sponsors

With a Little Help from the Friends

Who were the Friends of the Horniman? Archivist Carly Randall tells us more.

The Friends of the Horniman were an independent charity and membership organisation that launched in May 1988, and ran for 29 years until 2017. The group existed to build awareness of the Horniman and to support our work through volunteering, fundraising, and events to delight audiences.

The group played an important role since their foundation. By 2016, the Friends had raised in excess of £305,000 through activities like their annual art exhibition and garden fetes.

One of their most enduring gifts to the Horniman was their help in the successful campaign for the Horniman's survival, after the abolition of the Inner London Education Authority in 1988.

  • With a Little Help from the Friends, â€˜Help the Horniman Museum’ Flyer produced by the Friends in 1988.
    ‘Help the Horniman Museum’ Flyer produced by the Friends in 1988.

The Horniman Museum was established in 1901 by Frederick Horniman. After being given to the people of London, it was funded by the Education Authority of the London County Council, until the Greater London Authority replaced the Council in 1965.

The Education Authority became the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and continued even after the Greater London Authority disbanded in the late 1970s. But by 1988, the ILEA was facing a similar fate.

This put some of London’s most beloved museums, including the Horniman, in jeopardy.

  • Save the Horniman Article from the South London Press, Article from the South London Press, dated April 1988, drawing attention to the multi-generational campaign groups supporting the Horniman Museum.
    Article from the South London Press, dated April 1988, drawing attention to the multi-generational campaign groups supporting the Horniman Museum.

Local and national newspapers picked up the story and soon the rallying cry of ‘Save the Horniman’ was heard ringing through South London and as far away as California and Japan.

The Horniman’s then Director, David Boston, and his staff had been concerned for the future of the Museum and Gardens during this period of massive political upheaval.

One of our former Chairmen wondered whether we had reached the end of the road, a view only strengthened by an assurance from above that we would be looked after by Lewisham. Privately, I had been told that existing Borough funds could only keep us going for half a year. David Boston during a speech at the Friends’ 25th anniversary tea party in 2013.

Horniman staff, the local community and other supporters canvassed Members of Parliament to guarantee that the Horniman would remain open, funded and free to the public. It was then that the idea of a formal friends group began to take shape.

The Friends of the Horniman launched on 21 May 1988. They held their inaugural meeting on 2 July 1988, with their numbers already approaching 400 and over £2,500 raised by subscription, donation and fundraising events.

  • Margaret Spooner, founding member and Chair of the Friends, serving tea, Margaret Spooner, founding member and Chair of the Friends, serving tea during the launch of the Friends at the Horniman Museum in May 1988.
    Margaret Spooner, founding member and Chair of the Friends, serving tea during the launch of the Friends at the Horniman Museum in May 1988.

Less than two years later, on 5 April 1990, the Horniman launched itself as a charitable trust. The Friends had been key in helping to assemble a group of Trustees to lead the Museum and Gardens into a new era of independence.

…we had built the largest file in the history of the [ILEA] abolitions, as one fellow Director said, “Thanks to the Horniman Museum, we have come to believe in life after death.” David Boston

The Friends were active in finding new ways to improve the experience of visitors. Together, they funded new floor tiles in the reconstructed Conservatory, Victorian lampposts in the Gardens and improved toilet facilities for disabled visitors.

  • Ted Brown dressed up as one of the Three Musketeers , Ted Brown dressed up as one of the Three Musketeers during the Friends’ Fete and Craft Fair at the Horniman on in July 1992. The goal of the fete was to raise money for a disabled access toilet in the Gardens.
    Ted Brown dressed up as one of the Three Musketeers during the Friends’ Fete and Craft Fair at the Horniman on in July 1992. The goal of the fete was to raise money for a disabled access toilet in the Gardens.

In 2006, they had a rose named the ‘Tea Clipper’ in honour of Frederick Horniman on the centenary of his death. The Friends also contributed £30,000 to the World Gallery ahead of its opening.

During the Friend’s 2016 Annual General Meeting, members passed a vote to integrate the Friends into the Horniman’s Membership Scheme. This move allowed the Friends’ existing membership to continue supporting the Horniman for years to come.

Information about the Friends of the Horniman is in the Horniman’s Archives and is available to researchers by appointment. The collection includes files tracing the history of the group’s foundation in 1988, as well as copies of the Friends’ newsletters, committee minutes and tributes to its founding members.

  • The Friends selling plants , The Friends selling plants during the 1996 Arts Festival to raise funds for the Horniman
    The Friends selling plants during the 1996 Arts Festival to raise funds for the Horniman

#WomenInCulture - Our heroes

Cultural institutions across the world are gathering for Museum Week 2019 this May, with seven themes across seven days starting 13 May. This year’s overall theme is #WomenInCulture, so we asked our female staff and volunteers to nominate their super sheroes and let us know why they are an inspiration.

Ada Lovelace – Nominated by Beth Inkpen, Memberships Officer

  • Portait of Ada Lovelace , Portait of Ada Lovelace , Wikicommons
    Portait of Ada Lovelace , Wikicommons

Ada was born in 1815 in London to famed poet Lord Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron. Her Father left just weeks after her birth and her mother, who did not want her to be a temperamental poet like her Father, insisted she learn mathematics and science from a young age. 

Around the age of 17, Ada met Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor. She was intrigued by Babbage’s plans for a device he called the Analytical Engine, which was never built, but contained all of the design elements of a modern computer. She was later asked to translate an article on the device, which she did, adding in a vast amount of her own thoughts and sketching out elaborate programmes. For this work, she is known as “the first computer programmer.”

Ada’s work attracted little attention throughout her life and until it became one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s. Since then, Ada has received many posthumous honours for her work. Her unrealised potential, and her passion and vision for technology have made her a powerful symbol for modern women in technology.

Agatha Christie – Nominated by Harriet Anscombe, Events Co-ordinator

  • Portrait of Agatha Christie, Agatha Christie
    Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was a writer extraordinaire who taught herself to read age five. She is the world’s bestselling author of all time (alongside Shakespeare), and was an intrepid traveller and one of the first British women to learn to surf standing up.

As a child, long before true crime became on trend, I scoured the local library and charity shops to read every single yellow paged Agatha Christie story I could get hold of. Agatha Christie is particularly known for her fictional characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple (another female hero – who else do you know who can solve murders beyond the capability of all of Scotland Yard, and take down dangerous criminals all whilst knitting a fair isle jumper?).

I started off with the novels set in England – in smoky smoggy London, the leafy English countryside, glamorous country manor estates, and then moved on to Poirot’s travels abroad -  the thrilling adventures to unknown lands. Through Egypt along the Nile and via Istanbul on the Orient Express places I had never been. It was through these stories that she ignited my little feet’s first itches to travel the world.

Agatha has produced 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections and the world’s longest running play. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English Language and over a billion in translation.

Zaha Hadid - Nominated by Cookie Rameder, Visitor Experience Manager

  • Portrait of Zaha Hadid, Zaha Hadid, Wikicommons
    Zaha Hadid, Wikicommons

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE RA was the first female architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. In 2015, she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Zaha was so powerful and visionary, she was described as 'a planet in her own orbit', by artist Valie Export for the courage of giving patriarchy a shock, and by poet Maya Angelou for understanding that, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Zaha was made a dame by the Queen for her services to architecture.

Rosalind Franklin - Nominated by Fiona Kerlogue, Anthropologist

  • Portrait of Rosalind Franklin, Rosalind Franklin , Wikicommons
    Rosalind Franklin , Wikicommons

Rosalind Franklin was an English Chemist and X-ray crystallographer, known for her work in discovering the structure of DNA.  

For her contribution, she should have been awarded a Nobel Prize, however, her work was only recognised after her passing in 1958. The Nobel Prize for her part in the work was awarded later to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins in 1962.

Nanny of the Maroons – Nominated by Racheal Minott, Anthropology Curator (Social Practice)

  • Nanny of the Maroons sculpture , Nanny of the Marrons, Reading Museum,  Rachael Minott, 2013
    Nanny of the Marrons, Reading Museum,  Rachael Minott, 2013

  • Nanny of the Marrons sculpture , Nanny of the Maroons, Reading Museum
, Rachael Minott, 2013
    Nanny of the Maroons, Reading Museum , Rachael Minott, 2013

My personal hero would be Nanny of the Maroons, a National hero of Jamaica.

Although people are not sure if she was one person or a union of many Asante (female leaders with the title Nanny), she has become symbolic of resistance against repression and the undermining of the regime of enslavement in Jamaica.

Nanny of the Maroons is seen as a maternal and spiritual figure with supernatural powers (catching bullets in her buttocks and firing them back at colonial solders) but she is first and foremost, a spiritual (Obeah) figure, and a leader of the Moore Town Maroons.

In the western part of Jamaica, Nanny Town is named for her. She is believed to have been born in the 1600 and to have died around 1740, and was thought to have been born in what is today Ghana before being transported to Jamaica as a part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. She escaped slaver and came to be one of the Windward Marron leaders of Jamaica.

While she is referenced in multiple colonial sources, referring to the Maroon Wars and the associated treaties with the British, there are no images of Nanny, and the record of her life are disputed.

However, as an artist, I took inspiration from Nanny and made a sculpture to represent her to try and capture the essence of the figure described in the multiple imaginings of her life. Strong and powerful, inspirational and nationally important to a Jamaican communal identity.

Caroline Norton – Nominated by Connie Churcher – Digital Manager

  • Watercolour of Caroline Norton , Watercolour sketch of Caroline Norton by Emma Fergusson 1860, National Portrait Gallery of Scotland, Stephencdickson
    Watercolour sketch of Caroline Norton by Emma Fergusson 1860, National Portrait Gallery of Scotland, Stephencdickson

My hero is Caroline Norton, the English social reformer and author, who had a personal struggle which we still legally feel the effects of today.

Caroline married a man who sounds awful. George Norton was an aggressive drunk, who abused Caroline and unsurprisingly she left him (which she was fortunate enough to be able to do).

Unfortunately, once a woman married her legal rights were subsumed by those of her husband. She was unable to support herself, despite being a popular author, as he was legally entitled to all her money, any furniture or property she owned (which she fought against by running up bills in her husband’s name). George abducted their sons and she had no right to see them, as they counted as George’s legal property. He also could block her ability to divorce him, as she was a legal non-entity.

After the death of her youngest following George’s neglect, she campaigned to change the law and subsequently Parliament passed the Custody of Infants Act 1839, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857. The Married Women's Property Act in 1870 granted a legal separate identity for the first time in the UK.

Despite all this, Caroline had no interest in women’s suffrage (insert shocked face here), but I have to give her credit for winning rights which granted great freedoms further down the road.

 


Who are the women in culture you would like to share? Join in with the conversation on Twitter using the Hashtags #Horniman, #WomenInCulture and #MuseumWeek

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