Past museum exhibitions

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: 1914-1918 exhibition (PDF, 15MB), and read about the Royal Small Arms Factory (PDF, 4MB).

26 April 2013 - 5 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 (PDF, 8MB).

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, part 1 (PDF, 15MB) and part 2 (PDF, 14MB).

7 October 2011- 4 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.

View the 'Remembering Star Wars' exhibition (PDF, 12MB).

17 March 2011 -3 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 'Roman Enfield: From Settlement to London Suburb' Exhibition (PDF, 7MB).

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 (PDF, 3MB).

9 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 'Little Poland in Enfield' Exhibition (PDF, 3MB).

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 the 'Enfield and the Transatlantic Slave Trade' exhibition (PDF, 9MB).

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.

View the Enfield at War: 1939-1945 exhibition (PDF, 9MB).