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Museum to reveal Waltham Forest’s hidden histories at archive open day

Vestry House Museum will be opening up Waltham Forest’s local history archive for a day of talks and activities exploring fascinating stories from the borough’s history.

On Saturday 26 November, a programme of short talks will reveal some of the borough’s more colourful histories, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Leytonstone, Walthamstow’s acid house scene and the art of the protest poster.

Visitors can also take a house history walk through Walthamstow Village, hear from the Forest Poets and see historic treasures from the archive. Experts will be on hand to give advice on house and family history and to appraise visitors’ historic photographs.

The Waltham Forest Archive at Vestry House Museum holds a wide range of manuscript, printed and pictorial resources for research into all aspects of the history of the Waltham Forest area. Its photographic collection comprises over 80,000 photographs from the 1840s onwards.

The event is part of Explore Your Archive, a nationwide campaign to showcase the unique potential of archives to bring communities together and tell amazing stories.

Council Leader Chris Robbins said: “The Waltham Forest Archive is a gateway to discover many fascinating stories from our borough’s past. It’s such a great resource for anyone researching the history of their family, their house or for school pupils working on history projects. This lively line up of talks and activities promises to open up the Archive to a whole new audience.”

Notes to editors

Saturday 26 November, from 11am – 4pm

Vestry House Museum

Vestry Rd, Walthamstow, London, E17 9NH

For further information and images please contact Ian Mason:

020 8496 4726

07740 046143

The line-up:

11am - House history walk through Walthamstow Village - learn how to read a building with Neil Houghton

12noon - Walks and maps with John Rogers, author of This Other London

1pm - Hitchcock, the Leytonstone years with Matthew Cooper

2pm - In conversation: Roger Huddle and the art of the protest poster

3pm - Pirate radio and the rave scene in East London with Jessica Mellor


  • Ask the experts - for all your family, house or local history questions

  • Live poetry from the Forest Poets

  • Visit the search room to see historic local newspapers, maps and treasures from our archive

  • Explore the photo collection or bring your historic photographs for our curator to see

  • A house history trail for families

  • Refreshments

About Vestry House Museum

Owned and managed by Waltham Forest Council, Vestry House Museum is the local history museum for Waltham Forest and home of Waltham Forest Archives and Local Studies Library. Set in an 18th century former workhouse in the heart of historic Walthamstow Village, the Museum tells the story of the borough through a series of permanent displays and special exhibitions. A favourite exhibit is Britain’s first petrol driven car, built by Frederick Bremer in 1892.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.