Ealing Local History Day at Gunnersbury, 28 March 2020

The Museum is putting the spotlight on Ealing local history with a day of talks and tours. Book tickets at Eventbrite. A £20 day ticket offers the option of attending up to 3 talks/tours during the day. As places are limited for the Senior Curator’s Museum Tour and the Archivist’s Talk and will be allocated on the day on a first come, first served basis. Potential participants should ensure that they sign up for these on arrival to avoid disappointment.


Breaking the Chains of Convention, 11am – 12noon
Was Hanwell Asylum just a convenient place for inconvenient people? Or did it care for and cure the mentally ill? Assistant Curator Amy Dobson discusses the evolution of the first pauper lunatic asylum for Middlesex and shows how its methods such as Therapy of Employment and the abolition of mechanical restraints revolutionised 19th-century mental healthcare.

Senior Curator’s Museum Tour, 11.15am – 12.45pm
Senior Curator Julia Tubman leads a tour of Museum galleries and redeveloped historic spaces, discussing the museum’s heritage and the reinterpretation of collections for the recent restoration project.

Archivist’s Talk, 12.10 – 1.10pm
Kathryn Rooke, Gunnersbury’s Archivist, explores the wealth of local history resources in the Archives, from posters for films made at Ealing Studios to historic maps, Anti-Apartheid campaign newsletters to postcards and photographs.

The Killing of PC Kelly, 1.30 – 2.30pm
On 11 February 1920 PC James Kelly was on his Gunnersbury Lane beat when he saw a burglar. He was shot, as was another man who came to his aid. PC Kelly died and his assailant was never identified. Ealing Borough Archivist and crime historian, Dr Jonathan Oates, explores this unsolved killing in its centenary year.

Acton Memorial Plaque Factory, 3 – 4pm
During the First World War, the Government created an award for soldiers who had died in the war. It was in the form of a memorial scroll and plaque to be sent to the next of kin. David Knights, of Acton History Group, discusses the Memorial Plaque Factory which was built inside the former brewery in Church Road, Acton.