New display at North Herts Museum to mark Black History Month

A document from 1819 shows the sale of slaves in Grenada to John Goodson. Picture: North Herts Museu

A document from 1819 shows the sale of slaves in Grenada to John Goodson. Picture: North Herts Museum - Credit: Archant

A new display will opened at North Herts Museum tomorrow (October 1), to mark the contribution Black people have made to our district’s history.

As part of this year’s Black History Month, North Herts Museum will showcase a collection of objects that share the story of Black history in our district.

The display will include historic photographs, a medal, a slave listing from 1819 and more.

The medal signifies the achievement of King William IV, who outlawed slavery in the British Empire in the 19th century.

A document from 1819 lists slaves on Upper and Lower Pearl Estate, Grenada at a time when they were sold to John Goodson.

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The document has been lent to the museum by Tim Brewer, who discovered it during a clear out of a solicitor’s office in London. It is not a family heirloom, and Tim’s ancestors did not benefit from the slave trade.

Tony Williams, chair of Hitchin and Letchworth Diversity and Culture, arranged for the museum to display the document.

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He said: “When Mr Brewer approached us saying he had this important document, we were very excited to put Mr Brewer and the North Herts Museum in touch.

“The North Herts Museum is a great place to showcase this document and it will bring the hard reality of people bring treated like commodities to life for the people of North Herts.”

Cllr Keith Hoskins, NHDC’s executive member for enterprise and co-operative development, said: “Please pop down to the museum during October to see the interesting exhibits and photography and learn more about the important contribution the Black community has made, and continues to make, in North Herts.”

The exhibition will open on Thursday, October 1 and run until Sunday, November 1. Social distancing measures are in place for all visitors.

North Herts Museum can accommodate six people from one or two ‘bubbles’ in guided tours, which last either an hour or half an hour. The last tour, available at 3.30pm, is for the Black History Month exhibition only.

The museum is free to visit, from 10.30am to 4.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and 11am and 3pm on Sundays.

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