History of the Society

History of Baldock Museum and Local History Society

Early days

In 1992, some members of the Baldock Society, the civic society for Baldock, formed a new group called Baldock Local History Society. Its aims were to promote interest in Baldock’s past, collect relevant artifacts and raise funds to found a museum in Baldock. Baldock was valued as an historic town but had no way of showcasing its past unlike Royston, Letchworth, Hitchin and Ashwell.

In its first year, the Society established a programme of history talks (one every two months), a regular newsletter and an archive of Baldock memorabilia. These activities continue. The list of Talks in the first year is shown on the First Membership Card below.

Temporary displays

The Committee visited several possible premises for the museum but it was clear that the Society would not have the funds to pay a commercial rent.

Space at the Community Centre or empty shops were loaned to us for between one day and two weeks during the Baldock Festival. Displays on different aspects of Baldock’s history were mounted each year. This allowed us to raise our profile and to gauge the level of interest in a permanent museum.

A museum for Baldock

In 1995, the Society began negotiations with North Hertfordshire District Council to use part of the old Town Hall as a museum.  With the support of local councillors and council officers, some areas of the building reverted to community use in 1996 under the management of Baldock Community Association. In December 1998 two additional small rooms were allocated as a museum under the management of the Society. To mark this, the Society changed its name to Baldock Museum and Local History Society in 2001.We became a charity in 2002.

For over 20 years, a history of Baldock was displayed in one room and the other housed a different display each year. Volunteers staffed the Museum for two days each week with management overseen by the Committee.

Baldock Arts and Heritage Centre

From 2013, the old Town Hall, but not the Museum, was managed by Baldock Arts and Heritage Centre (BAHC). Although working closely together, the two areas were managed separately by the two charities. In 2019, extensive refurbishment of BAHC included knocking through the dividing wall to physically link the Museum to BAHC. This is allowing development of the Museum as a heritage centre within BAHC.

With thanks

In 1992, people of vision wanted to establish a museum for Baldock history. A dedicated group of volunteers have worked with local councillors and council officers to make this a reality. We are indebted to these people and to all the volunteers who have prepared displays, donated artefacts, catalogued the collection, fundraised, served on the Committee, tended the Museum, assisted at our talks and helped us in any other way.