More than 1,500 people joined Headstone Manor Museum’s 30th birthday celebrations and annual May Day festival on Bank Holiday Monday.
The festivities included guided tours of Manor House – one of four historic buildings on the Headstone Manor Museum site – allowing guests to explore the Grade I listed 14th century building, which is usually closed to the public because of its fragile state.
Over the next year, the Manor House is set to be restored to its former glory and made fully accessible to the public as part of a transformational regeneration project on the site, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by the new charitable trust Cultura London.
From June 1, Cultura London will be taking over management of Harrow’s cultural services from Harrow Council, including Headstone Manor Museum, Harrow Arts Centre and the Harrow Music Service.
Ahead of the takeover, the charity’s chief executive Sandra Bruce-Gordon and her team were on-site throughout the day, speaking to the community about the museum’s reopening in July of next year and their plans for a major £17 million capital development on the Harrow Arts Centre site.
Those who attended were able to ask questions about the charity’s plans, share their experiences of using the centre, and discuss what the centre means to them.
Ms Bruce-Gordon said: “It was fantastic to be able to speak directly to the community about the charity and our exciting plans for the Harrow Arts Centre site. Everyone we spoke to were really supportive and it was such a great affirmation for what we’re trying to achieve.”
Visitors were treated to live music from Harrow Youth Brass Band, a brass ensemble made up of eight to 18 year olds who rehearse at Harrow Arts Centre and are run by Harrow Music Service.
There was also family-friendly entertainment courtesy of stilt walkers, Pearly Kings and Queens, a classic Punch and Judy show, morris dancers and a tap and juggling show.
Youngsters were encouraged to participate in a traditional Maypole dance and join in with a ‘storytime session’ run by Harrow Library Services. Visitors also got the chance to try their hand at archery, interact with animals at the ‘Appreciating Animals Petting Zoo’ and admire a fleet of classic cars.