Events taking place this weekend and next week at Bruce Castle Museum & Archive

Talk will be held at all hallows church doors open 6.30pm.

Take a look at what’s coming up this weekend and all next week at Bruce Castle Museum & Archive ….


Art 2 Inspire @ The Tower #1

Sadie Does Sandy – Paintings of Sandy Powell by Sadie Lee

24 and 25 September, 2 – 4pm, Opening Weekend

Sadie does sandy – paintings of sandy powell by sadie lee

The first of the Museum’s exciting new programme of art exhibitions and events in the newly-restored Tudor Tower @ The Castle takes place –  Bruce Castle Museum & Archive is proud to announce the inaugural exhibition Sadie Does Sandy – Paintings of Sandy Powell by Sadie Lee. First shown as part of her one-person show at New Art Projects Gallery in 2021, the exhibition is a collection of portraits of Oscar-winning Costume Designer Sandy Powell, known for her innovative designs for many films, including The Favourite, Shakespeare In Love, The Irishman and Carol. For this exhibition at Bruce Castle Museum, Sadie Lee has made a brand new study of Sandy Powell which will be on view for the first time. The portraits of Sandy Powell are almost life size and arranged in pairs, front and back of the same pose, in three different states of dress / undress. The unique gallery space itself becomes almost a creative installation, as the natural progression from one painting to the other gives a fluid panoramic feel, allowing the portraits to traverse and flow around the curved walls of the Tudor Tower.

Other weekend dates will be available until 23 October and are by appointment. Please come back and check next week for an update on the Museum’s website here

  • Munch & Listen

Monday 26 September, 12.15pm

The Ray Swain Memorial Lecture 2022

Standardised, Serviceable and Simply Designed: Utility Furniture at 80

With Deborah Hedgecock, Curator of Bruce Castle Museum

Supported by Paul Collier, author of ‘Harris Lebus: A Romance with the Furniture Trade’ and ‘Loving Lebus’

The ray swain memorial lecture 2022

The Utility Furniture Scheme was founded 80 years ago in 1942. Local furniture manufacturer Lebus – based in Tottenham Hale – played a key role in its production. Not only did Lebus comply with government regulations after World War Two, it also helped to set the rules. Sir Herman Lebus was one of the government’s Furniture Working Party from the start, its purpose ‘…to produce specifications for furniture of good, sound construction in simple but agreeable designs for sale at reasonable prices, and ensuring the maximum economy of raw materials and labour’. Like food and other commodities, furniture was rationed. Permits were issued to people most in need – those that had been bombed out or who had just got married.

During wartime, Lebus manufactured to government contracts, getting into its stride post-war making Utility furniture whilst restrictions were still in place. Some of these pieces have survived to today. The 80th anniversary is a timely opportunity to look back at Utility furniture and see what was made by one of our own local firms with global recognition – Lebus.

  • Evening talk

Wednesday 28 September, 7.30pm

Talk will be held at All Hallows Church – doors open 6.30pm.

Organised by Bruce Castle Museum & Archive

“My Learned Friend Master Bedwell”: A Scholar of Arabic in 17th Century Tottenham

By Samantha Brown, Historian and Postgraduate Researcher, Early Modern Studies, UCL 

Talk will be held at all hallows church doors open 6.30pm.

If you wanted to learn the Arabic language 400 years ago, you wouldn’t find the best teacher at a prestigious school or historic university… You would find him at his vicarage, on what is now White Hart Lane, in Tottenham. William Bedwell (1563-1632) was the most important English Arabist of his time, and from 1607 until his death he was also the vicar of All Hallows Church, around the corner from Bruce Castle. There is little trace of Bedwell in Tottenham today, but evidence found in his manuscripts, books, and letters allows us to piece together his story.

Join historian Sam Brown as she paints a picture of his life in the area, and explores how – in a time before printed textbooks and dictionaries – he put Tottenham on the map as a European centre of Arabic learning.

“my learned friend master bedwell” a scholar of arabic in 17th century tottenham

  • Curator’s Pick #2

Friday 30 September, 3pm

Talk with the Artist Sadie Lee – The Paintings of Sandy Powell 

Following this inaugural exhibition at our Tudor Tower this September, meet the artist and hear from Sadie Lee, the award-winning figurative painter. Her realistic, challenging paintings focus on the representation of women, sexuality, gender and the aging body. Her paintings investigate and identify with the personal politics of vulnerability, defiance and notions of ‘otherness’, with a strong sense of solidarity for her subject. Sadie Lee has lived in Crouch End and Wood Green for over 25 years. She works from a studio in Bruce Castle Museum.

  • Wax Printing Workshop with Box of Prints

Saturday 1 October, 1.30 – 3.30pm

Help us celebrate the start of Black History Month at Bruce Castle by joining textile designer Zara Afflick in this special wax printing session. Zara will illustrate motif impressions using wooden blocks and tjanting tools with hot wax and then support families to create beautiful fabric pieces for wall hangings or fashion patchwork.

Wax printing workshop with box of prints

Please note: this workshop has limited spaces. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment as spaces will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

This activity is aimed at children aged 7-14 years old. It is not suitable for children under 5 years old.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For the full listings of other events across the borough and at Bruce Castle Museum & Archive for Black History Month, please see the council website here: