Maidenhead Heritage Centre, Maidenhead

4.4
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History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Maidenhead Heritage Centre is a heritage centre and museum in the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
Maidenhead Heritage Centre and Museum was founded in 1993.

The centre presents the history of Maidenhead history from Roman times to the present. It collects and preserves artefacts, photographs, documents, and sound recordings, to illustrate local history.

The Maidenhead Archaeological & Historical Society, founded in 1960–1, collaborates with the centre.
In December 2006, the centre and museum moved to a permanent location in Park Street.

Special exhibitions are organised and presented, for example one on Maidenhead Bridge, the main historic road bridge to the east of the town, in 2007, marking its 230th anniversary. In 2014 a new Exhibition was presented - celebrating 100 years of Motor Manufacturing in Maidenhead since 1914 - starting with the GWK [Grice, Wood and Keiller], then the Burney Streamliner concept car, this was followed by the Marendaz Specials, sporting cars used by Eileen Moss [the Mother of Stirling Moss] in trials and finally the Vanwall Racing cars built and assembled in the Vanderwall Bearings Company works in Cox Green, Maidenhead in the 1950s winning the Manufacturers world Championship with Stirling Moss.

It was accredited by the UK Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2009.
"Grandma Flew Spitfires" gallery

A gallery includes a permanent exhibition and archive dedicated to the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), here because the ATA was headquartered in nearby White Waltham Airfield. A visit to the "Grandma Flew Spitfires" gallery begins with a short introductory film before moving upstairs past photographs of some of the amazing men and women who made ATA such a success.

A Spitfire simulator can be flown by any visitor. It has been flown by many ex RAF and ATA Spitfire pilots, as well as the current Prime Minister Theresa May, the local MP.

The gallery has been packed with uniforms, flying equipment, navigation equipment and ATA memorabilia. Displays explain how ATA pilots came from 25 different countries, how they managed to fly so many different planes and how they flew all over Britain in a single day. Pilots’ log books are on display together with more than 150 photographs, and you can listen to recordings of ATA aircrew telling their own stories. To explore ATA in more depth, computer terminals give access to filmed interviews, log books and historic photographs from the museum's archive.

Open digital access

Maidenhead Heritage Centre provides free online access to its entire collection catalogue, including high-quality scans of nearly 20,000 documents and images, split between two websites. There is a specialist website for the Air Transport Auxiliary collection, targeted at a global audience, and the main Heritage Centre website for the local collection. Around 500 historical maps can be viewed on the local website, most of them geolocated to facilitate comparison with contemporary maps.
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Maidenhead Heritage Centre reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
122 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The centre is small but brilliant! The spitfire simulator is a must do activity and the artifacts and resources the museum has on the ATA are excellent. It is a completely unique collection and the.....  more »
  • Met by knowledgeable and helpful staff. All sorts of examples of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) efforts to ferry aircraft. Uniforms and equipment used.Spitfire simulator was the highlight...  more »
Google
  • Wonderful selection of artifacts and photos about the history of Maidenhead. My parents met when they worked at Hacker so it was great to see a nice selection of radios from the era. Also great to see exhibits from Nicholsons Brewery and Vandervell which also have a family connection. Plenty of other items too so great to learn a bit more about the town's history.
  • Met Ms Jill here and had a friendly conversation with her, very helpful. Learned about my family heritage. A small place but lots to see. Currently hold an exhibition on Iconic Women.

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