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Friends events

Friends of the Geffrye - photography Em Fitzgerald

The Friends of the Geffrye Museum - photography Em Fitzgerald

The Friends of the Geffrye Museum run a series of walks, talks and visits. You can find out more about the Friends and how to join here.

Download the January - June 2019 events programme here.

Talk: From chaos to order - can decluttering make us happier?

Thursday 24 January 2019, 6pm for 6.30pm start (8pm finish). Friends £10 / Guests £12

What would it be like to have only the things we want, need and love in our homes? Imagine knowing where everything is and feeling welcome in your own space. Caroline Rogers has been helping people organise, declutter and take control of their spaces since 2013 – and she has plenty of anecdotal evidence that letting go of the things we don’t need and organising those we do boosts our wellbeing. 

Come and join us for a friendly, light-hearted evening where you’ll hear a few stories and pick up some top decluttering tips, thrown in with a bit of science. Caroline will guide you in thinking about how you use your space, what’s working and what would improve it. Be inspired and get organised for 2019!

Book online

Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing

Wednesday 13 February, 6.30pm for 7pm start (8pm finish). Fully booked.

Municipal dreams

Social historian John Boughton presents an alternative history of housing in Britain, based on his acclaimed and timely book Municipal Dreams. From the slum clearances of the Victorian age through to the Grenfell Tower disaster, John will chart the epic and often surprising story of council housing, including Hackney’s own significant role. We’ll meet utopians, charlatans, visionary planners and corrupt officials, and take a social, political and architectural tour of our housing estates – some remarkable, some judged notorious. Can the dream of good housing for all be revived before it gets destroyed completely?

This event is currently full. However, you can register now and get added to a waiting list. You will be notified if spaces become available.

Register online

The Brothers Gillespie

Wednesday 20 February 2019, 6.30pm for 7pm start (9pm finish). Friends £10 / Guests £12

The Brothers Gillespie

A rare visit to London by two Northumberland brothers singing haunting harmonies that reflect the history, landscape and folklore of the region. Join the Brothers Gillespie in the unique setting of the Geffrye Museum’s Georgian room as they perform traditional and original songs, including from their recently released second album ‘The Fell’.

Book online

Annual General Meeting

Thursday 21 March, 5.45pm for 6pm start (8.30pm finish). Free – booking required. Friends only.

All Friends are welcome to join us for our AGM, which will include a presentation from Clare Wright MBE of Wright & Wright Architects, who are leading the redevelopment of the Geffrye. The evening will end with drinks and nibbles.

Book online

Velvet & Feathers: The Victorian Parlour

Thursday 4 April, 6pm for 6.30pm start (7.30pm finish). Friends £8 / Guests £10

The Victorian parlour was a room to display one’s wealth and status – full of sumptuous furniture and ornaments, colours and patterns. Sonia Solicari, Director of the Geffrye Museum, will give us a fascinating insight into the importance of the parlour in a Victorian household, the significance of its furnishings and decoration, and how its use evolved over time. We’ll also get a sneak peek of the Geffrye’s plans to give the Victorian room a facelift as part of the transformational development.

Book online

Streetlife London: From Chaucer to Banksy

Saturday 11 May, 2pm start (3pm finish). London Metropolitan Archives, EC1R 0HB. Friends £10 / Guests £12

Bartholomew Fair

Writer and performer Nick Field presents a vivid romp through 700 years of London street life, inspired by items from the London Metropolitan Archives. Traversing pageants and protests, street art and fashion, Nick will bring to life the characters and events that have shaped London’s rich street life, from a Mayfair riot with a high body count, to medieval fashion innovators, to the hedonistic Bartholomew Fair and the world's greatest performing cat show. As an artist in residence at the LMA, Nick has worked with LMA experts to uncover, interpret and show audiences a range of fascinating materials from the archives.

Book online

Visit to the Museum of Immigration And Diversity

Saturday 1 June, 1.45pm for 2pm start (3.30pm finish). 19 Princelet St, E1 6QH. Friends £15 / Guests £18

19 Princelet Street

Housed in a Grade II listed, unrestored 1719 Huguenot silk merchant’s home, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity is a unique and remarkable institution described by author Monica Ali (Brick Lane) as ‘a place where you can feel history at your fingertips and in your spine.’ On this guided tour, we’ll discover a concealed Victorian synagogue dating from 1869, and visit the ‘Suitcases and Sanctuary’ exhibition exploring the refugee experience in Spitalfields. The museum is only open to the public for a few days each year, so this is a rare opportunity to see inside a truly hidden gem.

Book online

Whitechapel Noise: Politics, Sex And Religion In The Yiddish East End

Thursday 6 June, 6pm for 6.30pm start (8pm finish). Friends £12 / Guests £15

Author, historian and Yiddish singer Vivi Lachs presents an evening of stories and song celebrating the East End’s vibrant Yiddish community and popular culture before WW1, bringing untold histories to life. Feisty, spicy and moving music-hall songs and punchy, political ballads give a fascinating window into a working-class immigrant community fighting for better working conditions, arguing gender politics, debating religious change and becoming English. Vivi’s recent book, Whitechape Noise, will be available for purchase (cash only).

Book online


Saturday 22 June 2019, 10.45 for 11am start (2pm finish). London City Airport DLR Station, E16 2PX. Friends £18 / Guests £20

Derelict London guide and author Paul Talling will take us on a tour of fascinating and abandoned sites in Silvertown – a strange and history-filled place that’s set to change rapidly over the next few years. We’ll visit iconic buildings such as the long abandoned but soon to be redeveloped Millenium Mills, the squatted Tate Institute, the remains of Tay Wharf, and a Victorian church that’s now a music hall. The walk will take up to 3 hours, and will end at a local family-run brewery where there’ll be the option to unwind over a pint.

Book online

If you have any queries about events, please email