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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 Autumn - Winter 2018 events programme here.

Visit: Phytology at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve

Saturday 6 October, 2pm. Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Middleton Street, E2 9RR. Tour will begin at 2pm and end at 4pm. Friends £8 adult and £5 child / Guests £10 adult and £7 child. Suitable for children over 8 years

Event organised by the Friends of the Geffrye Museum

Hidden away off the Bethnal Green Road is a magical patch of urban wilderness, a haven for local residents as well as beetles, bugs, bats and amphibians. It is home to ‘Phytology’, a medicinal garden and mini cultural and research institute established in 2014. Project founder Michael Smythe will lead us on a tour to discover once-buried treasures, art created from reclaimed and recycled objects, plants used to produce skin balms and toothpaste, and much more. We’ll have exclusive access to the garden, which is closed to the public from 1 September. Hot drinks and gluten-free cake will be provided, with a campfire if the weather is chilly.

Book online

Talk: Homely and unhomely houses - haunted interiors in fiction

Wednesday 10 October, 7pm. Doors open 6.30pm for 7pm start. Friends £5 / Guests £7

What is a haunted house? Perhaps a house whose former occupants need their stories told. A ghost may be the pressure of an untold story on a receptive mind. The most recent novel by award-winning author Michèle Roberts, The Walworth Beauty, flits between Victorian and modern-day London as the ghosts of the city’s past erupt in the present. Drawing on the process of writing The Walworth Beauty,Michèle will talk about how the echoes of lives contained in our homes, whether warm or brutal, whisper down to us and affect our own experience living in them. Attendees are encouraged to share their own experiences. Michèle will have copies of her book for sale on the night (cash only).

Book online

Talk: Beauty in loss - Victorian mourning practices

Saturday 13 October, 7.30pm. Abney Park Cemetry, N16 0LH. Meet at main entrance, 215 Stoke Newington High Street 7pm for 7.30pm start. 

Friends £12 / Guests £15

Event organised by the Friends of the Geffrye Museum

Victorian mourning practices are famous for their dark beauty: elaborate costumes, plumed horses drawing lacquered funerary carriages, post-mortem photographs and ‘memento mori’ crafted from human hair. With a profusion of icons and rituals to express grief and honour the recently departed, it’s no wonder that, from a contemporary perspective, the Victorians seemed to celebrate a ‘cult of death’. Join us in the restored Abney Park chapel for an after-dark presentation by researcher Romany Reagan, who will give us an insight into how the Victorians used these beautiful ‘morbid oddities’ to create a place to house both their grief and their memories, and give beauty and structure to loss.

Book online

Visit: Lloyd's of London

Tuesday 13 November 2018, 2.45pm for 3pm start (4pm finish). Meet in the foyer, Lloyd's of London, 1 Lime Street, London EC3M 7HA

Friends £20 / Guests £22

Geffrye Friends event autumn 2018

An exclusive guided tour of the internationally-renowned Lloyd's building, said by Historic England to be "universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch". Home to Lloyd's of London – the largest marketplace for international insurance in the world – the building is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which the services for the building are located on the exterior. Our tour will begin in the expansive Underwriting Room, where we'll view the historic Lutine Bell and Loss Book. From there we'll travel up the escalators to see the workings of the upper trading floors, and finally up the outside lifts to the 11th floors, which houses an 18th century dining room.

Book online 

Make: Victorian Christmas Pudding

Thursday 22 November, 2.45pm for 3pm start (5pm finish) and 5.45pm for 6pm start (8pm finish). Friends £30 / Guests £35. Optional extras: Ceramic pudding basin £5, book £8

Food historian Dr Annie Gray (from BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet) will regale you with tales of the Victorians and the invention of the modern Christmas, then guide you through assembling your own classic Victorian Christmas pudding, ready to take home and cook. 

The ticket price includes pudding ingredients and string, muslin etc. to prepare the puddings, plus drinks and mince pies. Please bring your own 1-pint pudding basin, or order one when you book. You can also pre-order Annie’s book, The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria. Each pudding will serve 4-6 people. Please note that we cannot cater for food allergies or preferences: the pudding will contain eggs, gluten, alcohol and vegetarian suet.

Book online

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

Events can also be booked by post – download booking form.

If you have any queries about events, please email