Church Farm House Museum: Where did all the contents go?

Here in Barnet artefacts and records tracing the history and heritage of our borough used to be available to view in two museums. That was until the current administration decided to close Church Farm House Museum as part of the ‘One Barnet’ programme.

Now to add insult to injury many people will be surprised and shocked at the vast collection which is being disposed of by auction.

Some may have a substantial monetary value and others not but how we value our history and heritage for the benefit of future generations has clearly reached rock bottom. Barnet council will not only be pocketing the proceeds of the sale, but will be doing a great injustice to the people who  generously donated items to the museum over many years.

If Barnet council had any intention of stopping this devastating loss they would have stored all the contents until a new museum could be opened.

Instead, the only record for future generations will be an illustrated online catalogue of the items which have been sent to auction. This gross lack of understanding of the importance of museums, and their contents, is to my mind an act of ransacking our local history.

You might as well give the government permission to sell off the contents of the all our major museums to pay off a few debts.

Respecting our heritage, preserving it for future generations, and appreciating our past should be common sense and the duty of those we elect to be the custodians of our history. It will be a very sad day when all these items are sold or disposed of.

For those interested in tracking where the contents have gone and details of the sale the facts so far are as follows.

Some items have been stored or offered to other Museums. Items sent for auction have been sent to the midlands:

Head Office – Auction-Plus | 40 Berrington Road | Nuneaton | Warwickshire, UK | CV10 0LB | Tel: 024 7639 4099


The auctioneer is expecting to have the items catalogued in time for their October sale which is on the Saturday and Sunday of the third week in October.

The catalogue will be able to be viewed on the auctioneers web site about 10 days beforehand. If the October deadline is missed it will all go to the November sale.

For bidding online and to be able to view images of all the lots, this can be done closer to the date of the sale from the auction platform web site 'easy live auction' which has a web site for viewing and bidding, Facebook and Twitter.

To bid online you have to register for a fee of £3.00 with an online credit or debit card registration. You can decide not to register and just view online, or you can register and not pay the £3.00 but then there is an additional 3% bidding online fee as well as your buyers % fee.

From the list provided by Barnet of the items that have gone for sale, there are some items which have had to be disposed of ie photographic items with chemicals which are unstable and not allowed to be sold.

Some items will be grouped together to achieve a sale i.e. items of clothing.  

As Barnet does not want the cost of storing or having any unsold items returned, any unsold lots will be put in the sale the following month and if there are no buyers then they will be disposed of.

As there are no reserves it is hard to tell at this stage how much the lots will fetch and how much Barnet will be paid after seller commission fees.

Cllr Pauline Coakley Webb, Coppetts ward.



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@CMCostumeAndHat tweeted link to this page. 2012-09-27 11:38:12 +0100
#OneBarnet closed Church Farm House Museum: Where did all the contents go?
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Cllr Pauline Coakley-Webb on the sell-off of Barnet's heritage/history via @BetterBarnet
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Cllr Pauline Coakley-Webb on the sell-off of Barnet's heritage/history via @BetterBarnet
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