Every first Thursday of the month, Wardown House, Museum and Gallery invites you to an evening talk related to our collections.

Thu 5 Sep: Lets Talk About Hats

In September, Milliner Alva Wilson will be coming to talk about his inspiration behind his latest collection and recent display Hats by Alva Wilson - a collection of contemporary hat sculptures made from recyclable materials and inspired by Luton heritage.

Alva will be discussing the Luton hat trade using narratives from previous Lutonians who worked in the hat industry, in comparison to his own involvement in the hat industry. In particular, he will be focussing on the collaboration with Vauxhall Motors, and how making hats out of car parts has allowed him a new perspective.

Thu 3 Oct: Changing Luton as seen Through Old Photographs

Join Chris Grabham, Heritage Collections Curator for an illustrated talk using old photographs from the Museum’s collection. We’ll see how some of Luton’s streets and buildings have changed over the last 150 years. Using old aerial photographs and street views, we’ll see how Luton used to look. We’ll take a closer look at a few of the town’s old buildings and hear some of the stories associated with them. The main focus will be on the town centre but other parts of Luton will also be covered.

The talk will last for 60 minutes followed by a 30 minute Q and A session.

Thu 7 Nov: The Story behind Portraiture

For as long as people have been making art we have been finding ways to depict ourselves, through the art form known as portraiture... But what is a portrait - And why are we so obsessed with recording the appearance of ourselves?

Our Museum Learning Coordinator, Eleonore Pearson, believes portraits have always been much more than just a visual record. Join her as she discusses this through exploring a selection of portrait paintings from our largely unseen art collection.

This talk will end with a small interactive drawing activity. No drawing ability is needed to take part in this activity; it is simply a playful drawing game that aims to prompt human interaction. There will be an opportunity for drawings resulting from this activity to be displayed in a small exhibition at the Museum.

Eleonore Pearson studied Fine Art at university, with a focus on portraiture and conceptual art. She has been working in the arts, culture and heritage sector for the past 8 years and has continued to explore her own artistic practice of portraiture; occasionally exhibiting her work and running workshops or talks.

Age Guidance: 12+ for all talks


  • Thursday, September 5, 2019
  • Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Wardown House

Wardown House, Museum and Gallery is situated in the beautiful landscaped Wardown Park, on the outskirts of Luton town centre. The house was formerly the home of the Scargill family, then a military hospital and is now a museum and gallery.

Step back in time and glimpse an insight into a wealthy family home during the Victorian period. Explore the different rooms with hands-on displays for a fully immersive experience. The museum tells the story of Luton’s transformation into the exciting and diverse town it is today.

The museum also houses a range of displays throughout the building, including the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment Gallery and the popular Luton Life Gallery.

The museum underwent a redevelopment during 2016, reopening in April 2017. Wardown House, Museum and Gallery also holds events and activities for all ages and interests throughout the year.

Venue Hire

Wardown House has a range of rooms that can be hired for your meetings, training days, drinks receptions and events in the gorgeous surroundings of Wardown Park. See Venue Hire for more information.


To become part of Wardown House's programme, please contact our Head of Arts & Cultural Programmes, Fahim Qureshi at