THE COLLECTIONS

The Centre houses a wide range of historical artefacts and memorabilia relating to the history of the magazine and the local area dating from the 18th century to the present day, these include Thames Board Mills, the Whitbread family, Purfleet Rifle Range, Van den Burgh and Jurgens margarine factory. Bram Stoker the author of Dracula, and the Royal Family connection are all represented.

A large collection can also be found covering the army, from mid 19th century to Afghanistan conflict 2014. The history of the Brigade of Gurkhas is also highlighted, who now refer to ‘Purfleet Heritage’ as ‘their second museum’.

The Naval Collection has a wide range of ehibits relating to the Merchand and Royal Navy dating from Nelson’s Battle of Trafalgar to the Second World War, including the Fleet Air Arm and Submariners.

The Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force are equally documented with memorabilia from World War One to the Second World War and beyond. It is here you will find the Hornchurch Wing, a collection of uniforms, photos and artefacts relating to the famous airfield called Hornchurch. Also represented are Bomber Command, the RAF Regiment and the Air Training Corps. A display of Zeppelin fragments and related artefacts together with how the Purfleet land gunners severely damaged a German Navy Zeppelin L15 in 1916.

There is a section that deals with the Civil Defence depicting the unselfish work carried out and the hardship suffered by British civilians in both world wars. Together with and original anderson air raid shelter you will see uniforms, fire hoses, a gas bomb warning clacker, now that is something you don’t see often.

In the ‘how we used to live’ displays you will find early washing machines, kitchen utensils, gas flat irons, radios, cameras, tools, televisions, tin toys, children’s bikes and a bag-a-tell. You will be surprised at how we used to entertain ourselves and it will bring back memories for many.