The Reminiscence Centre
The Reminiscence Centre in Blackheath, south-east London, is our base. Opened in 1987, the Centre is visited by over 30,000 visitors each year. It functions as: a national reminiscence training and resource centre, the home of the country's leading professional reminiscence theatre company; a museum of everyday life in the first half of the 20th century; a flourishing hive of inter-generational and educational activities; a local community centre with cultural and social activities; a gallery with changing exhibitions and the headquarters of the UK and European Reminiscence Networks.
Monday to Friday 10.00-17.00
Admission is free for casual visitors but there is a small charge for group visits, which must be booked in advance.
Older People's Visits to the Centre: The Centre is happy to host groups of visiting older people, whether from local centres or from half way across the world. We are a magnet for those with an interest in "ordinary people's" everyday life and participation in the big moments of history in the first half of the 20th century. Many visiting groups find that items in the Centre stimulate long-since-forgotten memories and help them to learn more about one another's past experience. Group visits should be booked in advance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Schools Visits to the Centre: Many schools use the Centre as a teaching resource. The Education Officer, teachers and older people work together to develop visits suitable for the children's National Curriculum needs. During the visit, older people lead discussions about the past and help children to investigate the objects in the Centre and the ideas and values associated with them, giving them a greater understanding of how the past has influenced all our lives.
Computer courses for older people: Age Exchange teaches word processing, desk-top publishing and internet use to older people through volunteer tutors. The work of these classes often relates to the main activities of the Centre through reminiscence and life story writing.
On the other side of our brass handled door, visitors find a 1930s shop full of authentic articles which can be handled freely and which are highly effective memory triggers. We also display many fascinating objects and documents from the first half of the 20th century, including hats and dresses, a wind-up gramophone and large collection of records, a Victorian kitchen range and wartime memorabilia, such as gas masks and ration books. Our Collections Officer can also make arrangements for visiting organisations to take objects from our reminiscence store on long-term loan to furnish reminiscence corners in homes and day centres to stimulate communication between clients. Our changing 3-D exhibitions offer visitors the opportunity to become active participants in the past. Recent exhibitions have included an end-of-the-war street party, an evocation of wartime evacuation and a sound-scape of the River Thames in a recreation of London's docks. The Age Exchange volunteers are always at hand to help visitors investigate the collection and the exhibitions. Many people make a day of their visit to Age Exchange, having lunch in our café or garden and browsing through our gift shop, full of items for old and young alike. Individuals and groups can always be sure of a warm welcome and a stimulating visit.
Costume and Textiles, Social History, Weapons and War
The Reminiscence Centre
11 Blackheath Village
020 8318 9105
020 8318 0060