Slough Museum Trust was founded in 1982 by a group of local people who wanted to create a Museum to share knowledge about local and general history, topography and archaeology of Slough and surrounding districts.
Our mission today is to build a sense of pride in Slough. We develop imaginative and inclusive projects and displays and encourage people to share their stories and knowledge of Slough as a place of pioneers and innovators.
We are the only organisation in Slough that has a remit to collect, conserve and communicate the town’s heritage.
We explore and celebrate Slough’s past, present and future.
Slough Museum is an independent museum and registered charity.
Volunteers are the life blood of Slough Museum, and our wonderful volunteers get involved in supporting events, activities, local history research and collection care and management.
As a registered charity, we have a Board of Trustees who meet quarterly, and in sub groups to govern and steer the direction of the Museum.
If you would like to volunteer, or would like more information, we would love to hear from you.
During 2021, thanks to the support of Arts Council England and Slough Borough Council, we have an Action Plan in place being delivered by a small part time freelance team.
The museum has occupied a number of locations since its foundation:
Leeds Cottage, Bath Road
1982 to 1997
- registered as a Charity on 19 July 1982, and with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (then the Museums and Galleries Commission) in July 1998 (RD977)
- the museum began collecting in 1985 and first opened its doors to the public on 30 April 1986
- Slough Borough Council took back the building in April 1997, but provided an alternative venue on the High Street, which was more accessible to the public
278-286 High Street
1997 to 2011
- the museum had two exhibition galleries, which celebrated Slough’s past, present and future as well as a research and activity room
- we registered as a Limited Company on 4 September 2000
- we achieved full accreditation as a museum under the revised scheme in November 2006
- Slough Museum closed at these premises on 11 June 2011
Slough Central Library
2011 to 2016
- the museum reopened on 26 October 2011
- the library closed in August 2016 transferring to the Curve in September 2016; Slough Museum went with it
- the museum’s exhibition space is in a series of 8 “pods” (small, self-contained rooms, each exploring an aspect of Slough’s history)
The whole world comes to Slough. Every year thousands of people arrive in the town from across the globe hoping to make a fresh start and a better life. It is a hugely plural population and sometimes very transient – distinctive as the most ethnically diverse local authority area outside London.
Slough is traditionally seen as lacking an historical past of any note. However, dig deeper and notable statistics include 96 listed buildings; Herschel Park, previously part of Upton Park and Slough’s oldest park with roots going back to the 11th century, notable residents such as William and Caroline Herschel and the name Slough (meaning ‘soil’) first recorded in 1195.
More recently, the 2011 census records indicate the most diverse population outside of a London borough with communities representing 80 different countries. 50% of pupils in Slough schools do not have English as their first language. Migration to Slough from the 20th century onwards has seen Welsh, Polish, Asian, Caribbean and more recently Somalian and Romanian settlers making their homes and creating communities in Slough.
The population of 140,000 people has significantly higher than average numbers of young children and young adults, with over 40% of the population identifying as Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse (the south-east average is 10%).
In addition, 40,000 people come in to Slough each day to work. Slough has the largest number of FTSE 100 companies in any UK town and SEGRO plc owns the largest trading estate in Europe in Slough, celebrating their centenary in 2020.
The opening of Crossrail and large-scale investment in housing and infrastructure will establish Slough as an attractive place to live, and Slough Museum is a key part of the town being a vibrant destination for culture.