Some of the oldest objects in Brent Museum and Archives were donated by George titus Barham. Son of the Express Dairy Company founder George Barham. Titus took over the business when his father died in 1913.
Titus was born in 1859 and like many children collected fossils and birds eggs when on holiday. However his collecting continued into adult life and spread to cover many different types of objects from art to agricultural equipment and from kitchen utensils to ethnographic material. His collection grew and grew to such an extent that it took over the ‘Old Court’ which was a house in the grounds of his estate in Wembley. This building became his private museum which he would open to the public occasionally. He died in 1937 and left his mansion, its grounds and the museum to the Borough of Wembley.
Wembley Council disposed of many items from his collection between 1952-54 with a number of objects ending up in museums including The Museum of English Rural
When Brent Museum and Archives (then The Grange Museum of Community History) was founded in 1977 over 400 objects came to the museum. Many of these objects were on display in our first home in Neasden.
The collection which came to Brent Museum and Archives mainly consists of porcelain and pottery from the 17th to the 19th Century but also a number of pieces of art, furniture, armour and older archaeological objects were included. A number of people have carried out research to try to understand why Barham collected what he did and if perhaps he arranged his collection in a particular way. Most people have come to the conclusion that Barham’s collection is very personal and he collected what he liked and displayed it how he wanted to.