We are very pleased to announce that the RSA Interpretation Centre features in a new brochure published by the Lea Valley Heritage Alliance.
Discover The Industrial Heritage of London’s Lea Valley is an important new tool to promote a lot of the ‘hidden industrial history’ of the Lea Valley through listing seven attractions alongside articles on the general history of the region. Dr. Jim Lewis, a founding member of the Alliance, has long argued in his Lea Valley series of books that London’s Lea Valley has had more industrial world firsts than any other location on Earth!
The RSA Trust furthermore sponsored the creation of the Alliance’s Website, which in time will grow into a hub of information on heritage projects taking place along the length of the Lea Valley.
The brochure can be downloaded directly from this location. Links to the other sites mentioned in it can be found below:
We are pleased to report the annual opening of the RSA Interpretation Centre as part of London Open House received around 200 visitors on Saturday. An added attraction this year was the last minute inclusion of Film London’s Kino Van, showing historic newsreel footage from around the Enfield area.
The directors would like to thank Ray Tuthill and his volunteers from the Royal Small Arms Factory Apprentices’ Association for manning the Interpretation Centre as well as bringing the story of the Factory to life with their memories of working at the factory.
Date: 15 Sep 2011
We are VERY excited. The Interpretation Centre officially reopens on Saturday, coinciding with London Open House Weekend.
The centre was closed and collection put in storage during the unpleasant events of last month. In that time the Centre has been given a thorough clean, and all the objects have been inspected, polished and preserved.
On Saturday you can also quiz the four former employees of the factory to find out more about our unique heritage. So, see you then!
Date: 09 Aug 2011
Due to the current situation in Enfield Lock the Board of Trustees and staff of the RSA Trust have closed the Interpretation Centre until further notice. This is to protect the unique and irreplaceable items in the RSAF collection. The Youth Centre remains open as usual. The collection has been distributed to several safe locations off site.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you, should you wish to visit the site in the near future.
Date: 11 May 2011
Oasis Church Enfield Family Events, sponsored by RSA Trust and Awards4All, hosted a community street party on the Royal Wedding day, April 2011. Thirty local volunteers organised, set up, led and packed away an event that was attended by around 450 residents of Enfield Lock.
The atmosphere was fun and loved by children and parents alike. There were loads of side-stalls and activities going on, with the RSA Interpretation Centre decked out in patriotic red, white and blue balloons, but the main focus was watching the wedding and processions on the big screen – it felt like the newly-weds were waving at us personally on Enfield Island Village!
For more about the event and pictures, please download the full report.
Date: 13 Apr 2011
The RSA Trust has produced a short video which gives an insight into the history of the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield Lock.
To view the video, please click on this link to our page on YouTube.
The buildings of the factory have now been redeveloped into the RSA Island Centre, a thriving business centre, managed by Lee Valley Estates. Tenants here include Tesco Express, a doctors surgery, a community hall, youth centre, and a day nursery. Profits from the centre are donated to the RSA Trust, which distributes the money to local good causes, and runs the Interpretation Centre, a historical exhibition at RSA.
Many thanks to Patrick Gray, RSA Trust Heritage Manager, for his hard work producing the film, and Ray Tuthill, of the RSAF Apprentices Association, who helped enormously in its production.
If you would like any further information, or to visit the Interpretation Centre, please contact RSA on 020 8482 2281.
Date: 20 Oct 2010
The Enfield Island Village Family Festival , hosted at the RSA Island Centre, was a great success with over 500 visitors attending. The free activities on offer included:
· Bouncy Castle
· Face painting
· Drum and mask making
· A family flag competition
· A DJ and BBQ run by the Enfield Island Village Youth Club
· Tightrope walker
· Musical acts
· Circus skills workshop
Our Interpretation Centre was also open, with many visitors curious about the heritage of the Royal Small Arms Factory site.
A big thank you to all those who volunteered and contributed to make the day a big success.
The festival is featured in the Enfield Independent, please click here to view the article:
Date: 23 Feb 2010
Do you have any memories of the Royal Small Arms Factory?
If so, we would like to hear from you!
We are carrying out an exciting new project at our Interpretation Centre. The aim of this project is to record and display memories of people who worked at the factory, or lived near it.
We will make a video to show in the Interpretation Centre to let others know what life here was really like. We will also make an education pack for local schools.
We need your stories. What was life like living near the factory? Did you work there? What was it like? Were you a member of the union? Did your parents work in the factory too? Do you have anything you might like to show us from the factory?
One of the aims of the RSA Trust is about promoting the history of the site. We want to give the full story of the factory, from precision engineering prowess to social events.
The Interpretation Centre is our ‘museum’. It opened in 2001. You can visit it between 10:00am and 2:00pm Mondays to Fridays. Just ask in the Management Office to be let in. The displays include model machine tools, engineers’ toolsets and examples of some of the factory’s products. This includes a ‘sectioned’ Lee Enfield No. 1 rifle.
You can also learn about our 1783 Thwaites & Reed clock and our bell, Albert. The clock still works and Albert still tolls throughout the day.
Date: 09 Oct 2009
The RSA Island Centre’s Interpretation Centre once again opened its doors to the public on Saturday 19th September 2009, as part of the London Open House Day.
With around 200 people visiting the centre, the day was a great success. The venue was very popular with people wishing to experience and understand the history of the Royal Small Arms Factory. Amongst the many visitors were a number of previous employees of the Small Arms Factory, for whom this place brought back memories of their working life.
The event aimed to foster greater community spirit amongst visitors and residents of the Island and also provided them with a unique opportunity to step back in time and examine what made the Island a good place in which to live, work and play. The event will be repeated in September 2010.
We would like to thank the RSAF Apprentices Association who kindly gave their time to share their immense knowledge and expertise with the guests.
Date: 29 Jun 2009
On Tuesday 16th June 2009, there was a lightning strike on or near to the historic clock tower at the RSA Island Centre.
The strike was very powerful and the surge of electricity damaged various alarm systems and the CCTV system at the centre, parts of which had to be repaired or replaced. Fortunately, the clock and bell itself suffered no damage, except that the chime silencer, which stops the clock chiming at night failed and had to be reset.
The clock was made around 1783 by Thwaites & Reed, and is maintained by them to this day. It seems that such historic engineering is very resilient!