Loan boxes

Loan boxes contain both real and replica objects as well as teacher support material.

Themes for the loan boxes include:

  • toys
  • Victorians
  • houses and homes
  • the Second World War
  • Windrush Generation

The loan boxes work well independently or as an accompaniment to taught sessions.

The boxes are £16 per week, and schools are responsible for their collection and return by appointment to The Library at Willesden Green.

To reserve a loan box please contact us on 020 8937 3600 or email

Houses and homes loan box

These original objects illustrate the development over time of household tasks such as cooking, washing and cleaning. Focusing particularly on home life before electricity. The accompanying archive material provides examples of different houses and building styles in Brent.

Toys loan box

The range of old-fashioned toys in this box represent the changing styles and fashions of toys from past times to the present day. There are a large range of toys to try out. Encourages exploration of changing materials and comparisons between old and new. The accompanying archive material shows children at play in the past in Brent.

Victorian loan box

These original objects can be used in the classroom to help understand daily life and innovation in Victorian times, including exploring the themes of housework, fashion and the typical school day. The accompanying archive material shows images of Brent in Victorian times.

World War Two loan box

This box contains original objects related to life on the home front during the Second World War, aiding the classroom teaching of themes such as rationing, air raids and evacuation. The accompanying archive material shows children evacuated from local schools, as well as bomb damage in the local area. 

Windrush Loans Box

To celebrate 70 years since HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Essex, Brent Culture Service worked with elders from the Windrush Generation who settled in Brent to learn about their experiences and to find out which objects were popular in their homes in the 50s and 60s. This loans box contains original shoes and 7" records, a full petticoat to try on, a framed 60s wedding photograph, a special doll that decorated bathroom tissues and glass ornaments. Photographs of a reconstructed West Indian Front Room, portraits of elders from the Windrush Generation in Brent and two specially commissioned poems by Malika Booker complete the box.