Black History Month may now be officially over, but with Slough a plural population, distinctive as the most diverse local authority area in the UK outside London, it is important that the museum is relevant to all our communities, all the year round.

Established forty years ago, Slough Museum’s 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.

At the moment we are working with local groups to uncover and share hidden histories of diverse communities, connecting to collection items through a focus on two key Slough pioneers.

Lydia Simmons, who in 1984 became the first black woman to become a UK Mayor, and our sitting MP Tan Dhesi who was the first ever turbaned Sikh in any European Parliament.

Slough made history by electing the country’s first black female mayor in 1984 and Slough Museum hold her Mayoral Robe in our collection.

This splendid Robe was previously boxed away, but thanks to a South East Museum Development grant we are now we are able to care for and display this properly.

Lydia Simmons was born in Monserrat, a tiny island in the West Indies. Her cousin, Beresford Alleyne was at one time the island’s Prime Minister. She left at the age of 17 in order to join her parents in London, before moving to Slough in 1960. She first became interested in politics when she met Councillor John Hurley, and this led her to join the Labour Party. In 1979 she became Slough’s first black woman councillor. She was re-elected in 1983, and in that year became the first black person to be elected Deputy Mayor. In January 1984 she was nominated to be Mayor, thus making the headlines both locally and nationally. Her investiture followed in May 1984.

This project has also meant we are making a new acquisition of one of Tan's turbans, kindly donated to us to display and so spearhead our contemporary collecting to better represent Slough communities.

Slough Museum will be sharing this display and our work with local communities and artists with the public in December, including fantastic portraits by Calvin Ruan. If you would like to get involved, email