The best thing about where I live is…

This photograph is an object which directly relates to the Bethnal Green area of East London, where the Museum is situated. The 1930s photograph shows a young girl Lottie and her grandmother, surrounded by plant pots on the roof of their home in Bethnal Green. Lottie had ten siblings, six sisters and four brothers, which wasn’t unusual at the time. The family ran a wood carving business, working from a workshop on the ground floor and living in the upper floors; a crowded existence indeed. One of Lottie’s brothers, Dick, shared his memories of their home life with his own daughter; she, in turn, passed her father’s memories on to the museum when she donated this photograph.

Dick’s childhood memories as re-told by his daughter: “Pocket money must have always been a problem in the household and my father had to earn it. One way was to catch cockroaches. They used to hide in the gap between the door and architrave and the wall and when the fire was lit the room warmed up and they crawled out. His job was to catch and kill them. Like other children in the area, he played in the streets. He was proud of his ability to play football on cobbled streets wearing roller skates with metal wheels. Apparently, sparks used to fly.”

Having detailed memories such as these is important for the museum since they provide a snapshot of what childhood was like in the past.

Our Lives: Growing Up Today

Help us capture what childhood is like today.

The Children’s Commissioner for England is asking children across the country to tell us what it is really like to be growing up today.

Hear what children say and take part now…