Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood

So sewing is currently going at snails pace. I’m not really ill anymore (more than usual) but partly we’ve just been really busy, partly we’ve decided August is a good time to spring clean the flat.

Anyway, 2 weekends ago we decided to go out for the day to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. It is not a museum I would normally have bothered with, except they had a free dollhouse exhibition that was closing soon & Jon had never been before, & I hadn’t been since I was 11 so we thought we’d give it a try.

The Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood is technically part of the Victoria and Albert museum, but it was set up in the early 20th century, by a load of illustrious people including Queen Mary, who was a massive patron, in order to give the poor children of the East End access to finer things. However as we walked round Jon & I speculated that being able to look at but not play with the sort of toys much richer children enjoyed is probably going to set a child firmly on the course to socialism, which may not have been the outcome the illustrious patrons were envisaging.

The first thing we noticed when we walked in was how quiet it was actually. Although obviously given the name, the museum is very much child friendly, I wouldn’t actually say it was by any means soley a children’s museum. I found the content & the behaviour of the children there a lot less irritating than for example pretty much the whole of the Natural History Museum or the Launch Pad at the Science Museum. There are areas for children to play and go off and one and scream, but they are in the corners of the building and for the most part quite removed from the main displays which are in fairly haphazardly curated old fashioned glass cases.

In the foyer there was an exhibition on Alice in Wonderland, including clothes, for adults and children inspired by the book, in one case was a full AATP lolita outfit…

IMG_4425

The outfit was much better presented than when my mum and I went to the V&A exhibition the model used was actually the right hight, the dress wasn’t 3 inches above its knees, & it was much better coordinated.

There was a lot of modern stuff in the exhibition, well I say modern, I mean stuff from our childhoods till about 10 years ago, however being in glass cases with little labels makes everything look a bit old and shabby, I was especially shocked at how dated the Harry Potter merch and Barbie stuff looked. Jons highlight of the entire museum was an old early 90’s Amstrad computer which was his first one, & he had a load of the games that were exhibited with it.

What I was really there for, & what I took a load of pictures of is all the dollhouses and 18th & 19th century toys though. They are so beautiful.

Here be pictures…..( it was virtually impossible to get shots without reflections from the cases which was a shame)

IMG_4422IMG_4412 IMG_4393 IMG_4396 IMG_4415IMG_4387  IMG_4418 IMG_4390 (1)

 

Anyway, I am failing miserably at getting those to format in an attractive way, so apologies for the crap layout.

I would highly recommend the Museum of Childhood though to anyone into Victoriana or Lolita or even just to nostalge about ones childhood without hoards of screaming kids.

I am free from Wednesday onwards next week, so hopefully will be able to get on with the blasted dress I am working on. & normal sewing blogging will be resumed!

 

 

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