Charnwood Museum looks back at Ladybird books

By Jennifer Harby
BBC News

  • Published
Police officerImage source, Ladybird Books Ltd
Image caption,
The exhibition takes its inspiration from the classic Ladybird series

A new exhibition is looking back at the changing world of work through the lens of childhood classics Ladybird Books.

The exhibition, named People at Work, runs at Charnwood Museum in Loughborough until 1 October.

The show takes its inspiration from the People At Work Ladybird series, which included titles like The Policeman, The Postman, The Nurse and The Fireman.

A councillor said the exhibition was "fascinating".

Image source, Ladybird Books Ltd
Image caption,
The series began in 1962 and informed children about popular jobs

The books, which were printed in Loughborough from 1962, depicted popular jobs of the day.

Some of the books, illustrated by John Berry, were updated in the 1980s, under the title People Who Help Us, using photos of real people carrying out their occupations - many of them in Leicestershire.

The exhibition features original illustrations from the books - on loan from the Ladybird Books Archive held at the University of Reading - as well as objects and uniforms from Leicestershire County Council's museum collections inspired by the titles.

Visitors to the exhibition can see displays of uniforms and other objects linked to the police, fire service, nurses, postal workers, miners, shop workers and more.

Younger visitors can dress up and try hands-on tasks, such as sorting letters and riding in a fire engine cab.

Image source, Ladybird Books Ltd
Image caption,
The exhibition will explore the way occupations have changed

The exhibition also explores the ways in which occupations and attitudes have changed since the publication of the first titles.

Christine Radford, cabinet member for heritage, leisure and arts, said: "This is a fascinating exhibition looking at the changing world of work through the much-loved and hugely popular Ladybird Books, which had their home in Loughborough for so many years."

Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough at Charnwood Borough Council, said: "I am very much looking forward to visiting this brilliant new exhibition and I know that families from Charnwood and beyond will come to the museum and have a superb time."

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