Liverpool

Liverpool children captured in pictures over 100 years

Museum of Liverpool Image copyright Karl Hughes ARPS 1901-1979 courtesy of Suzanne Law
Image caption Children in the 1950s make their own fun with a makeshift swing from a lamppost

Children dangle mid-air on a makeshift swing hanging from a lamppost, a mother celebrates the Silver Jubilee cuddling her sons, and boys from the 1950s fish in the canal - just some of the rare pictures of childhood in Liverpool last century which have now been put on display.

The exhibition Growing Up in the City at the Museum of Liverpool boasts 25 evocative photographs which capture the life of children over more than 100 years.

As well as a providing a snapshot of those lost days of childhood, the pictures also provide a thought-provoking social history of life in Liverpool through the decades.

Sent to work

The photographs span the period from the 1880s to the 1990s and illustrate just how much life for a child has changed and also how special occasions were marked on the city's streets.

The oldest image dates back to 1887 and is a portrait of Florence, George and Gertie Rollo, who came from Waterloo Park.

The Rollo family lived in a large home in the area called Stone House and had four servants. The picture shows the children dressed up in costumes for a fancy dress ball hosted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Bootle, Alderman and Mrs Howard.

As well as showing children at play, another image reminds us that many youngsters were also sent out to work.

Image copyright Museum of Liverpool
Image caption This young maid worked for a wealthy family on Rodney Street in 1900. Many children had to work to support themselves and their families

A nervous looking young maid for a well-to-do Liverpool family is captured in a great portrait which is thought to have been taken about 1900.

The exhibition has been put together by Kay Jones, Curator of Urban Community History at the Museum of Liverpool.

Ms Jones painstakingly trawled through hundreds of images from the National Museums Liverpool's collections before deciding on the final 25 for the exhibition.

She said: "This has been a fascinating exhibition to work on.

Childhood memories

"Looking through hundreds of different postcards, photographs and glass plate negatives in our collections; it was hard to decide on the final 25 images.

"I chose the ones that really stood out and told the experience of childhood.

"People love seeing old photographs and most people can relate to the same experiences of playing out in the street if they're from Liverpool or anywhere else.

"But, at the same time, the pictures also remind us of how things have changed.

"I didn't want it to be just happy memories, I also wanted to remember the children who had to work throughout their childhood.

"I wanted it to be the good and bad experiences of childhood."

Growing Up in the City is at the Museum of Liverpool until 25 September.

Image copyright Karl Hughes ARPS 1901-1979 courtesy of Suzanne Law
Image caption Boys having fun on a summer's day in the 1950s beside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Image copyright Museum of Liverpool
Image caption Patients in the Children's Ward of Liverpool Stanley Hospital delight in a special visit from a mounted zebra and Christmas presents from the Lord Mayor in the 1930s
Image copyright Museum of Liverpool
Image caption A lovely portrait of Florence, George and Gertie Rollo dressed up to the nines for a fancy dress ball in 1887
Image copyright International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liv
Image caption Two girls enjoying the party for the Nelson Mandela Freedom Festival in Liverpool 8 in 1988
Image copyright Howard Douglas Avington
Image caption A mother and her sons celebrate The Queen's 1977 Silver Jubilee in Old Swan, Liverpool. The image was taken by local photographer Harold Douglas Avington
Image copyright Karl Hughes ARPS 1901-1979 courtesy of Suzanne Law
Image caption A cheeky young boy sticks out his tongue in this picture of playtime at a Liverpool school

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