Just been to see the Modern British Childhood exhibition at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. Lots of great stuff, but I wanted more information, especially on the photos. I deliberately went with my mother and my daughter, so we were just about one example each of the three periods of C20/21 childhood the exhibition focuses on. The thing that captured Tilda’s imagination most (aged 8, above the 3/4 “life sized” Tellietubbies) was a model of a David and Mary Medd school, and especially this corner of it which shows the school rabbit, outside in the courtyard, in its hutch–(she said it was definitely a rabbit and not a guinea pig, as you can see its long ears–not sure I am convinced). Fascinating though that the idea of free flowing classroom spaces, where children of different ages can mix and pick and choose what to do, seemed totally alien to her, even though she’s at a single-story LCC 1960s school, which must have been influenced by the Medd’s work (and is very close to their recently refurbished and extended Eveline Lowe school, in Camberwell, London, on which C20 advised).
I hope to review Catherine Burke’s new biography shortly.
Exhibition runs until 14 April 2013 details here, read Lynne Walker and Andrew Saint’s excellent obit of Mary here.