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JOURNEYS IN TIME

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Lambeth Archives is a local authority archive based in south London. It holds an amazing collection of old photos, personal and public records.

These are the records of real people who lived in the area.

Through this project we have chosen to tell the stories of children and young people who all made journeys to or from Lambeth in the past.Then you can add your family's story.

There is Charles, who went all the way to Australia in 1840 to work as a shepherd, although he missed his family & wrote to ask them to come to live there with him.

Maria from Portugal made hats for a living in London.

Africa was a runaway slave three hundred years ago. Did he hide out with acrobats and minstrels in Vauxhall Gardens when he ran away ?

Learn about people from the past and from not so long ago.

Gabrielle Bourn
Learning Development Officer
Lambeth Archives

1678: Africa : RUNAWAY SLAVE BOY


AFRICA

This is not Africa but a 17th century picture of a servant boy redrawn by N.York

AFRICA

Name

I cannot remember the African name I had at birth.

Age

about 12

Place of Birth

West Africa

Gender

Male

Occupation

a servant in a London house

Place living now

London via the West Indies ( the Caribbean )

Photos


Good Stuff : visiting beautiful places in London & seeing the entertainments & fireworks

Bad Stuff : Being taken away from his home and family in Africa and sold as a slave.

Documents Hogarth painting from the series " Marriage a la Mode " 1745, showing a Black servant serving chocolate and a Black child page.

Runaway advertisement from a London newspaper for the boy Africa 1678.

Africa was a uniformed servant in a London house at a time when it was very fashionable to have a young Black slave as a servant. We know he ran away because his description was in the London paper. Whether he was recaptured we do not know.

1848: Charlie : A NEW OUTFIT & A FREE PASSAGE to AUSTRALIA


A photo of a Lambeth boy in his best clothes.

There is no actual photo of Charlie as he was just an ordinary boy in a time before photos were common.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS

Name

Charles ( Charlie )

Age

about 14

Place of Birth

London

Gender

Male

Occupation

shepherd boy

Place living now

Australia ( New South Wales )

Photos


Good stuff : his dog, reading, the beautiful countryside of Australia

Bad stuff : very hot sun, being far from his family, feeling lonely at times

Documents . Ragged School printed newsletter with letters home from Australia, modern photo of sheep in Australia, map of 1825 & nineteenth century engraving of boy shepherd.

Charlie was a young man living in London in the 1840s. As his family were very poor his chances of a good job and life in London were not good. He won a prize to live in Australia as a shepherd. To read his letter home he seems to have found the place lovely although he missed his family at home.

1882: Florence : DECORATOR ON CLAY POTS


Portrait photo of Florence from Doulton pottery in Lambeth where she worked.

FLORENCE TEGETMEIER

Name

Florence

Age

16

Place of Birth

London

Gender

Female

Occupation

decorates clay pots at Doultons Pottery on the riverside near Vauxhall

Place living now

Kennington, Lambeth with her family

Photos


Good stuff : working in an art studio with lots of other girls, being with her brothers,

Bad stuff: her old job working in a school

Documents: painting of girls working in the pottery, Florence's signature, modern photo of what is left of the Victorian pottery works in Black Prince Road by the river in Lambeth.

Florence was from quite an educated family, her dad & brothers all worked as clerks in banks or businesses. She worked long hours in her job at the pottery but conditions there were good for that time in history. Later she got married and had children and moved away to leafier Clapham with her husband and family.

1901: Maria : HATMAKING IN LONDON


Maria Nascimento
[Photo from Portugal.]

This is a photo of a Portuguese girl @ 1900 taken from a family album.

Maria Nascimento

Name

Maria

Age

19

Place of Birth

Portugal

Gender

Female

Occupation

Milliner ( makes & decorates hats )

Place living now

Lansdowne Rd, Lambeth

Photos


Good stuff : Playing with her little niece next door . Going to the theatre with Uncle Harry who works there.

Bad stuff : English food (not fresh enough) & hats to make with lots of fiddly bits, feeling cold & the dirty atmosphere of London town.

Documents. The 1901 census record for Maria's family and her in-laws when they were living in Lambeth, theatre programme for the 1900 panto at Kennington Theatre where Maria's English uncle may have worked,Betty Blythe theatrical performer in Brixton in 1905.

Maria lived in Lambeth for a few years around 1900. She was Portuguese. We found her living, with her mum and other sisters next door to an English family in the census of 1901. Looking very carefully we realized that her brother had married the English daughter of the family next door. Then it seems all the rest of the family came to live in England for a few years.

1920s: Ronnie : LAMBETH BETWEEN THE WARS


Photo of Ronnie as a baby on sheepskin rug

RONNIE LACASTRA

Name

Ronnie

Age

10

Place of Birth

Lambeth hospital

Gender

Male

Occupation

School boy

Place living now

North Lambeth

Photos


Mum from the Mediterranean, dad from Ghana, living in Lambeth with his aunt & foster family

Good stuff : playing with his brothers, going camping & to the seaside, playing in the school football team

Bad stuff : the WWII bombing raids round the corner from home in the 1940s

Documents. Fry's Cocoa advertisement from the 1920s ( Ronnie's dad had cocoa farms in Ghana all his life ), seaside photo with Ronnie in the middle with friends, Ronnie as a young dad with his wife & children in the 1950s. Modern portraits of Ronnie's grandchildren with instruments.

Ronnie was born and bred in Lambeth, a real London boy, but like many kids today his family had come from other parts of the world. Later on in his life he met up with his dad who had been a travelling musician in London in the 1920s where he met Ronnie's mum.



Ronnie's grandsons 2008

1940: Bernie : WARTIME IN LAMBETH


Portrait with uniform and flag

BERNIE BULLBROOK

Name

Bernie

Age

7

Place of Birth

West Norwood

Gender

Male

Occupation

School Boy

Place living now

West Norwood

Photos


Good stuff : collecting shrapnel from fallen bombs, playing, getting sent home from the evacuation by Christmas.

Bad stuff : Being sent to West Worthing with a label round his neck in the evacuation, knowing no one & having no brothers and sisters to go with.

Documents ; Bernie playing in his tin helmet in the rockery, photo of bomb damage in Norwood, relative on motor bike

Bernie was a boy in Lambeth during the Second World War. Once he had come home from the evacuation early in the war he seems to have quite an adventurous time riding on fire trucks, playing soldiers in the rockery and collecting mementos from the bombing. He also had sad moments when he found out at school that children he knew had died in the nightly blitz bombing that took place over London.

1957: Mus : FROM PAKISTAN TO ENGLAND


Mus has no childhood photos so we took a modern one of her.

MUSSARET

Name

Mus

Age

7

Place of Birth

Pakistan, Mandi, Hasilpur, in the District of Bahawalpur.

Gender

Female

Occupation

Child

Place living now

Newcastle upon Tyne, the North of England & then Streatham, London from 1963

Photos


Good stuff : In Pakistan : playing with all her cousins in their family compound in the village. In Newcastle, England : watching the Blaydon Races parade from the roof of the house. Mus was not allowed to go to the parade so she sneaked out of the window and sat watching all the excitement from the roof of her house.

"I can still remember the noise of the drums and the rest of the band and seeing giant floats go by. People were cheering non stop."

Bad stuff : No dolls. When her teacher gave her an old doll she had to hide it as her father was a strict Muslim who did not allow them to have anything that was a representation of a living thing in the house. Mus's mother got round that by teaching her to knit and sew clothes using the doll.

Waving goodbye to her grandfather as they boarded the aeroplane for England.

"I remember my Grandad actually coming to the steps of the plane. It was only at this point that I realised that I would not be seeing him, my cousins and my uncles again, probably for a long time."

Mus came to Newcastle in England at the age of 7 as her father who was a scholar wanted to settle here. Her early life in Pakistan was idyllic, as the family had their own compound in the village, where she lived with her grandfather, mum and cousins. Life in England was very different.

1960s: Violet : WEST INDIES TO LONDON


This is a photo of a girl taken in London whose family probably also moved from the Caribbean to London in the late 50s or early 60s.

VIOLET

Name

Violet ( unlike the other characters in this website she is imaginary but based on actual families who came to live in London from the West Indies. )

Age

15

Place of Birth

Jamaica

Gender

Female

Occupation

School girl

Place living now

South London

Photos


Good stuff : Going to dances with her sisters, seeing the famous places in London like Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace.

Bad stuff : Mum saying goodbye when she left Jamaica and came to work in England.

Saying goodbye to her Gran in the West Indies when she went to live with her mum and little sisters in England several years later.

Violet's story is one common to many families who came to live in Britain after World War II. Some of these adults had been in the Armed Forces in Britain during the war. Afterwards, in the 1950s, with bad harvests in the Caribbean and with the promise of good jobs in England in the new National Health Service and on the railways many people returned. Bad weather in London, discrimination and the lack of good housing as well as the separation of families, with older children often having to stay behind, made the experience of migration difficult and far from the dream many had expected.


Passport photo of unknown man 1950s/1960s

1990s: Sayid : SNOW & CAMELS


Sayid Somal

Name

Sayid

Age

19

Place of Birth

Taleex, Somalia

Gender

Male

Occupation

Camel boy, now student teacher

Place living now

Britain via Finland

Photos


Good stuff : Looking forward to new things and meeting new people and having new experiences.

Bad stuff : Being homesick for everything, his camels,the lovely lovely beaches of the Red Sea, and missing his mum.

Documents. Sayid with his favourite camel, map of Somalia , Photo from Tiger Bay Swansea,South Wales of a wedding in 1925 with Somali groom and mixed race bride with their families and friends.

Sayid left Somalia to stay with his brother in Finland in the 1990s but when the war broke out in his homeland he applied for asylum. He misses so many things about his home country but has enjoyed meeting new people and doing new things in Britain. He says that parts of London are just like being in an African village." You can get anything !"

2009: For you to fill in


Name

Your name

Age

Place of Birth

Gender

Occupation

Place living now

Photos