Category Archives: Archive

Junk and Adventure – 20th century playground archive

Notting Hill Adventure Playground, c.1960 (c) Donne Buck/V&A Museum, London

Notting Hill Adventure Playground, c.1960 (c) Donne Buck/V&A Museum, London

In August 2014, the V&A Museum of Childhood acquired the Donne Buck Archive of Play and Playgrounds. This internationally significant collection records the practice, people and politics of adventure play in Britain over six decades.

Over the next few months, I’ll be working on sharing more of this incredible collection online, so for now, here’s an introduction to the riches in store…

Donne Buck has been a playleader and campaigner for children’s right to play since the 1950s. A significant figure in the history of play, in his long career Donne has established and run adventure playgrounds in London, Stevenage and Peterborough. He has been an active campaigner for children’s rights and promoted the importance of play in education and social development, working with central government, local councils and international agencies. His extensive archive documents his personal role alongside the national picture of play in Britain.  Continue reading

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Plum Jam and Slapstick

Lionel Hemsley’s school days

Beach Photo

It is hard work finding evidence for the thoughts and feelings of children in the past.  Letters and diaries are rare and often don’t survive. However, this year I was delighted to meet Lionel Hemsley, who had kept a precious stash of documents from his schooldays during the Second World War. I was even more delighted when he offered to donate them to the Museum!

Lionel Hemsley with school friends. Image (C)V&A Museum, London

Lionel Hemsley with school friends. Image (C)V&A Museum, London

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