Toys and books wanted for Romford exhibition celebrating childhood

PUBLISHED: 12:12 15 July 2020

The childhood exhibition in Romford will include toys and games from years gone by. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA

The childhood exhibition in Romford will include toys and games from years gone by. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

An exhibition about childhood is set to take place at a Romford school and donations are wanted for display.

The Appleby Gallery, based at the Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls in Brentwood Road, plans to showcase items in January that celebrate childhood.

It is looking for loans and donations of memorabilia, focusing on before 2010, ranging from toys and books to comics and posters.

Lisa Walker, the gallery’s curator, said she works closely with the school’s head of art, Clare Dorber, on providing exhibitions that will benefit the school’s students and those across the borough.

Lisa explained: “For me personally being able to curate collaborative exhibitions such as this and enabling communities to come together is really exciting.

“I love hearing about the personal stories of these treasured items, their sentimental values are paramount.

“Remembering our childhood can bring a sense of joy and nostalgia. Over the decades, toys and childhood games have evolved, we can look back with fondness on what it was like ‘in our day’.”

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During the Covid-19 lockdown, people have had to spend hours of time indoors and Lisa feels this may have seen them turn to games and hobbies.

She added: “There seems to have been a revival in toys and games. Many have been revisiting old games and hobbies as a way of passing the time.

“Looking at toys, board games and books have been some of the many ways people have united as a family away from screen-time.”

Clare described toys as “touchstones” of our identity and said stories and historical events can be shared through the artefacts.

She said: “It is my hope, that by staff, the local community and other galleries sharing some of these childhood artefacts, we can establish new dialogue, produce new stories and visual links connecting the older and younger generations.”

The gallery has a page on the school’s website and says there that it is committed to supporting the creative and artistic community through exhibitions, events and workshops to help them to develop their skills.

It also works with the school’s teachers to devise an educational programme responding to each exhibition it hosts.

The deadline for donations is December and for more, contact Lisa at

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