Children’s Library Display

Anne and Liz putting finishing touches to the Birmingham Children of War display in the Children’s Library. This will be the starting point of the Children’s Trail which forms part of the WW1 event on Saturday 11th March. Trail leaflets can be collected in the Children’s Library from 1pm on Saturday. The trail finishes on Level 4 where children, with their accompanying adults, can do a number of related craft activities.


Also on Level 4 will be a pop-up display of archive documents and local history books used in researching childrens lives in WW1, mini-talks by project volunteers and an exhibition featuring content from the project’s newly published learning guide. Look out for Scouts performing semaphore signalling. And listen out for the Midlands Hospital Choir singing patriotic WW1 songs.

The display in the Children’s Library will stay in situ for 6 weeks. We are grateful to the staff for their support.

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Children’s Xmas Thoughts & Dreams

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This cartoon in Picture World, December 1915, shows the thoughts of a little boy thinking back over the previous twelve months wondering if his behaviour will have been good enough to warrant a visit from Father Christmas. Ringing doorbells and running away; tying cans to a dogs tail; overflowing the bath and scaring the maid are just a few of his misdemeanours. But despite this catalogue of naughtiness in December he is pictured with angel wings and a halo looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and with the conclusion “What a Good Boy Am I?”

Anticipation and Realisation – the Christmas edition of Birmingham’s Picture World led with a full page spread about a ‘bonnie little Birmingham boy’ who dreamed of the good things he hoped Father Christmas would bring. He wanted an engine and a football and other toys and hung up his stocking by the fireplace in anticipation. (I’m trying not to be too judgemental about the complete lack of a fireguard as the wee lad peers into the fireplace!) And sure enough his dreams are ‘gratified’ and he’s pictured on his bed with his new gifts from Santa. They could be images from any early 20th Century newspaper were it not for the strapline above the title: ‘Kaiser’s Christmas Greeting: German Airman’s Bomb on Dover.’childs-xmas-dream-picture-world-dec-1914

Liz Palmer with thanks to Marian Hall for finding the images on microfilms of Picture World.