The Steering Group’s LAST (15th) meeting… Update from everyone!

The Centenary Celebrations Steering Group had their 15th meeting on the 1st of October – sadly, the final meeting for the group. It’s been a fantastic 15 months, and the Steering Group have been fantastic representatives of local Hackney and London young people and youth groups in co-curating an exhibition, web resources like this blog and the Centenary Celebrations interactive timeline and designing and supporting themed events in the aim of re-interpreting the stories behind the Geffrye almshouse and museum walls for today’s visitors. There has been so much positive feedback from visitors and Geffrye and other museum staff, as well as readers on the blog – a big ‘thank you’ to you for following this action-packed project!

The project is not completely over yet, though: the Centenary Celebrations youth heritage exhibition is open for visitors in the Geffrye front garden, the interactive timeline is now live, and the Young Volunteer Tour Guides will be delivering tours on Sunday 19 October and 16 November (more details here)!

Hear from Steering Group members about their thoughts on Ernest Baker, a teenager who lived in the almshouses in the late 1800s, why they think archival material is important, and what they’ll miss about being part of the Project Steering Group… Before which, the inspiration from Ernest Baker’s diary!

Monday Feb 20th 1882

There! reader I have finished, hope you enjoyed it, I HAVE NOT!!!!!

Ernest Baker diary © Geffrye Museum of the Home

Ernest Baker diary © Geffrye Museum of the Home

From: ed. David Rodgers, A Victorian Schoolboy in London: The Diary of Ernest Baker 1881-82. London: Geffrye Museum, 1989.


  • ‘I enjoyed reading the Ernest Baker diary as he was a very good storyteller, but Ernest wasn’t the best at spelling and grammar and hoped that the reader isn’t a ‘future grammar witch’! The diary is interesting because it brings the Geffrye almshouses to life and Ernest’s drawings are great. It is important to look at objects from archives because they help with teaching us about the past. I will miss the Centenary Celebrations project because I have enjoyed my time working at the Geffrye Museum I have learnt lots.’
  • ‘Although it seems that Ernest Baker wasn’t too eager to write his diary, it’s been fun to read and re-discover it years later as it is still warm and witty. Archives are really important today as it is great to see more candid entries of moments in history, especially from the viewpoint of a young person. I will miss the Steering Group as a friendly, productive environment to share creative ideas about the museum and its legacy!’
  • ‘I thought Ernest Baker’s diary was funny and very interesting. I particularly liked how Ernest Baker wrote about life in general. It’s important to look at objects from archives to expand your knowledge. I will miss the meetings and regular trips to archives, because I’m not that sort of person who would normally go to an archive.’
  • ‘I thought Ernest Baker’s diary was very good, I liked what he wrote in there, especially about life in the almshouses. Archives are important to know about the history of places like the Geffrye. Archives have so much information and keep the old history very carefully. I’ll really miss going to Project Steering Group meetings!”

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