Archives and Future Places: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives & Clara Ellen Grant

This is going to be a long blog post.
This was one of my favourite sites, I always liked history, much more so when you go to a site of these in search of a specific topic in which you are very interested, and the people of it are very priceless and help you immensely.

During my online research, I found a very touching story from a lady named Clara Ellen Grant, a teacher who has always helped the neediest, in this case she has helped a lot of her students by giving them hot food for breakfast and even clothes for those who had no money or a way to acquire.

This lady was a very important milestone in this area because she helped a lot in the development of this community, she made people come together more and help each other more.

Clara E. Grant invented one of the most caricature movements of all time, the delivery of farthing bundles to children. Farthing Bundles are small gifts of insignificant things wrapped in paper. This “gift” is more a gesture than the present itself. It was the gesture of “receiving,” those poor children who never had the opportunity to receive a gift, where they had the opportunity to feel spices and deservers of something.

As this turned out to be a success, and many other children also looked for it, Clara had the idea of creating a wooden arch with a certain height, at which time only children who could pass underneath without folding would have the right to receive the farthing bundle.

What I like the most about this story is the fact that the children at this time who had nothing, gave great value to these little gifts.
These farthing bundles consisted of things of no importance at all, like dolls without heads, pins, bits of paper, parts of lines, bits of lost toys, and so on.I was very fascinated by this story and will certainly recreate this event in my project on the future of Roman Road.
My visit to the Archives of the Tower Hamlets Library was fundamental to the research of this subject.
I found it immense information, from books to photographs, things that could only be accessed there, because on the internet the information is almost always the same, and there are not so many references or even photos.

My main idea is to recreate this story but little change in its concept, I believe that in a few years if we gave the children a farthing bundle they would not give as much value as these children of the 1900’s. As it is said, “times change, will change,” and so it is, even today, children do not care for insignificant things, they know full well what they want, brands that want stores that they can find what they want. A few years ago the children did not have access to the things they already have today. And my idea was to recreate this gesture but in 100 years, and when I said I wanted to change the concept a little, the idea was to instead of giving some objects or anything else I would give ‘feelings’ because I believe that is what is needed most today. Feelings such as ‘thankfulness’, ‘honesty’, ‘appreciation’, ‘kindness’, ‘happiness’, and other more examples.
Anyway, this is just my first impression and idea for my project, now I will have to develop my visual ideas and explore more on this topic.

Here are some pictures from my sketchbook so far:



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