Arts and crafts at Leighton House

Leighton House, Holland Park

Fabulous afternoon at Leighton House in Holland Park. It’s an extraordinary house with a Moorish partially tiled interior and a fountain – inside! But today it was their first annual Summer Fete with a range of children’s crafts on offer: lino-block printing , book making and woodcuts, paper mosaics and the chance to make simple Victorian toys from paper including windmills and thaumatropes. Course you know what a thaumatrope is:   circle of paper with a bird one side and a cage on the other and you spin it, now the bird is inside the cage! Easy to make when you know how and lots of fun. In fact the whole thing was lots of fun. Volunteers from the William Morris Society,  The Charles Dickens Society, Benjamin Franklin’s House in Westminster and the Ragged School Museum were among those running the crafts. Everything was free and you were even encouraged to bring your own picnic as there was no food or drink – or anything in fact – on sale. The whole day was totally devoid of pester power – it was brilliant. The only way to spend money was to go inside the house and we will definitely be back another day to do that (again) . I really hope they will repeat the day next year – keep a look out for it.  The Ragged School Museum in Tower Hamlets has free activities for the under 12s on Wednesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the Summer Holidays between 10 and 5pm so you haven’t missed out on your chance to find out more about Victorian crafts – and education. And all the other organisations mentioned have plenty going on so check them out. Nope wasn’t paid to write this, in fact, they didn’t even know I was there!

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