I thought I’d better do something with these photos before they deteriorate any further. I need to find out where they were taken. Ethel is so small that it must have been a Sunday school or a kindergarden. The latter would suggest her mother continued to work after she was born. Another point that stands out is that these kids are quite well dressed. So they weren’t poor, just working-class (that word always come up, doesn’t it?). These are large photos, for framing.
Ethel is in the second row (from the front). She is the third girl (seated) from left to right. I’m guessing 1896. The board says “Group III.” I wonder why the boys are holding the plants?
Here she is kneeling on the far left of the front row. 1897, perhaps? Same teachers.
I wonder if the arch is a railway arch? The arches running east from London Bridge Station warrant a separate post. The noise of the trains above, the darkness, the damp, the smells (vinegar was one of the most potent – all sorts of items were stored in warehouses under the arches). I had to walk through them every day to get to Stogs. Tom had a place where he stashed things in the brickwork of one arch. The bricks were still loose when Mum took me there 15 years ago…