Reading has always been something I have loved to do. bESS TOO!
Ever since I was a small child I have enjoyed the escape offered by a good read.
Bess has thankfully inherited this love and is rarely seen without her nose stuck in a book. Her most favourite author is and has been for some time. Jacqueline Wilson. She has read everything Dame Wilson has written but has a special fondness for a character called Hetty Feather.
You can imagine how excited we were to receive an invitation to travel to the Foundling Museum and have the opportunity to meet Bess’s aforementioned idol!
As we don’t often get to spend one-to-one time together I decided we should make a day of it. My brother kindly did his Uncle duty and agreed to look after Moose overnight so that Bess and I could catch an early train.
We hopped on the 7am train to Kings Cross and we were off! It was nice and quiet for most of the journey so we spent time chatting about how excited she was to meet Dame Wilson.
The Foundling Museum
The Museum is found on Brunswick square – the nearest tube station being Russell Square. It is set inside the Foundling hospital which was established in 1739 to offer care to babies at risk of abandonment. The founder, Thomas Coram was helped in his endeavour by the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. Over the years many artists have become fellows which allows them to use their talent to create a project to inspire and involve young people and contribute to the work of the museum.
In 2008 Jacqueline Wilson became part of this fellowship and she created the character of Hetty Feather.
Picturing Hetty Feather
The exhibition is situated in the basement of the museum. At first glance it isn’t that big but to a Hetty fan I can assure you that it is a trove of delights! As well as costumes and props from the television series you will find other items such as a meal planner for the hospital and a set of rules for Matron.
As well as things to see, the children could also dress up in some of the costumes from the series. Sadly I couldn’t persuade Bess to do so this time.
It was really interesting to explore the museum and try to imagine the lives of the foundlings and as a Mother I found some of it quite emotional. To have reached the point where signing your child over seemed like the best choice for them must have been so desperately sad.
Meeting Jacqueline Wilson
So, as we walked through the exhibition I saw a small set woman with white hair sitting quietly next to a desk and it took me a minute for my brain to catch up and realise that it was Dame Wilson.
Bess took her place in line (and grumbled a bit about deciding to leave her copy of Hetty feather at home) and soon it was her turn. To say Bess was starstruck was a bit of an understatement. She very politely asked Dame Wilson if she could please take a photo with her and told her that she was a massive fan. Dame Wilson was really lovely and thanked her for her kind words.
After that Bess didn’t stop grinning. We stood and listened to Jacqueline Wilson speak about Hetty Feather and her new book ‘Hetty Feather at Christmas’ as well as a book she is working on about a character called Rose Rivers which will be one to watch out for next year!
FREE for children, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holders
An additional £3 applies for Picturing Hetty Feather (FREE for children & Foundling Friends)
*Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation
Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday, 11:00 – 17:00
We really enjoyed our experience at The Foundling Museum and I would visit again. There are plenty of activities for families over the summer and into September. You can find more information here
Bess hasn’t stopped talking about meeting Dame Wilson and I hope it’s something she will remember for a long time.
Mummy & Moose