Memories of London for people living dementia

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Pictured l-r Sam Vaux, House of Memories Marketing Officer, Brian Hallett, House of Memories Creative Development Specialist, Dawn Carroll, House of Memories Relationship Programme Manager, and Marina Spiteri, Memories of London Programme Coordinator at the Museum of London.

If we were to say ‘Memories of London’, what would you think of? The answer would probably depend on whether you were a Londoner, or a visitor to the city. Dawn Carroll, House of Memories Relationship Programme Manager tells us more...

“Recently, we worked in partnership with the Museum of London to explore the type of memories an older person from London might recall, from the splendour of dining at Lyons’ Corner House in Piccadilly to more modest activities, such as ice skating on the pond at Hampstead Health. 

"Professional carers and families from across the City of London received House of Memories dementia awareness training on 5 November 2019 at the Museum of London and were the first to explore this brand new app content.

“The amazing Museum of London tracks the history of the capital city from before it was built, right through Roman, Medieval, and Victorian times until the present day. However, we were particularly interested in more recent objects within living memory, so that we could add them to the ‘My House of Memories’ app – a digital tool co-created by people living with dementia and their carers to stimulate conversations and the sharing of memories.

“As with Liverpool, London has a strong link with sports, music and cultural activity which are reflected in objects such as the Vespa scooter, an Arsenal football programme, a punk outfit and memorabilia from Notting Hill Carnival. There are also links to industry and the river, including a dockers’ hook and a fish porter wearing a hat specifically designed to balance crates of fish on the head.

“The wonderful thing about the ‘Memories of London’ content that has been created for the app is that it is both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time - no doubt a reflection of the city itself. A pull-along toy dog helps tell the tale of the famous Hamley’s toy store, while a bus ticket enables travel to the Festival of Britain.

Objects from the Museum of London in the app

A selection of objects from 'Memories of London' featured within the My House of Memories app.

“Celebrated objects, such as the bowler hat of a banker or the fancy suit of a Pearly King are inevitable, but it is fascinating to see the real people and stories behind the stereotypes. While a photo of feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square may have you singing Mary Poppins’, “Feed the birds, Tuppence a bag”, these figures are not simply the works of fiction but part of the historic fabric of the city.

“Whether it is loading a washing machine at the laundrette or spending a sixpence in Woolworths, we hope that ‘Memories of London’ will prompt recollections of ordinary life in London, as well as special ones.”

You can download the ‘Memories of London’ content in the My House of Memories app from our website and enjoy sharing memories together. 

Professional carers

Brian Hallet, House of Memories Creative Development Specialist meets professional carers at the House of Memories dementia awareness training session at the Museum of London. 

With thanks to RONTEC Roadside Retail Limited., Pennies - The Digital Charity Box, and the Mayor of London for their support of our work in partnership with the Museum of London, as part of the Greater London Authority funded wider Memories of London programme.