Farthing Bundles Fern street Settlement London images photographs London east end Bow.
FERN STREET SETTLEMENT,
BOW, LONDON 1973
Irene Wood giving out the Farthing Bundles.
The turn of the century saw the
founding of a number of
settlements in the poorest parts
of London. The Fern Street Settlement was founded on behalf of the Devon's
Junior School in 1907 by the school's
headmistress and warden, Miss
Clara Grant. She therefore started an
imaginative scheme known as
'farthing bundles'. Any child
who had a farthing and could
walk under a wooden arch forty-
eight inches high without
stooping received a bundle.
These usually contained note-
pads, pencils, small toys, pieces
of string, etc. Over the arch she
had painted: 'Enter all ye
children small, none can come
who are too tall.' Taller children
had to pay a penny for their
bundle. Inflation and the welfare state have modified the custom a little.
The bundle has risen by stages to
the price of a new half-penny,
and today's taller children have a
fifty-two-inch arch to go through
every other Saturday;
attendance is also down to
between fifteen and thirty.