A London Boy’s Saturday

Source: Unnamed schoolboy, quoted in T.E. Harvey, A London Boy’s Saturday (Bournville: The Saint George Press, 1906), p. 13

Text: Saturday last, I woke at seven o’clock, cleaned my boots, had a good wash, then had my breakfast, wished my mother and father good bye for the day. At eight o’clock I started to go to work at Cardwardine and Co., on one of their vans, delivering flour around Bermondsey. At three p.m. we had our dinner, and at four o’clock started on our journey. At eight p.m. I had finished my work, I called at the Leysian Mission and saw Cinematagraph [sic] scenes. I returned home at ten p.m. I had a wash, had my supper and thanked God for keeping me safe through the day and then went to sleep.

Comments: Thomas Edmund Harvey (1875-1955) was Deputy Warden of Toynbee Hall, the university settlement in London’s East End. A London Boy’s Saturday report on a survey he undertook in 1905 on how London children spent their free time, which was based on evidence from essays submitted by children as a school exercise. This boy is described as being “of better off sort”. The Leysian Mission was a Methodist institution based in City Road, and ran a range of social, medical, entertainment and evangelical activities.


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