Entertainment and Hobbies in the 1950s


The images on this page are from a scrapbook created in the late 1940s to early 1950s. The book was donated to Armley Mills Museum in Leeds by a lady called Janet N Leveridge of Roundhay, who put it together when she was aged between 4 and 9. 

Scrapbooking was a popular pastime in the 1950s and many children would have made one. Janet's scrapbook was a recycled old notebook and you can still see some of the writing on gaps on the pages. 

Janet covered the pages of the book with things she collected over the years. It is a record of Janet's memories, as it is full of things that were important to her at the time. These included memorabilia, souvenirs and cuttings from comics and magazines. 


She also added a card containing a poem that read:


Polly put the kettle on

Polly put the kettle on

Polly put the kettle on

We'll all have tea.


Sukey take it off again

Sukey take it off again

Sukey take it off again

They've all gone away

(Take a look at the image gallery to find more photographs of pages from Janet's scrapbook)


Activity: Analysing an artefact and creating your own  

Pupils from St Bart's School in Leeds were asked to use the scrapbook to create a 'profile' of a child from the 1950s. The key question was:   'What did she save and why did she choose to save it?'. 

The children used the pictures and cuttings in the book to think about Janet's tastes and hobbies; the people in her life who were important to her; the celebrities she admired; and the reasons why she might have kept particular clippings.


After looking at the historical example, pupils then made their own. They were asked to imagine a child looking at their scrapbook in 50 years time. What would they want someone in the future to know about them? What sort of pictures/clippings could they use to put that across?

View other My Learning resources on life in the 1950s or see the teachers' notes page

Scroll down for a list of links and resources on this topic.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Armley Mills Museum, Leeds Museums and Galleries | 
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