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Photographer: Damian Walker

The Mapping Workshop at the London Metropolitan Archives

Thursday 10 and Friday 11 February, the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) welcomed the Hanging Out Project's Mapping Workshop, aiming to find out where famous sports people hung out in London during the 1950s and 60s.


Maureen Roberts, Senior Interpretation Officer at the LMA, led the working group. She welcomed the ten volunteers, aged 16 and 17, explaining what they would be going to do during the two following days, which is to find information about the leisure activities of young people during the 1950s and 60s.

"I wanted to get more experience and become a professional researcher"
- Hies


The volunteers came mostly from Preston Manor and Alperton Community, schools located in Brent. On Thursday, they did a guided tour of the LMA, during which they discovered how the archives are preserved and notably how to look after old paper.

"The training will come in handy if I wish to write a novel set in 1960s London about young people"
– Amy

Each of the volunteers then had to find three archives showing the activities of sports people during the 1950s and 60s.

"I learned new things, have more confidence, and learned how to reference and go through books."
– Yasmin

" I learned about interesting aspects of the 50s and 60s. I also learned how to find information and evidence."
– Anisa

On Friday, after having a browsing through London newspapers from 1953 and 1966, the volunteers could see the archives they had ordered the day before. Some of them were pictures of stadiums, olympics or athletes, pieces of newspapers and mails, but also documents about youth culture of this period of time, not necessarily having a connection with sports.

"It’s a lot easier to access old books than I thought!"
– Amy

After sharing their finds, the volunteers watched the 1957's short film “St Hilda's East” and compared it to the way people living there now hang out. They concluded that the customs haven't changed a lot.

"I learned how to do research using an archive."
– Hies

When asked why they decided to take part in the workshop, the volunteers all answered they were curious to discover the archives. “Looking through the files is what I liked the most,” said Kamilla, 16.

Some of the archives found by the volunteers will be included in the book about the project and in the display at the Victoria and Albert museum.

Review by volunteer reporter Marina Vitaglione

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