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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Thomas Coram and the Foundling Voices

Thomas Coram is one of the most notable sons of Lyme Regis though he made his fortune elsewhere. He is most famous for the Coram foundation and the Foundling Hospitals which, over many years, provided a start in life for many less fortunate children.

Foundling Voices is a travelling exhibition, based on an oral history project in which seventy four former pupils of the Foundling Hospital School were interviewed over an eighteen month period. A further seventeen people who had an association with the School - including children and partners of former pupils, local residents and staff members - were also interviewed.

Listening to the remembered experiences of foundling life is quite moving -

"Who am I? Where have I come from? What happened?"
"The word illegitimate is possibly the most searing word in the English Language"
"Who am I? I am a man with a family now. A man with a name, not just - somebody who is nobody. ... Now I am one of a big crowd of a family, I don't stand alone anymore."

The exhibition is in Lyme Regis Museum until the end of May.

Boys queuing for dinner at Berkhamstead Foundling Hospital

For more details of the exhibition see here.
For more information about the Foundling Museum see here.

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