Firstly, it represents my first attempts to explore London in any great depth. When I was a Boy Scout (which was so long ago the notion of girl Scouts wasn’t even entertained) I visited London and had my photograph taken outside Buckingham Palace, but this, and subsequent sightseeing tours and theatre breaks required little organisation on my part. I think it was an article in the BBC History Magazine that inspired me to visit The Foundling Museum and lead me to investing in a map of London, so I could walk there from Kings Cross Station. I felt very adventurous!
Secondly, this is the best souvenir in my collection; in that it rekindles so many thoughts and memories relating to what is a very emotional subject. The mug depicts Captain Thomas Coram finding an abandoned child, a foundling, which was such a common occurrence in 17th Century London that the Captain felt it necessary to establish an institution to take care of some of these abandoned children; The Foundling Hospital. The museum, like the mug, contrasted the charitable figure of Coram and the levels of poverty that drove women to abandon their children or to leave them in the care of Coram following the foundation of the Hospital. The mug, for me, is about hope and despair, in equal measure; plus any personal feelings I might have about that particular day in history when I spotted it behind the museums reception desk.
Thirdly, this was my first souvenir mug. The base of the mug informs me that it was crafted by Grahame Clarke who produces the “finest of hand-made porcelain”, according to his website. It is very well done and my photograph does not really do it justice.