Historical Photography Project finds charity stall at Ideal Home Show 1920

21 March 2017 16:00

The Ideal Home Show returns this week. Originally called the Ideal Home Exhibition and organised by the Daily Mail, it began back in 1908.

In 1920 Blind Veterans UK (then known as St Dunstan’s) had a stall at the Exhibition which was held, as it is today, at the Olympia centre in Kensington, London.

Black and white photo of St Dunstan's stand at the Ideal Home Exhibition 1920
The stall, shown in the photo above was divided into three sections. Two of these displayed items, as shown in the photo below, including baskets, mats, trays and nets, and these were also made available for sale. They had been made by our blind veterans as part of their training in new skills and occupations at our then headquarters in Regent’s Park. The third section was devoted to our ‘Country Life’ training and included a poultry house typical of those which we supplied to those of the men who had trained for this particular line of work.

Black and white photo of wickerwork items made for the Ideal Home exhibition
The Exhibition was clearly highly successful and visitors to it included Queen Alexandra. As patron of the charity, she would doubtless have been especially interested in our stand, and our magazine, the Review, notes that she bought a work basket and a waste-paper basket there.

We continued to be involved with the Ideal Home Exhibition, and a report in the Review in 1933 describes how our Stand had expanded to include a number of our blind veterans demonstrating telephone, joinery and other skills.

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