Image courtesy of OSP Archive

Wed 9th December at 6.30pm

Serenity Café, 8 Jackson’s Entry, The Tun, Edinburgh

In 1906, a one of Britain’s first Free Kindergartens, the St Saviour’s Child Garden, was opened in premises at Brown’s Close, Canongate. Intended as ‘a contribution to the solution of the slum problem in Edinburgh,’ it formed part of a broader programme of social reform enacted by the Episcopal church of Old St Paul’s, and was run by an energetic young Englishwoman, Lileen Hardy. This talk will explore Hardy’s work at the kindergarten, its connections to Old St Paul’s, and more particularly what it tells us about the contributions made by women to the improvement of living conditions in Edinburgh’s slums.

Elizabeth Darling is Reader in Architectural History at Oxford Brookes University. The project from which this paper arises forms part of her work on the nature of women’s contribution to the reform and transformation of urban environments from the 1890s to the 1950s. Key publications include Women and the Making of Built Space in England, 1870-1950 (co-edited with Lesley Whitworth, published by Ashgate, 2007) and a contribution to the new volume of The Evergreen, ‘A World in Action: Women’s Work and Children’s Work in the Canongate’s St Saviour’s Child Garden, 1906-1914.’