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The Secret History of Ladybird Books

Ladybird Books are fondly remembered by generations of people, including me, who read them as children. It was a real honour for Charnwood Museum and our teams to be involved in the national Being Human festival, as well as being recognition of the important role heritage plays in the life of our county

‐ Councillor Richard Blunt, the county council’s cabinet member for heritage, leisure and arts

In 2019 ‘The Secret History of Ladybird Books’ event took place at Charnwood Museum, in partnership and Loughborough University. The event was part of the national Being Human Festival 2019, the UK’s only national celebration of the humanities!

The aim of the day was for local people to come together to share their unique connections and memories of the iconic manufacturer: Ladybird Books, which was founded in Loughborough.

#LoveLadybird

We had a fantastic turn out of people who have unique connections including collectors, ex-employees, writers and illustrators of the original books, even local people who featured in the promotional material as children!

Connections captured on film

Please enjoy the film by clicking on the video to the right. It captures some amazing local stories and showcases the diversity of our connections.

It includes interviews with several former Ladybird employees: a woman who featured in advertising and promotional materials for the books as a small child, a woman who wrote a children’s cookery book for Ladybird and a brother and sister who donated a huge collection of Ladybird archive material to Charnwood Museum. The treasure trove of records, documents, admin and correspondence with authors had been left to them by a family member who was one of the owners of original Ladybird creators, Will’s and Hepworth.

All footage taken of the day has gone into the national Ladybird Books Archive at the University of Reading, as well as the archives at the Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland and the Collections at Leicestershire County Council, to be kept for future generations.

Here are some images from the day!

A team effort!

A big thank you to the staff from the Market Town Museums and Collections teams and of course all of our amazing volunteers for making this happen. A massive shout out to the local community for getting involved!