During the school summer holidays of 1954, photographer Thurston Hopkins went out with his camera to capture the antics of young children on the streets of the capital.
This boy is hiding in a drain access. He has removed the metal cover, and is standing on the step inside. Dressed as a red Indian, he is firing his cap gun at unsuspecting passersby.
A street, and an old piece of rope to use for skipping. All they needed to have fun.
This girl is chalking on a wall. She has even added her name and self-portrait to the artwork.
Playing ‘War’. The boy on the pavement is pretending to have been killed.
These boys have made home-made bows and arrows from garden canes and string. They are firing them at a street sign. Five years later, I was doing the same thing.
The little girl is content with her ice-lolly.
This well-dressed youngster is taking her nice dolly for a walk in its pram.
These girls have constructed a primitive ‘sun lounger’, using old crates.
Boys taking turns driving a metal pedal-car.
Friends playing on a derelict bomb-site from WW2. Something I did every year as a child.
Dirt, and a discarded wheelbarrow. Ideal playthings.
This boy is playing cricket, but he doesn’t have a proper bat. He is using a stick instead.
Who knew that pushing a cardboard box along the pavement could be so much fun?
Play Streets were closed to traffic at certain times of the day so that children would be safe.
A boy in a pedal car, wearing an oversized chauffeur’s hat.
Playing on a parked coal lorry.
These naughty boys are actually throwing gravel and small stones at passing cars!
Two boys on home-made wooden scooters. I had one just like those, which my dad made for me.
Reading comics. I used to be bought The Topper every week. One of the boys is reading that.