Children’s Building Bricks

What, you may ask, do children’s building bricks have to do with war memorials? Well, read on….

Richter’s Anchor Blocks were invented in Germany in 1882 and were popular throughout the Europe, the UK and America for many years. But the advent of WW1 and the resulting restriction on German imports provided an opportunity for a British manufacturer to break into the market. Ernest Lott leased premises in Bushey, Hertfordshire to make a British version known as Lott’s Bricks.

A series of boxes designed for specific projects were produced e.g. Tudor Blocks to enable kids (and maybe Dads!) to reproduce the fashionable mock-Tudor house that was springing up all over suburbia. But of particular interest to us is Box 3. Amongst the ideas of what to build there is a plan for a War Memorial.

The nature of the bricks meant that it was of a modernist design, albeit topped with a cross, and its monumentality is perhaps reminiscent of the larger Commonwealth War Graves Commission crosses rather than a community one. However, one piece of publicity shows a smaller design, more proportional to the surrounding houses. To find out more, there is still time to see an interesting exhibition at Bushey Museum and Art Gallery, Hertfordshire in which the memorial features. It closes on November 2nd 2008 so you had better be quick!

I wonder how many other war memorial toys have been produced?

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