#VolunteersWeek – Introducing Lionel

Lionel has volunteered
for two years. “My daughter saw the Judah
Passow photography exhibition and suggested I start volunteering here. That’s
how I got interested in it.”

Before retiring Lionel worked as a precious
metals assayer in Hatton Gardens.
“What really attracted me was the fact
that I grew up in the East End and I recognised things from the East End
section of the museum. I grew up and was educated in the East End so it was nice
to see things in the museum that I used to know.”

Lionel enjoys the routine of volunteering. “It’s
a nice routine for me since retiring. I get to meet other volunteers – we have
some really interesting volunteers here – and I get to speak to people who visit.”

His favourite object in the collection is the Russian Vapour Baths sign (below). “I went to Jewish classes in Brick Lane and there was the big sign there saying ‘Russian Vapour Baths’. I saw those baths when they were up and running; now that’s in our East End collection. I never went in but my uncles probably did.”


Lionel feels he’s learnt a lot since volunteering. “The various exhibitions have taught me various things. I was brought up
in a religious family but have learnt history I didn’t know about from the

“My favourite exhibition was Abram Games: Designing the 21st Century. I recognised some of the posters. As a youngster I went to the
Festival of Britain.”

His top tip for being a volunteer is: “Try
to learn more. I read up and try to remember the information.“

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