In 1924 a young boy stood outside of 10 Downing Street - the British Prime Minister's residence - to have his photo taken. He was then eight years old. The photo above was published by the Evening Standard newspaper.
In 1964, forty years later, Harold Wilson, the boy in the photo, became Prime Minister himself and fulfilled his dream. He held the Premiership until 1970 and was again at the helm between 1974 and 1976. That's him in the photo below leaving Number 10 - as it is popularly known - for the final time in 1976.
Nowadays 10 Downing Street is well protected and it's impossible to walk past the famous door without authorisation. I remember though, as a child, how it was quite normal to visit Downing Street and stroll along it's length without any problem or suspicion. We are a much more dangerous society in 2011.
Downing Street dates back to 1682 and was built by Sir George Downing as terraced houses for him to sell. They had a peculiar numbering system at the time and the current Number 10 started out life as Number 5, and was not renumbered until 1779.
The present property is much bigger than it actually looks and is made up of two houses joined together: Downing’s terrace house at the front plus a much grander building at the back, overlooking London's Horse Guards Parade.
10 Downing Street was first linked to British Prime Ministers in the 1730s when King George III let the two houses be used by Sir Robert Walpole. He had the title of 'First Lord of the Treasury' but was effectively the first Prime Minister.
Today the Prime Minister occupies Number 10 officially as the First Lord of the Treasury and there is a plate to this effect on the black front door.
Number 11 Downing Street still exists and this is the residence of the British Chancellor of the Exchequer - the bloke who handles all of the UK finances, so he has a problem on his hands at the present time.
But going back to the photos, if you have a young child, who has a particular dream, take his or her photo doing whatever symbolises the dream. You never know, that way it might just come true.
Further Photo Coincidences:
Married Couple In Same Photo As Children
Photo Taken Of Father Showed His Missing Daughter
Coincidence Photos Of Children And Their Dogs
Very interesting. I never think that 10 Downing Street looks very impressive as compared, to say, the White House. Inside it's more impressive, so I've been told by a friend who has been there. Regarding Harold Wilson, isn't he the man responsible for so many of the ills in the UK today? That's what my father often rants on about.ReplyDelete
i agree with suzies dad. interetsing though as never seen the hw child photo before or knew the history of no.10ReplyDelete
I really enjoy these posts you do about the historical stuff in the UK. And I like the message this one conveys - help your child make a dream a reality by taking a photo. So, I'm off to find my camera and see if it works for adults, too!ReplyDelete
Such a neat post!ReplyDelete
Nice piece of history here...and I will have to remember to photograph the grand kids with their dreams...wonderful idea!ReplyDelete
I used to walk down Downing street, past the copper on the doorstep, down the stone stairs and into St James' Park. And so did any Londoner. Happy days. Thank you Gerry Adams.ReplyDelete
Yes, me too. I remember walking down Downing Street as a boy with my mother. Times have certainly changed.Delete
The Police officer on the left (looking at Photo) is my father. He died in 2006 and this phtro reappearing in national press and footage on the telly always reminds us of the stories he used to tell of his time working at Downing Street.ReplyDelete