Colouring for Relaxation

Looking back at this summer, our thoughts might turn to the seaside, travel or time spent with friends. We might also be looking ahead to celebrations, time spent with family and friends or thinking about resuming daily routines.

Inspired by Arts in Care Homes’ National Day celebrating creativity and culture, we’ve prepared some colouring-in activities for you based upon photographs in our collections. This activity is for all to enjoy. The photographs range from Lyme Regis and Ireland to Ghana and Delhi and we’ve included a few things to consider while you work on them. 

Best wishes from the Outreach team at The National Archives!

Church of Seventh Day Adventists, Trinidad, 1960-1961

A black-on-white outline of a busy scene outside the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Trinidad. The building is tall with large windows pushed open to let the heat out. A sign advertises the different services available. The busy group includes smartly dressed men and women, mingling or making their way home. One woman holds an umbrella against the sun.

Lyme Regis poster, 1904

A black-on-white outline of a brightly coloured London and South Western Railway poster promoting Lyme Regis in Dorset, announcing that it has a “delightful climate all the year round!” Small boats are in the foreground. People bathe in the sea and along the beach. A promenade leads to a cluster of houses and a jetty. Hills and cliffs are in the background.

Women dancing at a rally, Odumase, Krobo district, 1957

A black-on-white outline depicting a large group of people. Some in the foreground are dancing, one woman carrying a baby tied to her back. Some of the women are dressed in similar tops and long skirts. Others wear patterned fabrics. The crowd at the back looks on, either at the dancing or at the camera.

Busby Alley Bridgetown street market, Barbados, 1952-1955

A black-on-white outline depicting a busy street with tall buildings offering shade to the scene below. It is a market day with traders lining the street, selling fruit and vegetables to the customers. Some of the buildings have balconies jutting out over the street. One features a sign for a lunch parlour.

Great Western Railway poster featuring Blarney Castle, 1904

A black-on-white outline of an evocative poster promoting rail travel to Southern Ireland and “its lakes and landscapes” from London Paddington using text with bubble letters. Blarney Castle stands tall and proud in the background, nestled amongst trees of various shades of green and brown. A meandering path leads the eye to a setting sun.

Bexon Health Centre, St Lucia, 1961

A black-on-white outline depicting a close up of a middle aged nurse, talking to two younger women in front of Bexon Health Centre. One of the women is holding a very young baby.

A quiet game of cards in one of the streets of Old Delhi

A black-on-white outline depicting four men are seated in a quiet area of a Delhi street enjoying a game of cards together. Two elderly gentlemen are wearing turbans. A player on the left has his head uncovered and is considerably younger. The fourth player is largely obscured.

Grenada Sugar Canal

A black-on-white outline depicting a man carrying something resembling a box camera. He wears brogue shoes, a white shirt and shorts. We can’t see his face under his hat, but he surveys a set of buildings including a windmill, a distant factory and a set of workers houses. The scene is reflected in the canal beneath. He is accompanied by a small black dog.

Prosperity To Britain through National Savings Poster, 1953

A black-on-white outline of a poster advertising “Prosperity to Britain through National Savings”. A smartly dressed crowd is celebrating, hats held high, one woman using a compact mirror for a better view. A young Queen Elizabeth waves from a carriage accompanied by royal troops on horseback. Buckingham Palace is in the background and Beefeaters are stationed to guard the procession.