There is a room in 14 Henrietta Street called Mrs. Dowling’s room.
It’s the last room on the tour and it’s not uncommon to hear in the chatter as groups slowly begin to leave it, how it’s their favourite room.
Mrs. Dowling’s room is not a room at all but it’s a whole flat, as it would have appeared in the 1960s. It has a sewing machine and a piano, holy pictures, blue and white striped cups, curtains dividing the room, familiar bits and pieces, good wallpaper and lino floors. It feels homely and full.
There are family photos and among them is one of a girl in her communion outfit. That girl was Lily Dowling, and along with her brothers Peter and Joseph and her parents George and Elizabeth (Lizzy), they were one of the last families to reside in 14 Henrietta Street.
Lily’s son Trevor Butterworth and Joseph’s daughter, Linda Dowling, have donated objects to the museum which originally came from the family home at 14 Henrietta Street which significantly informed the shape the museum took.
Lily passed away on February 14th 2020.