A traditional rhyme which rang out loud from the streets of London in the 19th and early 20th century was:
'Please remember the grotto
Me father has gone off to sea
Me mother's gone to fetch him back
So please give a farthin' to me'
Street Urchins could be seen holding out a grubby hand or a shell asking those passing by to give them money. The song mentions 'farthin' (farthing) this was an old English coin.
No one can say with any certainty when Grotto Day was, there are reports that it was held on a day in late July, early August or September.
The day was celebrated in other areas including Hampshire, Essex, Sussex, Norfolk and Swansea
On the 21st of November 1957 The Times contained an article about Grotto Day on the Old Kent Road in London.
Authors Ian and Marie.