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Growing cheeky monkeys from seed

Gunilla Bergström, the illustrator and author behind the Alfie Atkins books, was born in Gothenburg. She had a special wish for the Cultural Centre to be located in the Old Seed Store in the Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen).

The first Alfie Atkins book was published in 1972, and when the character reached his 40th birthday, this wish came true and Alfie moved into his home. The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre opened in October 2012.

It’s exciting for children today to visit the old building dating from 1876 and glimpse what it might have looked like long ago, in grandpa and grandma’s time, and even further back. After all, children love hearing about how things were in the past, and are fascinated by ramshackle old houses full of nooks and crannies. Here history meets the present, sparking children’s curiosity and sense of adventure.

The building is listed, which means it will be preserved for future generations.

For example, we’ve kept the hundreds of drawers lining the indoor walls, which used to contain all manner of seeds that were planted by the people of Gothenburg over the years. The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre was once Sweden’s leading seed store. Today other types of seeds grow here, like the seeds of knowledge, inquisitiveness and inclusion.