This week, on Wednesday, we were lucky enough to be able to visit Beamish Museum in County Durham as part of our houses and homes history topic. Our day was littered with memorable experiences and learning opportunities which really brought the past to life. When we first arrived, some of us waited patiently at the tram stop while the rest of the year group went to Old Pockerly Hall. When the tram finally arrived, we all went to the top to find that it was an ‘open-top’ tram. We hand fantastic views of the site and enjoyed waving at members of the public as we drove past.
When we arrived at the old town, there was so much for us to see and explore we had to split up into groups of ten so that we could cover as much as we could. We looked in the old garage and found out about the repairs that were made to bicycles, carriages, horses and carts and on very rare occasions, motor cars. In the Co-op, we found out about the daily life of the people in the town and how money was transported between the front of house and the office at the back. As well as this, we went to stationers, tailors and clothes merchants, the bank, the olde sweet shop and much more. The staff at Beamish were incredibly knowledgeable and were able to answer any questions we had during our time there. Most importantly of all, however, was the time we were able to spend inside houses and homes from over 100 years ago. All of the artefacts we had discussed over the last few weeks were made real when we saw them in a real life context.
Our experience at Old Pockerly Hall was amazing. We were greeted by Emma and Dan, who worked for the Master of Old Pockerly Hall, and told us that were were going to be applying for jobs as servants to help lighten their work load. Throughout our time there, we took part in a variety of household tasks such as: making ginger biscuits, learning how to make candles, making lavender bags, cleaning the master’s bedroom as well as cleaning and dusting some other rooms. Each of these tasks, really made it clear to us how hard life must have been in the 1800s. Before we left, the master came and judged whether he thought we would make it as servants before yelling at us to get out of his house. He was really mean!
Throughout the day, lots of members of the public came up to our teachers to say just how well behaved, polite and respectful we were. All of our Key Stage One staff were really proud of us.