The children of Years 3 & 4 from Pencae Primary School really enjoyed a hands on Victorian experience at their very own local museum last week.
Once they had been suitably attired in caps and waistcoats, white bonnets and aprons Dennis Roberts set the scene by drawing them into school and home life in Victorian times, the contrasts and the hardships. Dennis demonstrated the 'dolly' for pummeling washing and a flat iron for smoothing the laundry. A short fast moving DVD of the Penmaenmawr promenade from the 1800s to present day heard them gasping at the changes.
Next Anna Tucker engaged the children in questions about playtime when the chores had been finished. Anna skillfully showed them how to make peg dolls, (much loved judging by the writing on slate), ball in a basket and a thaumatrope – yes, one to look up! The offer to make their own toys was taken up eagerly and if the children were quick they had time to practice writing on slate or playing with several other small toys such as wooden spinning tops, jumping monkey, diabalo and cardboard theatre pushing characters on an off the stage.
At the end John Good asked general questions to close the session and there was no shortage of hands going up to answer.
The children were a delight and thoroughly engaged with Life in Victorian Times building on what they had learnt at school and their visits dovetailed nicely with the school curriculum.
There is much more the museum has to offer especially in the collection but not enough time to show and tell all. We now hope the children's experience of the museum will be familiar enough for them to visit again and again bringing their family with them. Our local museum is accessible and vibrant connecting us to the past here in Penmaenmawr. A local treasure in more ways than one.
Many thanks to Pippa, Anna, Pam, John and Dennis for all their hard work setting up the visits and to the staff and children at Pencae.