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ELD -Year 9 Dig Into The Past At The Black Country Museum

Year 9 students Beth and Jemima tell us about their day...

On Wednesday, all of Year 9 went to the Black Country Living Museum, and apart from being cold and wet, with sightings of snow - the trip was extremely immersive and informative. 

We learnt all about the Industrial Revolution and its consequences on the daily lives of people living in the Black Country.  We heard about large mining families, with an average of twelve people, living in a house with one room downstairs and only one bedroom for the whole family, and the opportunity for only one bath a week (if it was decided you needed one!)  An identical house was on the back of this house, which is why they are called back-to-back houses.  At least four families would share a toilet outside, and most families used a chamber pot at night, which was called a 'Guzunder' because it 'guz under the bed' as they say in Black Country dialect.  As you can imagine, there wasn't an ugly rush to empty out the Guzunder in the mornings!

At lunch we tried some fish and chips fried in beef dripping (YUM!) cooked in an original 1930’s fryer.  The school classroom visit was a popular one with all of Year 9 dutifully shouting out their twelve times tables and making sure their slates were full of beautiful copperplate writing. The obedience shown by Year 9 was a little scary, although perhaps they were more concerned that the staff were going to use the cane on them!

Finally we went down the mine and learned about what it would be like to be a miner working twelve hours a day from the age of 5 and above, until an Act was passed in Parliament making the minimum age 10.  No women or girls were allowed in the mines either, although some women were up top picking and sorting the coal.  Singing Happy Birthday down a darkened mine in Dudley is a first as well!  

We had fantastic day learning about the Industrial Revolution and how it shaped the country we live in today.  Our thanks to the staff who came along and made the day possible.


Beth Crone and Jemima Levy