On Tuesday 17th May Pre-Prep 1 travelled by modern transport, in the form of a coach, to the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, to look at transport from the past as part of our summer term topic.
Before we went to the Museum, we had learned how a lock works and it was great for the children to be able to experience this first hand when we were needed to pull and push the lock gates shut once the narrow boats were in the lock and then open them again once the paddle gates had been opened with a windlass to let the water in or out, all under the supervision of our guide. Following that we had a talk about what children did on the canals in working boats, over 200 years ago. It was fascinating to hear what 6 year olds were expected to do to help their families, with daily chores such as the girls collecting fresh drinking water and the boys collecting water to wash in each day. Dressing up in costumes of the time really helped us have empathy with the children of the past. We visited the museum and saw a lot of amazing artefacts including a replica of the front half of a narrow boat, displaying the cabin meant for a family of 8 or 10 and decorated with Roses and Castles. Fitting 6 of the children in was incredibly tight never mind two adults as well. It was lovely to listen to our guides, who were very knowledgeable and consolidated what we had learned in our lessons with hands on experiences which brought it all to life. After a picnic lunch we sketched the boats and building on the Canal and then climbed back onto the coach to wend our way home.
Report by Jessica McNally and Claire Brown