On Friday 29th April, Pre –Prep 1 children entertained Parents with an insight into the history of the Canals of Britain 200 years ago.
They read interesting facts ranging from how the boats did not have engines and were towed on the tow paths by horses. To how engineers, such as James Brindley, designed locks to enable boats to travel up and down the hills. These were known as the
‘Staircases’ of the canals.
A retelling of why and how a canal was built, was then performed by the children for everyone which included a Navvy song to keep their spirits up and to help them dig more quickly and the fact that people drove animals through the trench to trample down the clay which lined the Canal, to make the Canal watertight. This process was called ‘Puddling’.
The Children then showed their parents how they had been learning to paint ‘Roses and Castles’, traditional Canal Art used to decorate everyday objects such as plates, mugs, bowls and water jugs as well as the outside of the boats. They demonstrated their skills by
painting a keepsake mug with Canal Roses.
Finally, the children all had a well deserved taste of the type of food ‘boat people’ would have eaten 200 years ago. It was very meagre. Buttered bread, a lump of cheese, a slice of
apple with a cup of water. ‘Boat people’ were able to bake cakes in their ovens, so as a special treat; the children had a slice of delicious apple cake.
Thank you to Mr. Neil McClusky and his dedicated team in our kitchen for providing all the food and thank you to all the parents for providing such great costumes. It really added to the Victorian feel of ‘Life on the Canals’ 200 years ago.
Report by Jessica McNally and Claire Brown