Pre-Prep 2 Great Fire of London

The week began with a visit from Samuel Pepys! He was looking to buy a property and dropped into have a chat with our PP2 Estate Agents. The children wrote descriptively to entice him to make a purchase.

On Wednesday, they were immersed in the story of The Great Fire of London, with a workshop from ‘History Off the Page’. They stepped back in time to spend a day in 1666 where they discovered what life was like for ordinary people in the City of London. In the Barber’s Surgery, the children drilled holes in heads to release the infection and amputated limbs, carrying the odd dead body across the Theatre to the sound of “Bring out your dead!” In the Apothecary, they diagnosed ailments and treated accordingly with perfumed herbs which they wrapped in muslin cloth. Noise emanated from the Tannery as the children hammered strips of leather. Next door, they were Scriveners, writing letters with quills, to King Charles II. The French Tailor and Dutch Weaver demonstrated their skills and the children were able to sew simple running stitches on cloth. With a “One, two, three, dip-dip-dipperty-dip” they created beeswax candles with the Chandler. Worryingly, there was an outbreak of rat infestation so hammers held high they merrily clubbed them to death. The afternoon was filled with excavation and investigation of artefacts rescued from the ashes.

The long-awaited re-enactment of the fire came on Friday afternoon when the children excitedly carried their home-made Tudor and Stuart houses out to the woods. They set them out to represent the streets of London and then set light to the Baker’s shop in Pudding Lane! It burned ferociously, giving the children quite an insight into what it must have been like 350 years ago.

Report by Verity Sanders