We transformed (with a little bit of imagination) our classroom into Henderson's Cotton Mill in the 1800's to help us learn more about Factory life in Victorian times.
(The background sound will give you an idea of the noises that the mill workers had to endure!)
Some of us volunteered to dress up in clothes on hire from Tullie Museum in Carlisle.
William is attending to the spools of cotton on the spinning loom while Thomas clears the factory floor.
The class read extracts written by children of what the conditions of Factory life was like and the way they felt about working there.
Samantha & Nikki played the part of the rich factory owner's children.
Sophie & Kai get a feel for working on the cotton reel machines.
Georgia, Rhianna & Tamzin are very busy tending to their looms - but taking care not to get their hand trapped!
Mrs Henderson was in role as the very strict and cruel overseer. She kept shouting at the children and those who talked she would take them and duck them into a tub of cold water! She even asked Nikki to make sure everyone kept working.
'Piecers' were children who had to join together the pieces of cotton. This often made their hands bleed and blister.
"I am exhausted but I'm frightened to stop in case I get beaten" Orlagh's thoughts as she acted our her part.
We all shared our thoughts and feelings at the end of the session. We realised that it couldn't have been much fun for the children who had to work long hours without much food or even breaks (even though we enjoyed acting it out!)
Anna commented that she would have felt very unhappy and miserable if she had to endure the conditions of life in a cotton mill. But the whole class said what fun they had with this enactment!
Look out for our
role play of a Victorian classroom - coming soon!