Half term days out: Blists Hill Museum

Yesterday we spent the day at Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum. It actually seems to be Victorian and Edwardian and it’s very good.

P1000854The little ones enjoyed having some old money. Unfortunately the queues everywhere were so long they didn’t get the chance to spend it. Oh well, we’ll take it with us next time.

They were amazed that their poor ‘old’ mum remembers this kind of money.





There was a shop that was also a dentist and medical centre. There were houses to go into and lots of village shops selling soap, sweets, household goods and traditional items.

We couldn’t get to the old sweet shop because the queue was massive and they have just opened a chip shop that also had massive queues outside.

The children enjoyed seeing pigs, chickens and horses and learned about tile and brick making as well as stuff about steam engines.

P1000873 The incline plane is apparently a heritage site now. They have built an incline lift from the canal down to the Fayre which is probably a way of showing how the plane would have worked.






The pigs were lovely. There was a Tamworth there. I always fancied keeping Tamworths.

Iona loved it there so much she said we should ask if we could live there and run a Victorian home ed scheme. Of course children didn’t go to school until they were at least 7 in those days.  The sad fact was that in those days children often went to work rather than getting any education at all. The clay mines were dug by children doing 12 or 13 hour shifts.

Children would have only Sunday’s for a chance to have family time and play. They would have Church and Sunday School-the only opportunity for education many of them had.

Other families-even poor ones-made the effort to ensure their children received basic literacy and numeracy skills. Charlotte Mason tells of how Mrs Wesley took her sons to one side when they were seven and taught them to read.

Many families (St John Bosco’s is one example from Italy) would teach their children from memory so family history, culture, religion and general knowledge was handed down even if no one could read.

P1000877As we were heading for home I spotted this van with some great Votes For Women posters on it. “Convicts, lunatics and Women – all have no vote” was my favourite. The shop opposite was selling prints but the queue was massive again so we gave it a miss.

It was a lovely day. One of the joys is that there is something for everyone no matter how young or old.

[Kids learned stuff even though it was half term. Shh! Don’t tell anyone]


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