Thursday

After all the excitement of the first night, there were some notably tired faces amongst Mrs Hilton Loom’s class and Mr Rice’s class this morning. Suddenly the late night chats and card games didn’t seem like such a good idea! Despite this, after a full breakfast, all of the children were ready and raring to go as we prepared for our trip to the Victorian town of Blists Hill. Clear blue skies greeted us as we left the Youth Hostel to walk the steady climb up to Blists Hill.

One of the first stops as we entered the town was Lloyds Bank. Here, we changed some of our money for Shillings and Pence to use in the various shops around the town. The bank clerks told us all about the different coins and gave us an idea about what they might have been worth today.

As well as walking around Blists Hill, we had the opportunity to take part in two different activities. The first of these was candle dipping. We discovered that candles in the Victorian era were made from sheep or cow fat and consequently, the smell in people’s houses wasn’t particularly pleasant! Our children were able to dip a candle into different coloured wax to create a rainbow patterned candle which I am sure they will show you when they return home.

Thankfully for any parents reading, our candles aren’t made of animal fat and whilst they might not smell like a Yankee candle, they won’t smell like burning fat either! The children thoroughly enjoyed this activity and went on to learn that candle makers would have been very wealthy as there was a huge demand for candles.

The second main activity that our children took part in was the mining experience. We learnt more about the sorts of jobs that children would have done in the mines (basically, all of the dangerous ones!). We then boarded a small train which took us into a tunnel designed to mimic the conditions of a real mine. At one point, we were sat in complete darkness and it gave us an opportunity to think about how difficult it must have been for Victorian children to work in these conditions.

Other highlights of today’s visit included visits to the old school (class sizes of almost 70!), the printers and the opportunity to witness a range of steam engines being driven around the site. Despite being at Blists Hill for 6 hours, the time seemed to fly by. The children’s behaviour was immaculate and their enthusiasm made all of us very proud. On behalf of all of the staff here with the children, we have felt nothing but pride for the way that all of the children have conducted themselves.

Following the much easier walk back from Blists Hill, all of the children had a shower before tea. That means that you should find that they have used at least some of their shower gel/soap! We’ve just enjoyed the final bit of daylight by playing some games outside and now it is time for other activities indoors.

Tomorrow, once the children have packed their bags and tidied their rooms, we will be walking to Ironbridge to see the bridge that the town is named after. We should be leaving Ironbridge at around 1.30pm and therefore we should be back at Carr Hill by 4.30pm approximately.
See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday

Arrived safely at 1pm to beautiful sunshine and a picnic lunch outside.

Awards for cutest teddy, tidy room, and most helpful boy and girl!

After lunch, we waved the other group off before going to the China Museum and decorating our own tiles.

This evening, after the excitement of finding out who is in which room, we played indoor and outdoor games before enjoying a cup of cocoa and a bedroom story.

All children are now safely tucked up in bed for a good nights sleep.

 

Tuesday

After a good sleep (no, really!), the children and staff made their way downstairs to an extremely tasty and filling breakfast. A perfect start to what promised to be a very busy but also very exciting day at the Victorian town of Blists Hill.

With full stomachs, we started our ascent to Blists Hill. Unfortunately, the clue is in the name which meant plenty of us regretted that last bit of bacon as we trudged uphill to the town. Despite the incline, everyone’s spirits were high and excitement built as we began to spot the first signs that pointed towards Blists Hill.

The children were split into small groups to allow us to tour the town and also take part in some pre-booked activities. We soon discovered that the various Victorian stores which lined the streets contained shop assistants who told us lots of interesting information about the sort of products sold within their store. In the chemist, we discovered that nutmeg was often used in Victorian times to help people, particularly children, get to sleep. It was incredibly tempting for the teachers to buy large amounts of nutmeg in preparation for any late night chatterboxes amongst our group but we did manage to resist in the end!

One of the highlights of the visit for many of the children was the opportunity to make their own bricks. We learnt that children of 9 or 10 would have been expected to work at the brickworks for 6 days a week and during their working hours, they would need to produce 3 tonnes of bricks per day! Even worse, if they didn’t manage this they would have to make extra the following day! Thankfully, we only had to make 1 brick which we will be able to bring home with us.

Another interesting part of our day was being able to visit the various workshops to watch craftspeople making a wide range of products. Throughout the day, the children visited the woodturner, the candlemaker, the foundry and a wide range of other workshops which are spread across the town. The children asked some fantastic questions and consequently learnt a great deal about the different trades.

In addition to all of the learning that took place, the children also had some traditional Victorian chips and had the opportunity to experience some fairground rides and games from the era. All in all we had a fun-packed visit and we left with high spirits.

The staff also left with high spirits as one member of staff at Blists Hill stopped us on the way out to tell us that our children were some of the best behaved and most inquisitive children that she had met at Blists Hill. A huge compliment, but a very well earned one that the staff who have been with the children these last two days would certainly agree with.

The great thing about climbing up a hill is that eventually, you get to go back down it again! Therefore, the journey back to the Youth Hostel seemed to be a much quicker trip than the one in the morning. After dinner, we will be taking part in some activities outside before returning to our rooms for a good night’s sleep.

See you all tomorrow.

 

Monday

Despite the drizzly weather, Monday morning was full of happy, smiling faces as Mr Nunn’s class and Mr Beswarick’s class knew that our Ironbridge visit had finally arrived. With bag sizes ranging from compact to absolutely enormous loaded onto the bus, we waved goodbye to Carr Hill for the next 3 days.

After a long journey down in the rain, we were delighted to discover that the sun was shining when we arrived in Shropshire. This meant that we could enjoy a leisurely walk across the Iron Bridge that the town takes its name from. The children were glad to finally spot the ‘real’ Iron Bridge as we had already had many other potential sightings on the bus, most of which turned out to be motorway bridges! Within a very short space of time, our children had already received compliments from other visitors who commented on how sensible and polite they were. As always, they have been a credit to the school and they are already making us very proud.

As soon as we finished eating our lunch, we spent a little bit of time sketching the bridge before making our way to the Youth Hostel. The walk to the Youth Hostel was filled with plenty of excitement as the children wondered what their rooms would look like, who they would be sharing with and, most importantly, what would be for tea! 

The children are now enjoying an evening of activities inside and outside the Youth Hostel after an extremely enjoyable meal. Hopefully this will set everyone up for a very quiet and peaceful night’s sleep…

We’ll write again tomorrow after our trip to Blists Hill, a Victorian town which we are sure the children will love.

See you soon