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Cannon Hall ~ A Y5 Victorian Experience

posted 5 Dec 2013, 04:12 by   [ updated 6 Dec 2013, 06:52 by Lynnette Glossop ]
On Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th December the Y5 children went to Cannon Hall, near Barnsley, to apply to be Victorian servants for Mrs. Spencer-Stanhope. We all dressed appropriately in our Victorian outfits and tried our best to make a good impression for Mrs. Wilson, the housekeeper!
We went to the front door but were told that servants would never enter through this door and we were sent 'round the back' to the servants' entrance. We were told how hard we would have to work and that normally our working day would begin at 6am!
We all shared in the preparation of our lunch, using a full kitchen 'range' fueled by coal. We prepared a fresh vegetable soup, bread rolls and butter which we made ouselves by churning double cream in the larder! We all saw how food was stored to preserve it at this great Hall ... and with no electricity! We also made apple crumble and custard! Yummy! We were able to make and then bring home a sugar mouse each too!
In the laundry we experienced the very hard work involved in washing clothes by hand. We grated soap from a block into water which had to be heated using a fire. Then we used a wash-board (for those stubborn stains) and a posser and washing dolly to help to remove all the dirt. After rinsing the clothes, we had to squeeze the water out using a mangle... the adults helped us with this so that we didn't trap our fingers and finally we had to put the clothes out on the line to dry! Phew! It was exhausting work!
In the yard we had to sweep up, beat the rugs and polish the Master's saddles, boots and brass and copper-ware. Mrs. Wilson said that we had to 'use lots of elbow grease'. Now we know what that means!
We also had chance to look around Cannon Hall itself, seeing all the interesting rooms, including the dining room, the drawing room and the ballroom. It was fascinating to see all the different types of funiture and to see how the rooms would have been in Victorian times. We also saw how the Master kept a 'sneaky' eye on his gardeners!
All in all we had a fabulous day, crammed full of things to see, do and hear about! Including smelling our wonderful lunch cooking, all of our senses were 'tickled pink'! What a great experience!
Thank you to all the parents and friends who also came along to help us. We couldn't go without your support and we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did!