This year for our annual school trip we decided to go to New Lanark. This was to tie in with our topic on the Victorians and help children see what life would have been like in that time period. We were so thankful that God blessed us with a lovely sunny day. As the children arrived at school they were so excited to see the 52 seater coach that would be taking them on the journey. Each stood with their partners as they formed an orderly queue then hurried onto the bus. The older children took their place at the back of the bus while the younger children sat near the front. As the bus pulled off there was lots of excitement, it didn’t take long for everyone to begin singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’!
When we arrived at New Lanark the children remained with their partners as we all began the descent from the car park to the Heritage Site. Arriving at the museum entrance we were greeted by Andy, our tour guide for the day, whose enthusiasm was immediately a hit with the children! We dropped off our bags and coats in our designated lunch space before heading to the Annie McLeod experience. During the experience you sit in motorised ‘pods’ which lead you around the ride. As you travel around you hear the fictional story of a girl named Annie living and working at New Lanark in 1820. All the children enjoyed this experience.
Next up was the Victorian classroom, quite different from the classrooms our children are used to. They all sat on the wooden benches and took on their first task of trying to write their names in cursive letters on a slate. Not so easy! Next, they all huddled around a huge globe while being given a short Geography lesson. At New Lanark, all children were educated which was not common in those days. It was usually only middle class children who were put through school due to parents having to pay and with each subject being charged separately, it was common for children to learn to read but not write. Robert Owen, New Lanarks owner, wanted children to have a good and wide ranging education so he set up the school in 1816.
We moved from the classroom to our lunch space and after a quick bite to eat, it was time to visit the Millworkers house. Inside there were many features that the children were inquisitive about. They wondered how so many people could fit in the small bed! Perhaps they began to realise thee luxury we have at home in comparison to then. We also went to the Mill and saw where children would have worked all day in very difficult conditions, this was quite unimaginable for the children!
The last part of the day was a visit to the Rooftop Gardens. We all trundled up the ramps, legs tired from a long day but when we got to the top it did not disappoint. The gardens were a real tranquil pot with spectacular views. The fountain was the favourite spot of choice for the children and they all gathered round to look at the running water. It was the perfect ending to what had been a busy but enjoyable day.