As you probably know, the museum has now closed for our winter period. However, whilst the museum may be closed, we are most definitely still working away at Window on the World!
As you probably know, the museum has now closed for our winter period. However, whilst the museum may be closed, we are most definitely still working away at Window on the World! Our closure period is a perfect time to engage some of the local schools in Ellesmere Port. The first thing we wanted to do was to create a session which related to our Window on the World project and engaged schools with what is to come. As cross-curricular themes are ever popular nowadays, I decided to write a session which focused on both science and history. Relating it back to Window on the World, I made sure our Mossdale was a key feature of the session!
The session focuses on the different cargos that were carried by Mossdale over the Mersey and then transferred onto fly-boats at Ellesmere Port to take down the Shropshire Union Canal to the Midlands and out into Cheshire. Students get to make clay boats of different shapes and try to get them to sail on a stretch of water to see which boats are more streamlined (hopefully the fly-boats instead of Mossdale!).
Apart from writing (and delivering) the session, I researched the local history of Ellesmere Port, creating a new Fact File to put on the Explorers’ website for teachers to download. As part of this research, I spent a lot of time in our archive listening to the amazing bank of oral histories that we have on Ellesmere Port and on life out on the cut. I listened to a wide variety of memories and subsequently learnt a lot about what it was like to live in this dock town. Coming from London, it was very interesting to hear about life in this part of this world in years gone by. Some of my favourite facts I found out were about the swimming that took place in the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal and the vibrant dock life that took place at the site of our museum now.
We have our first pilot of the session in a few days, so I will be sure to write again and let you all know how it went down with the children! As long as they are able to make a boat out of clay then it should be fine…
Until next time!
The National Waterways Museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of artefacts that tell the story of Britain’s canals and navigable rivers over the last 300 years. With sites at Ellesmere Port and Gloucester, the museum holds over 12,000 historic objects and 68 historic boats and is designated by the Arts Council England as of national importance. The National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port is also home to the Waterways Archive including over 100,000 papers, drawings photographs, plans and books relating to the waterways – a vital part of our national cultural heritage.
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