Local children go upstairs, downstairs

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CHILDREN from three local Cambridgeshire primary schools will be living the life of Victorian children in a Lottery funded project in Wisbech.

The Wisbech Heritage Education Project has gained funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund to provide a new learning experience called Upstairs, Downstairs – Childhood in Victorian Wisbech.

Children from three local schools – Leverington Primary Academy, Gorefield Primary School and Elm Road Primary School – will gather at Wisbech Castle on Wednesday (January 18).

The children, all dressed in Victorian costume, will take part in a role play at the Castle, where they will be ‘applying for a job’ as a trainee servant. They will research real Victorian children using Census returns, maps, photos, newspapers and trade directories of the time in Wisbech Library, and will explore the contrast between the life of a child from a wealthy family and a child prisoner in Wisbech Gaol using the resources at Wisbech and Fenland Museum.

The project, which is coordinated by CEES – the Cambridgeshire Environmental Education Service - is a partnership between Wisbech Professional Development Centre based at Wisbech Castle, Wisbech Library and Wisbech and Fenland Museum. It brings together the strengths of the partners to provide a truly unique educational experience.

The visit to the three Centres, which will run every month until May 2013, is part of a wider project to encourage understanding of and care for the rich heritage of Wisbech Town, which includes a website – www.wisbechpastpresentfuture.org.uk