A taste of Victorian Wisbech

CHILDREN from across Cambridgeshire will get a taste of Victorian life in Wisbech – thanks to funding from the National Lottery.

Cambridgeshire Environmental Education Service (CEES) has teamed up with staff from Wisbech Castle, Wisbech Library and Wisbech and Fenland Museum to develop a joint project offering youngsters the chance to spend a day visiting all three centres.

The visits are part of a wider project encouraging schools to use the heritage of Wisbech as an educational resource.

Heritage Lottery Funding of £50,000 will enable the project team to lead the programme, and to provide free transport to the venues for local schools. It will also cover the development of a website promoting the heritage of Wisbech as an educational resource.

At the library, each class will explore maps and documents which illustrate the stories of typical children in Victorian Wisbech. The class will go on to take part in a role play activity led by CEES at the Castle and explore the Victorian childhood story in greater depth using the resources and collections at the museum.

After the visit the children will be able to practice the skills they have developed and further explore the story, using the resources that will be available on the website. The website will also provide suggestions and opportunities to explore present day Wisbech and to consider the future of the town.

Project coordinator and CEES Teacher, Richard Green said: “Wisbech is a fascinating town, with such a rich heritage. We have designed this project to encourage local children to value this heritage. We hope the visit to the three centres will provide a springboard for using the town in a wide range of further studies.”

Suzanne Teverson, Year 6 teacher at Ramnoth Junior School in Wisbech added: “Wisbech is a wonderful town, which is greatly under-appreciated. The wealth of heritage makes it a superb teaching resource. However, the input of specialised teachers is needed to exploit this to the full. This is only possible through projects like this one.”

School visits for this project will start in September and will continue through to the summer term of 2013. CEES’ administration team at Stibbington Centre will be coordinating bookings. The website should be online by September, with a range of ideas and resources for using Wisbech Town as a focus for learning.