Museum of Liverpool’s Victorian Childhood: Rags and Riches Workshop
This role play workshop explores Victorian Liverpool’s court and merchant housing to compare the very different experiences. Discover what life was like for Liverpool’s child workers through costumes, props and handling objects.
This workshop begins with visiting their full scale reconstruction of Liverpool court housing in 1870. This court is in the Scotland Road area, one of the most overcrowded and neglected parts of Victorian Liverpool. Students will dress as Victorian children and discover who lived here and what their lives were like. Bathing, washing clothing, privies and ashpits are all explored. The experiences of those living in cellars, which were the worst form of dwelling, are also investigated.
The study of George Melly, a Liverpool merchant and philanthropist, is explored and the very different experiences of the wealthy and those living in court housing and cellars contrasted through comparing furnishings, decoration, cleanliness and size.
The work of Victorian child labourers is then explored with character bags to represent real children who lived in Liverpool including rope makers, chimney sweeps, domestic servants and more. Students use real or replica objects which would have been used in their character’s job and consider who had the best and worst job, and which was the most dangerous.
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