On Tuesday morning, Mrs Norton from Whitehaven Records Office came into School with some historical documentation from Victorian Whitehaven. We looked at Census information for Mount Pleasant (which did not live up to is name), built by Lord Lowther for mine workers. I'm sure next time the children go to either Aldi or the Beacon, they will look at the hillside opposite and behind and think about the terrible conditions people lived in sharing very few privies.
We looked at the actual documents and Whitehaven News reports about the inspection of the town carried out by Robert Rawlinson, an engineer and sanitarian, and sorted them into problems. We suggested solutions for the sanitation (or lack of). It doesn't sound like a nice time live in if you were poor.
We were also lucky to have an extremely interesting 'Mystery box' appear in our classroom which was packed with artefacts and documents about the Workhouse in Whitehaven. The children all had an opportunity to be a 'history detective' and investigate what it would have been like to live there.