History: Year 7 Industrial Revolution Trip to Bradford

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The annual Year 7 Bradford trip is always a highlight of the academic calendar, brimming over with spectacular learning opportunities, incredible scenery and innumerable reminders of Britain's rich industrial history.

After a long journey, our three-day expedition began at the the National Coalmining Museum in Wakefield. 

Aside from seeing former pit ponies, riding the paddy train and the nature trail, this wonderful amenity offers guided underground tours where visitors can experience the conditions miners worked in and see the tools and machines they used as the industry and the mine developed through the years.

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The next stop, after swinging by the hotel, was an evening of   ice-skating during which the children helped each other on the ice and shared a huge number of smiles, which was wonderful to see.

On the following morning we visited the Bradford Industrial Museum. Here the children spent time with working steam engines and looms and got a real sense of the noise and heat generated inside textile mills!

Next came our trip to the Bronte Parsonage where sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne were raised and educated before penning some of the greatest works in the English language.

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Mrs Adams gave an excellent talk on the Bronte family before the children toured the Bronte home and enjoyed a guided walk around and talk about Haworth itself which finished with a visit to the Haworth church and graveyard.

Our second evening's entertainment saw the children bowling before, after a well-earned night of sleep, we embarked on our final day in the industrial north.

At the Bingley "Five Rise" Locks, the steepest system of locks in the UK, the children learned about the engineering and maintenance involved in the nation's canal network and about how, when these particular locks first opened in 1774, over 30,000 people came to celebrate their completion.

The final leg of our journey was to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and world-famous Victorian 'model town' Saltaire. Here the children looked around the incredible and to this day pristine Village Hall and Mill before we congregated in the church.

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Here, all of a sudden and to the children's surpise, the pulpit was filled by a strangely garbed man wearing a top hat. This speaker took the children back in time, to the creation of Saltaire by Titus Salt - an ingenious, forward thinking and philanthropic industrialist who designed the town to provide better living conditions for his staff and a hefty profit for himself.

We returned to Eastbourne late on Thursday evening, tired but entirely fulfilled. The trip was a very busy but worthwhile three days, and the children are now applying all they learned to their Industrial Revolution projects. 

Sam Brown

Head of History