The past comes to life

Grace Dunne, working lives eduction assistant at Woodhorn.
Grace Dunne, working lives eduction assistant at Woodhorn.

SCHOOLS will be able to delve into Northumberland’s past with the help of new expert workshops.

Staff at Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives have secured money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the sessions.

Members of the museum’s Working Lives team have dipped into the archives to use newspapers, documents and photographs for the new activities.

Two workshops will focus on the mining industry and another on fishing.

One gives children the chance to play detective and learn about one of the county’s mining disasters, another engages them in debate about the miners’ strike and the third uses maps, photographs and newspapers to teach about life and death in a fishing community.

For this term only there is also the opportunity to look at industry in Seaton Sluice and the Delaval family.

Other workshops include shopping and entertainment.

Working Lives Project Education Assistant Grace Dunne said: “These archive workshops give schoolchildren the chance to learn about, and hopefully be inspired by, the stories of ordinary working people in Northumberland.

“Pupils work with real archival documents and so far they have been fascinated by the photographs and documents I’ve shown them.”

Schools can also borrow three new handling boxes on the themes of toys, the seaside and the family, which contain books, photographs, costumes and other artefacts, for up to two weeks.

For more information about the Working Lives project, visit the education section of the museum’s website at