HERITAGE PROJECT - JUNE 2004
|The children were in shock
as they sat listening to
Mr Whackem, their teacher at the old Beamish Primary
School. He was a very stern man. He carried a long cane
in his hand at all times. They knew that if they spoke out
of turn or didn't put up their hands to answer a question
then Mr Whackem would not pleased.
|It was not a good idea to
displease Mr Whackem so
the children were very well behaved and sat attentively in
their rows of desks. The classroom seemed dark and
boring compared to their own classroom. where they
could work in groups on different topics. At old Beamish
Primary only Mr Whackem moved around . He taught and
the children listened.
|The classrooms were tidily
laid out and everything was
well polished. There wasn't much childrens work
displayed on the walls, though, there were posters and
maps and a great big globe of the world.
|Two children sat at each
desk each with their own ink
well into which the children would dip their pens to write.
The whole classroom seemed to echo when Mr Whackem
spoke in his booming voice.
|After school the children
were homeward bound. At home
father would soon be in frtom work and would have a bath
and change from his dirty work clothes. Dad was also very
strict and told the children that they "should be seen and
not heard". The children didn't argue with him.
|Mam was strict too and
expected that all the children
would help her with the housework. Everybody was
given their jobs to do and woo-betide them if they weren't
done to Mam's satisfaction
|There were carpets to be
beaten because in those days
there were no vacuum cleaners.
|Rugs, carpets and "clippy
mats" were regularly hung on
a line in the back yard and beaten. No one had very
much money in those days but they did have plenty of
coal for the fire. The coal was kept in the coal house in
the back yard - that's it with the door open.
|There were no electric
washing machines either. So the
washing was done in a big metal tub filled with water
with some flakes of soap added. The clothes were put
into the water and pummelled and turned with a large
poss stick which had a handle at the top.
|Once the clothes had been
washed they were removed
from the wash-tub and squeezed through a mangle to
remove most of the water. A mangle had two wooden
rollers which were turned in opposite directions by
turning a handle. The clothes were were fed-in between
the two rollers as they were turned.
photos from Beamish Museum