MINING HERITAGE PROJECT - JUNE 2004
The children of Parkside Infant School accompanied by teachers and adults visited Beamish Museum on 30th June 2004.
This gallery of photographs is meant to illustrate what they learned about life in and old mining community similar  to
Seaham where most of their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers were born and brought up.

school master
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.

school room1
school room2
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.

dad's in charge
mam's in charge
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.
poss tub1
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.

MORE photos from Beamish Museum     >