To kick start their Victorian topic, Year Two pupils from Laxton Junior School travelled back in time to 1891. Modern day minibuses transported them to Holdenby House in Northamptonshire where they met Mrs Bumbridge, the Housekeeper and Mrs Crumpet, the Cook. Mrs Bumbridge allocated job titles to each of the children including Bell Boy, Chamber Maid, Laundry Runner, Gardener and Tweeny (a maid who worked wherever she was needed). Before starting work Mrs Crumpet administered a dose of purge to everyone, including the big girls (otherwise known as the teachers!).
During the course of the morning many jobs were completed. Bread was kneaded, beans and courgettes were sliced and salted, stale bread was ground into breadcrumbs and apples were peeled and sliced ready to make a crumble. On the other side of the kitchen, the posser, dolly and mangle were put to good use by the Laundry Maid, whilst flat irons were carefully handled to iron the sheets. A group of boy servants were set to task cleaning the range and cold box as well as setting the table. Meanwhile in the bedroom much cleaning and tidying was being done. In the boot room, polishing was the theme – brass, boots, saddles, cutlery and garden tools all needed a bit of elbow grease!
Before the pupils left they were lucky enough to be presented to Lady Annaly to recite the house prayer and entertain Her Ladyship with a beautiful rendition of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’. All of the pupils worked extremely hard but four children were given certificates so that they could return to Holdenby House to begin work at the age of eleven.
Mrs Crumpet and Mrs Bumbridge commented, ‘The children have been delightful and all worked well, taking on their roles with enthusiasm.’
Images: Girls at Holdenby House.jpg, Boys at Holdenby House.jpg
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Background Information Laxton Junior School
Laxton Junior School is an independent co-educational day school with 260 children aged 4 to 11 years. It is situated close to Peterborough, about eighty miles north of London, in the small and attractive, quintessentially English market town of Oundle.
Laxton Junior School aims to provide the best possible preparatory education, where pupils' strengths are recognised and nurtured, in order for them to fulfil their potential as young learners.
The School offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities where pupils are encouraged to express themselves through sports and hobbies. It is acknowledged that the importance of play cannot be stressed enough and is a vital component to a rounded education, complementing the teaching and learning that occurs within the classroom.
Oundle has many ancient buildings, intriguing alleyways and one of the finest churches in the Midlands: the beautiful church of St. Peter, whose tower and spire form a conspicuous landmark for miles.