On the 18th of November 2016 year 4 went to Big Pit. We went because we wanted to learn about the poor Victorian children who worked in the coal mine. A lady called Helena taught us about the children who worked in the coal mine. Older children pulled a drams which was full of coal these people are called carters. Younger children opened and closed the doors these people are called trappers. Helena said we have to be detectives because she said we have to look for a real person in the Victorian times so we looked at some clues and we found out her name was Henrietta Franklin she was eleven years old and she was a carter.We tried to push a dram but it was fake coal but it was still hard I can’t imagine being in the coal mine.
We put coal on our face because we wanted to see how dirty we could get and when we held one piece of coal it was light when we held the hole box of coal it was heavy. Men and women had to wear hats and t-shirts. They had metal lunchboxes because they didn’t want rats to eat their lunch and if they had glass lunchboxes because they could break and go pointy and it can go into your feet. They never had plastic lunchboxes because they were not made. They also had metal bottles for the same reasons as the metal lunchboxes.
Helena told our group that coal was a tree millions of years ago and we were amazed. She also said that the coal was really dirty. On another clue it said it was wet and damp in the coal mine which I would not like. Helena said some people didn’t like the job that they did. We tried to pull some different drams and some were really heavy. The first dram was really light the second dram was kind of heavy the third dram was really heavy. Then we went into a tunnel it was really dark and it said some words.
Helena said that the Queen made a law that children under eleven are not aloud to work in the coal mine. But it wasn’t good news for Henrietta Franklin because she is eleven so years went on and the Queen made a law that women were not aloud to work in the coal mine. Helena told us that Big Pit was a coal mine and I was astonished that Big pit was a coal mine. We learnt that men had to bath in such small metal baths. On another clue it said that Henrietta broke her ribs because a horse fell on her and she could not go work for two months so she never got any money for two months so maybe she couldn’t have food or she can’t afford a house which would be a really hard life. Helena told us that some people told some other people to be directives and on the clues Henrietta was actually speaking to the directive. I think speaking to a directive is pretty cool.
Helena told us that little kids had to go up a slope with a dram and down a slope with a dram which is pretty hard.I think that if you work in a coal mine then you can die because the coal can give you a disease or if you are a trapper you can get injured because you can go to sleep and the dram can come and hit you. Helena told us that they did not have wheels because the owners did not want to get wheels because it costed money. The rich people probably owned the coal mine and the poor people had to work but they didn’t have to work because they could work as chimney sweepers or they could work in the factory but I would not like any of those because they are dangerous. Helena said that you have to use your feet and not your knees because you would burn your knees if you used your bare knees.Then it was lunch .
After that we went to a holding room to put our belts on and we wore hats with lights. Then we went to the main shaft the main shaft is basiccly a lift but it is called a main shaft and you don’t have buttons you have to pull it with a rope but we never did that because a man working there did it for us which was pretty helpful. After we went down to see the coal mine it was really really dark. I was kind of scared at the beginning but then I realized there was nothing to be scared of. The man who was teaching us was called Gus. Gus led us into the coal mine there were two wires he said that if you do it twice it meant that you can go and if you did it once it meant stop. Then there was a wierd thing it had two buttons one was red and one was green if you pressed the green button it meant go and if you pressed the red button it meant stop this is the new version and the one that had the wires was the old version.
Then we walked and saw some stables the stables were empty because they were dead Gus told us that horses were treated better than men because they costed money and children did not. They bought candles for the horses and if children could not afford it then they had to work in total darkness. The last horse who was there was called Impact he worked until 1982 the people went on strike then the queen said they should not do this and no one worked there ever again. Then there was a big machine Gus did not say the name but it was very very cool so you step on this thing and then some machines move but sadly we did not see that because that was to danegerous.
Then there was something like a tunnel at the top of the tunnel there was some wood Gus said that the wood always burned and fell down and it could hit people’s head so they thought that was safe but then there was a then there was a metal thing and it did not fall down so they thought it was not safe but now we know it is safe. Then Gus told me to wear a mask which helped you not smell smoke. Then we went to watch a movie and it told us about coal mines then we went to the shop got goody bags and went to school inside the goody bag there was a keychain a notebook and a pencil and a rubber then we went home.