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Powell's School Church of England (VA) Primary School

Year 6 STEAM Trip

On the 25th of September 2019, 60 children from Powell’s School went to the Steam Museum in Swindon. We left the classroom at 9:15 dressed as evacuees with gas mask boxes around our necks. When the coach arrived we met our tour guide who took us around the museum.

Firstly, we went to play with toys from the wartime which were different and fun. Then we met someone who was a child in the war, his name was Fred. At a grand age of 91, he told us a story about when he was young. He lived near Steam at that time and worked at the railways. Starting work at the age of 14 he enjoyed everything about his job. Then he told us he hates plum jam because it goes solid like rock and hurts his teeth.

After that we went to experience being proper evacuees. Miss Pattenden, Mrs Cawte, Mrs Hayes and our tour guide pretended to take us in as our new evacuee family - it was an awesome experience.

 Then we went in air raid shelter to get the proper feeling of being in the war. The shelter was cramped and smelly and we found a dead mouse in it - it was disgusting. Only fifty people were allowed in the shelter and one of us had to pretend to be an air raid warden and sometimes you had to stay overnight. After we went outside of the air raid shelter to learn about different bombs that were dropped on London. We then went to have lunch.

After lunch we got told a story about the war and some of us acted it out. It started about a girl called Betty who married a train driver called Albert. They had four children Molly, Polly, Milly and Walter. When the war started, Walter joined the R.A.F, Betty joined the street cleaners; they collected left over food for the so they could fatten up pigs for meat. Molly became a farmer, and Milly joined the factories making machinery and Polly joined the women’s navy to work in an office. Molly and Milly would go to a town dance every Saturday and Molly met an American soldier called G.I Joe and they got married. Then the war ended and Walter came back from the war as he had stayed alive! The whole family was reunited and lived happily ever after.

Our last activity was with a man called Dan who took us to a train and told us who would travel on trains during the war. Some people that went on the trains during the war were rich men and ladies going on holiday. Other people were evacuees leaving from the threat of bombing, the rest were soldiers travelling to the front line. Then we learnt about the different jobs on the train such as a train driver who drove the train, a train guard whose job was to tell the train driver when to start and stop. We then went to see a control centre where they controlled the railway tracks and changed the way the tracks were facing. The control centre had a small metal box (like a coffin) where the person in the control centre would hide in if there was an air raid. Inside the only thing was a small bench. For the last thing we did, we took a look underneath an old train. It was fantastic.

Overall, we thought that the trip was absolutely amazing; we were so lucky to have the chance to go on this brilliant trip. All of us loved it, it was all we could talk about for days it was awesome. Thank you to the FOP team for funding the coach so we could have the opportunity of to go on this wonderful trip.

William Wrigley and Ben Seakins