Year 1 Visit Didcot Railway Museum

All Aboard!

On a foggy October morning an excited Year 1 boarded the minibus and headed for the Steam Day at Didcot Railway Museum.

Our day began with a talk about life in the Victorian times.  We examined domestic appliances and learnt how they were used, also highlighting how they were powered.  The children were not impressed that the Victorians did not wash very often because it was too hard work preparing a bath!

Next, we became railway mechanics, using a hammer to discover which wheel was broken by the sound of the hit.  We measured the width of the tracks with our feet and learnt about Brunel’s broad gauge and the more prolific narrow gauge.

After lunch, the sun had burnt its way through the mist and we set off to see the engine shed.  In the cab we felt like proper train drivers becoming familiar with where the coal was kept and having a go at handling the regulator lever.  It was an honour to see the Tornado engine, which is just visiting for some work – It is the newest and fastest steam locomotive in Britain which will soon be back carrying tourists up and down the country.

Finally, we climbed up into the signal box where Bobby showed us a forest of levers that controlled the movement of the trains unlike today where it is all computerised.

Year 1 had a great day and they talked about their experience back in the classroom, enjoying making books about their trip and using the photographs to remember all the events of the day.  Not only did the children impress the volunteers with their knowledge but also they behaved beautifully throughout the whole trip.  Well done Year 1!