Today we went on our school tour to Florence Court House.
First we had to go by bus and we were very excited to be travelling on a big bus. When we arrived we were told we would have to change as we wouldn’t be able to work in our school clothes. “But how can we be working, we are on our school tour!”, exclaimed one of the girls.
We had to dress up as a servant!
We were tasked with preparing for the huge important event that was taking place, Baby Anne’s christening.
Second class were going to be very busy indeed.
When we arrived at the front door, we were welcomed into the front hall. This was impressive as it had a huge fireplace and a table in it. There were also statues of some of the people who used to live in the house. The head nanny brought us into the dining room where we were going to have to serve people their dinners.
Next we had to travel down to the dark basement and into the hot, smoky kitchen where we had to begin making the christening cake. We had to grind up the ingredients, weigh out the ingredients, sieve the flour, prepare the tray and make the tea! It was hard work already.
Look what also had to be prepared for the dinner!
After that it was time to scrub the potatoes and sort out the fruit and vegtables………….it was dirty, messy work but it had to be done otherwise the dinner would not be ready on time and the guests would not be happy.
Following this, the laundry had to be done. We washed, dried, ironed and hung the clothes out on the line. We were very lucky that the sun was shining and it was a hot day, otherwise I don’t know how we would have got the laundry done on time.
Just when we thought we were finished, the nanny told us we had to dust the house down, shine up the shoes and polish and sort the cutlery. We saw some very interesting pieces of cutlery. There was a butter knife, a coffee spoon, a jam spoon. There was even a fish knife!
When all the hard work was over, we eventually got a break and it was time to play some old games. We thought these were very interesting.
However, the teacher soon arrived and she was really, really scary. She was also very strict. We had to walk with our hands by our side and answer her using the phrase, “yes ma’am”. This was very strange. We were not allowed to talk and had to sit with our arms crossed at the desk. The teacher pointed to a message on the blackboard, which had a message written in CHALK. “Children should be seen and not heard”, we thought this was very mean but the teacher explained that this was the way it used to be in old times. The teacher also told us some other news that really shocked us. She told us that if you broke the rules, then the punishment was severe. A child would have to hold out their hand and get the cane five times!!
The nanny told us that girls used to start work in the house at the age of 8 years old. Their job would be a scullery maid. They had to send all their money back home to their family and they would only get one day a week off. That must have been really, really tough work back then.
Finally we were able to go to the playground to relax after a hard day at work and at school. We were able to have fun in the sun as we played on the swings and ate our delicious ice cream.
What a fantastic day we had at Florence Court House but the girls said they were glad they didn’t live back then as the work was very long and difficult!