Year 2 visit the SS Great Britain

Children in Year 2 had an interesting visit to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain last week. The masts had been damaged in the high winds the previous week but luckily they were mended just before the children arrived. The children particularly liked exploring the living quarters and finding out about the hardships of life in the steerage section of the ship - such as the problem of weevils in the ship’s biscuits!

Back at School, Mrs Freire-Banos told the children about ancestors of hers who had journeyed from Liverpool to Sydney in 1853, on the second ever voyage of the SS Great Britain. Her ancestors had set up trade routes to sell pins and needles. Mrs Freire-Banos knew many details about this trip as her ancestors had kept a diary, which was still in the possession of her family, where all their adventures were recorded.

The children learnt about how Mrs Freire-Banos’ ancestors had travelled second class so their journey was relatively comfortable. In the diary, their journey was described as ‘like being in a nice hotel’, where the ‘food was really good and at the end of every meal you got cheese and raisins’.