PICTURE GALLERY: Great Cressingham Victorian School explores education through the ages

Education through the ages is be explored in an exhibition guaranteed to bring school day memories flooding back.

Great Cressingham Victorian School, near Watton, has welcomed more than 17,000 children from across East Anglia since it was lovingly restored by owners Tom and Sally North 18 years ago.

Children can usually expect an authentic Victorian experience, complete with old-fashioned desks with inkwells, slates, traditional games and a strict 'headmistress' in Miss North.

But artefacts including clothes, textbooks, coins and toys from 1890 up to the 1950s will be on display this week when the museum opens to visitors of all ages.

'People often offer me lovely things, but if they are not Victorian then I can't really use them - I'm a purist that way - so I wanted to put them on display' Miss North said.

The exhibition includes a small section on Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in 1897, when pupils were given a day's holiday.

There are also photographs of the generations of children who attended the tiny school, built in 1840 'for the education of the poor', and a selection of inscribed books presented to former scholars up to the 1920s.

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Children visiting with their school spend a day recreating life in a typical Victorian school, dressing in clothes from the period and working on chalk slates.

The museum continues to grow in popularity thanks in part to its well-maintained website and has bookings up to the end of the summer term.

'I love giving the children a day I know they will never forget,' Miss North added. 'I'm just passionate about the children having a wonderful day.'

The exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm from tomorrow (Thursday) to Sunday and entrance is free.

There will be hot drinks and cakes available and a collection will be held towards roof repairs at St Michael's Church in the village.

Click on www.victorianschool.com for more information.

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