The 1820’s Back In Time Day
On Sunday the 17th of July we hosted a back in time day here at New Lanark World Heritage Site. We managed to capture what life would have been like for a millworker in the 1820s and gave the public an opportunity to ‘step back in time’ to experience it for themselves. This consisted of dancing and music from that period of time, food and craft demonstrations, storytelling and living history. Games, toys and crafts were also available for children on the site! There was also a Clyde 1 Photo Booth for the children to dress up and get their photo taken with a historic background. Stalls were set up along the lade, demonstrating different kinds of activities that millworkers may partake in such as: Spinning, Weaving, Wood Turning and more! There was also a stall which offered free food to the visitors. The food was the type millworkers would have eaten in the 1820’s, for example, Oatcakes, Ham Broth, Porridge Swats and Apple Bake. With Potato Pie, Apple Dumpling and Herring in Oatmeal on display.
This event is part of a Townscape Heritage / Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. Phase 1 of this large-scale regeneration project is the restoration of Double Row, a Category A listed former millworkers’ tenement block, built in the 1790s. A range of heritage-based community activities will be delivered in parallel to the construction works.
The day started off with a welcome from Robert Owen himself giving a shortened version of his original speech, known as, Address to the inhabitants of New Lanark. Robert Owen and Miss Winning were accompanied by two of their millworkers who shared their experience with the visitors!
Once Robert Own had given his speech to the people of New lanark, it was time for the fun activities to start. There were dancing classes, storytelling and games throughout the day, approximately every 30 minutes. These activities proved to be a success as they were extremely popular!
Dancers from The Glasgow and Edinburgh Assembly came down to teach dance routines from the 1820s in the Musicians’ Room of the Institute for the Formation of Character.
Children gathered round the storyteller who told early 19th century myths and fairy tales. These stories were the stories that children used to tell each other in the past!
Crafts and Games
Inside we had a range of different games and activities for children to take part in. Activities such as writing with a quill and wool weaving . Hopscotch was also available along with other games child used to play in the 1820s.
Games in the garden
Several children’s games were held in the garden such as: Tug Of War, Sack races and Potato and Spoon race. The games were organised and manned by our local Lanark Rugby Team.
Falconry Flying Display
Once all the activities were over, it was time to watch the birds of prey display. The Falconry Flying Display took place in Robert Owen’s garden. This gave everyone a chance to see how certain birds of prey hunt. There was a mix of birds of prey on offer including an African Spotted Eagle Owl and a Peregrine Falcon. Each bird demonstrated its hunting skills and put on a very impressive display for the viewers!
Visitors were able to meet these very cute ponies and learn about the role of horses in the village in the early 19th century!
Traditional Food Samples
Ham Broth, Oatcakes, Porridge Swats, Apple Bake and Nettle Tea were the 1820’s traditional fair on offer!
The Back In Time Day turned out to be a great success, enjoyed by all ages. Due to the variety of activities on offer, children were able to enjoy the games and crafts as well as the adults being able to enjoy the woodwork and the spinning wheels! The Back In Time Day will be running over the next three years as parts of the Double Row Restoration project, each year highlighting a different period of time in New Lanark’s history. So look out for our next choice of decade!
Ronan Moore – Marketing Intern