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Vikings and Victorians day at True’s Yard museum in King’s Lynn next week

True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum in Lynn will witness the ultimate showdown of the eras for their ‘Vikings and Victorians’ children’s activity day next Wednesday.

The activity day at the North Street museum, which is free for children and one accompanying adult, will take families on a journey from Anglo-Saxon times to the Victorian North End: an often forgotten part of Lynn’s history.

True’s Yard houses two remaining fisherfolk cottages, which feature a Victorian interior and are furnished with items donated by North End families.

A youngster has fun during a Victorian Living History school visit to the museum
A youngster has fun during a Victorian Living History school visit to the museum

During the 19th Century, families of up to eleven would have lived in these quaint cottages in challenging conditions. Like many yards across Lynn, the neighbouring four cottages were demolished during the 1930s slum clearances, making this side of the town’s history almost disappear completely.

Now, the restored cottages offer an immersive historical experience for children which gives them insight into all aspects of life in the yard. For the activity day, children are invited to explore the cottages and learn about life as a Victorian ‘Northender’, while partaking in authentic Victorian games.

For those searching for an earlier historical experience, themes of society and culture can be explored through Viking arts, crafts and Rune writing.

Museum deputy manager Tabitha Kaye said: “‘True’s Yard is a hidden pearl in Lynn’s heritage offering. Studies of local heritage sites are part of the current curriculum for younger children, and the cottages and original smokehouse at True’s are fantastic at bringing a school project to life.”

Regarding the mix of the Anglo-Saxon and Victorian eras, she added: “Norfolk is extremely rich in Anglo-Saxon history so we wanted to nod to this, as well as introducing children to the theme of change over time, and how the Lynn we know today was made by its fascinating long history.”

The activity day will also draw upon the connection between the North End fisherfolk and composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who visited Lynn in 1905 to gather folk songs, which inspired his composition ‘Norfolk Rhapsody’.

Tabitha added: “Sadly, arts education in England is constantly under attack, so we wanted to use this fantastic connection between the North End and Vaughan Williams to introduce children to classical music and folk song, where they otherwise would not have received this exposure.”

Vikings and Victorians will be held at True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum on Wednesday, August 16 between 10.30am and 3pm. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm (last admission 3.30pm) throughout the summer holidays.

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