Wednesday, 11 June 2014

May Wrap up - Well Dressing, Bradford Cathedral and more chicks :)

Sorry this one is late but that's because we went on a camping trip at the end of the month and I didn't hit the schedule button properly : )

We had a great History trip to Bradford Cathedral with our Home Ed group. The sent us on a hunt around the cathedral, (where they spotted the remains of a Celtic cross)

did a presentation on the history of the cathedral (including great information on Bradford during the Civil war I knew nothing about - in 1642 when they padded the tower with bales of sheep wool to protect from cannons)

made a time line

and hosted a workshop on stained glass windows and William Morris.

We also had an unexpected history activity whilst we were camping - there is a little village in Derbyshire called Tissington. Each year they have a well dressing ceremony (end of May to first week of June) to celebrate Tissingtons bountiful water supply - there are two stories as to why this started.
1) The first theory is that the custom began just after the Black Death in 1348-9 Although the population round about was ravaged by plague, all in Tissington escaped and immunity was ascribed to the purity of the water supply and it became custom to decorate the wells in thanksgiving.

2) after a severe drought in 1615 (no rain between May and August) thousands of livestock perished and crops were 'burnt up', the five wells in Tissington flowed freely and the surrounding district had cause to be thankful for the unending supply of water from the little village. Again the wells are decorated in thanksgiving each year.

There was even a lesson on how the dress the wells - they start by soaking wooden boards in a local pond before covering them in a local clay trod through (like grapes) with salt. The picture is traced onto the boards and marked out with cone from the alder tree. Then comes the delicate and laborious task of infilling with flower petals and other natural materials. each petal is placed separately and overlaps like roof tiles to protect it from the rain. This can take up to three days.

This year the theme was a remembrance of World War 1 (100 years) which provide yet another history lesson for them : )

Sewing has been going really well - the girls finished their greeting cards

and started on a needle case.

We also had two more chicks hatch.

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