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Explore Victorian domestic life with Mrs Bird – at Nottingham Industrial Museum
Saturday, 21 April @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pmNormal entry charges apply
Meet Mrs Bird, a house-proud, hardworking Victorian woman in her domestic kitchen
Come and meet Mary Ann Bird, our new Costumed Interpreter based in the Stove Room between 11am and 4pm on selected days. She will tell you more about life as a nailer whilst you spend time in her modest Victorian kitchen.
Mrs Bird spends her day working as a ‘nailer’, essentially a home industry, with the whole family helping out in the workshop. Women had always worked in the nail trade but from about 1850 it was dominated by them. Boys and girls had to start making nails very young and it was common to see a child of seven or eight years old making nails in order to get every penny they could into the household. Children might help to carry the coal while the nailer’s wife would work the bellows.
It was left to women to earn enough to feed and clothe the family and pay the rent. Nailers made as many as 1,000 nails in a single day. This required approximately 42,000 blows of the hammer. Nail making was extremely hard, physical work, but Mrs Bird is still expected to cook and clean for her family only using very basic tools and equipment.
Mary-Ann will show you the fascinating history of the everyday objects she uses to clean her house with. Admire her cast iron stove she uses to cook meals and heat water for her large family. You can pick up her heavy pots, pans and irons and she will tell you how she relies on what you see to keep her modestly furnished house spick and span.
Suitable for all the family. Items can be handled and dress up clothes are available to experience life as a Victorian child.
Don’t forget to ask Mrs Bird what the brick in the oven was used for…
FREE activity suitable for adults and children. Normal entry fees and Wollaton car parking charges apply