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Children urged to ‘live like a Victorian’ to raise funds for Ironbridge Gorge

Telford entertainment | Published:

Children are being urged to ‘live like a Victorian’ and help raise funds for the future conservation of heritage and education programmes in the Ironbridge Gorge.

Ellis and George Alton count out their donations for the Fund for the Future

This summer and autumn, youngsters are being encouraged to have a bit of fun helping to carry out chores that would have been part of daily life for Victorian children, such as beating rugs, washing clothes and making beds.

While they are not being asked to work a 16-hour day, as many Victorian children did in coal mines, factories and household service, they are being called upon to raise sponsorship.

All money will go directly to support the fund created to conserve the historic buildings and the stories behind the Industrial Revolution for future generations.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust is currently trying to raise £1 million by 2021 to match a £1m endowment grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Fund for the Future fundraising campaign will be used to conserve monuments including Abraham Darby’s Old Furnace and implement a long-term programme to maintain buildings, such as the one that is home to Enginuity,

Trust leaders are asking children to consider helping out this summer and autumn.

Everyone who takes part will receive a special badge to acknowledge their help in conserving the globally-significant heritage assets and the top three fundraisers will also receive an annual child’s passport ticket, giving them free entry to any of the museum’s sites.

Karen Davies, director of museum development, said: “The museum welcomes around half a million visitors each year and many of those are children who have a fantastic time learning about the history of the area and stretching their imagination at Enginuity, our design and technology museum.

“We wanted to ensure that children could be actively involved in the Fund for the Future and thought a summer chore challenge was perfect, not only for them but for their parents and guardians.

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“We need the youngsters of today to learn all they can about why Ironbridge is considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and understand the impact this has had on the world as we know it today.

“In the future they will become the guardians of these globally significant buildings and we want to ensure that the stories behind the buildings continue to be passed down from generation to generation.

“Victorian children were generally paid between three and five shillings (15p – 25p) a week, we are hoping that children and their families will get behind ‘live like a Victorian’ and raise a bit of money for the Fund for the Future campaign.

“The exciting aspect for children who get involved is that the monies raised through their hard work will be doubled in value by the Heritage Lottery Fund so every £1 is actually worth £2 for the fund.”

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The closing date for donations is October 19.

To donate monies raised from ‘Live like a Victorian’ go to www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/ironbridge-gorgemuseum/fundforthefuture

For more information about the work of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust visit www.ironbridge.org.uk

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