GALLERY: Children delight in Victorian activities

YOUNGSTERS were given a taste of life as a Victorian child at Steyning Museum’s half-term activity day.

The popular themed event on Thursday gave children the opportunity to try on Victorian-style costumes, design and make a Victorian-style Christmas card, have a go at brass rubbing, and play with wooden toys, as well as bagatelle and shove ha’penny.

S43529H14 Making Victorian-style Christmas cards at Steyning Museum

S43529H14 Making Victorian-style Christmas cards at Steyning Museum

Richard Chinchen took along cameras and stereoscopes from his own collection to show the children one type of Victorian entertainment.

“Stereo views were a Victorian evening hobby. They used them to educate children and it is all entertainment,” he said.

He took along a range of photographs showing scenes from different countries, as well as ones that would be of particular interest to children.

One of a French café lit up when held to the light, due to a number of pin pricks that had been put into the picture.

“The cameras show children how hard it was to take photographs in those days. These days, everything is digital, but here they can see the glass plates and how they were used.”

The toys proved popular and museum steward Sue Stokes said it appeared not many children played board games at home.

“The boys love the bagatelle particularly, which they don’t have at home. I did when I was a little girl, though, as my family had one,” she said.

“You can play it fast or slow, and it is nice because it is a game you can play against yourself.”