Budding historians set up museum at Littlehampton school

History club members with artefacts from their museum
History club members with artefacts from their museum

STUDENTS from a school history club have created their own small museum, complete with genuine artefacts.

They have become historians by researching a whole selection of strange objects, piecing together their uses, and have even helped to build display cases, complete with information cards.

Michael Taylor with shot from the English Civil War

Michael Taylor with shot from the English Civil War

The history club at Cornfield School, in Cornfield Close, Littlehampton, is part of a Friday afternoon activities session designed to reward good work.

It gives the budding historians the opportunity to delve into the past and research various historical pieces using both the internet and library.

Michael Taylor, clutching four perfectly round lead balls the size of marbles, said: “I never believed it could be fun. It’s like work but fun, to see real stuff and find out what it was used for.”

After half an hour of careful exploration, Michael discovered they were muskets balls from the mid-17th century. He identified them as shot from smaller hand-held pistols, designed for use on horseback.

His research, combined with the fact the balls were found just outside Chichester City Walls, led Michael to believe they were from the English Civil War.

Once the students have discovered the story behind the artefacts, they catalogue the items and place them in a newly-built cabinet, which they helped to construct out of recycled wood.

Over recent weeks, club members have catalogued diverse artefacts covering a wide range of time periods.

Items include a fragment of a Junker airplane shot down during the Battle of Britain and a 1736 edition of the Devout Soul.

Using little visual clues inscribed on the artefacts, the pupils have worked out what they are.

Humanities leader Reuben Pope said: “The club is proving to be surprisingly popular with all ages.

“The pupils of Cornfield exhibit such a keen interest that they have begun to bring in items from home – a cartridge shell from a World War Two bullet, a selection of old bank notes and a hammer that was excavated from the site of a World War Two tank.

“Articles are of local and world significance and it seems the history bug has truly bitten.”

Cornfield School is maintained by West Sussex County Council and provides a supportive learning environment for students aged nine to 16 who have social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties. The school was opened in 1994 in grounds near to The Littlehampton Academy.

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