A monthly miscellany from books, art, history and memories, usually with a theme for the 1st of the month. Ceramics and some English worthies are often featured.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Charles Dickens describes a school outing
This is the time of year when you see troops of school children on their end of term summer outings, to parks and zoos and museums. Charles Dickens gives an account of a Infant school visit to the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, to see the 1851 Great Exhibition, much of which still rings true today.
…"the school was composed of a hundred 'infants', who got among the horses' legs in crossing the main entrance to Kensington Gate, and came reeling out from between the wheels of coaches undisturbed in mind. They were clinging to horses, I am told, all over the park. When they were collected and added up by frantic monitors, they were all right. They were then regaled with cake, etc., and went tottering and staring all over the place; the greater part wetting their forefingers and drawing a wavy pattern on every accessible object. One infant strayed. He was not missed. Ninety and nine were taken home, supposed to be the whole collection, but this particular infant went to Hammersmith. He was found by the police at night, going round and round the turnpike, which he still supposed to be a part of the Exhibition. He had the same opinion of the police, also of Hammersmith workhouse, where he passed the night. When his mother came for him in the morning, he asked when it would be over? It was a great Exhibition, he said, but he thought it long."