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Secret Life of Old Houses 2: Domestic Life

01 October 2016

This is a Heritage Explorers Activity

Pre-Book only

Book online or call Bookings on 0121 520 8054.

Book Online

Secret Life of Old Houses 2: Domestic Life

01 October 2016

A day investigating how people lived in and used houses in the past and how this can be interpreted in Museums.

It will use the Museum site and collections, with a strong focus on material objects, to explore a range of themes, including the role of home spaces, ranges and cooking, historic lighting, keeping clean and warm, and leisure time. 

This is a Heritage Explorers Activity

Maximum Places: 20         

Cost: £15 per person includes lunch & refreshments

Pre-Book only

Book online or call Bookings on 0121 520 8054.

Find out about Part 1 Construction (17 Sep) and Part 3 Researching the Past (5 Nov)

We have a whole range of Heritage courses and talks - Find out more about at IgnitEd


Programme of the day

Download the programme

9.00am            Arrival, tea and coffee

9.30am            Title tbc: Opening Lecture

10.15am          Case Study 1: Interpreting Domestic Interiors

Helen Taylor, Curator Domestic & Cultural Life, BCLM

Focusing on the following buildings:

  • Rear Back to Back set in 1880s
  • Jerushah set in 1912
  • Cast Iron House set in 1943

11.00am          Break

11.30am          Guided Tour of Museum

                        Jessica Lambert, Assistant Curator BCLM

  • Opportunity to see domestic interiors case studied in previous lecture
  • Washing - Jerushah Brew’us
  • Cooking - Pitt’s Cott
  • Bedrooms - Toll House
  • Gas Lighting - Front Back to Back

1.00pm            LUNCH

1.30pm            Case Study 2: Living Back to Back

Clive Katz, National Trust

2.15pm            Case Study 3: “Domestic Soldiers”- The Housewife and War on the domestic Front in World War Two

                        Elspeth King, University of Worcester

The phrase ‘domestic soldiers’ taken from Jennifer Purcell’s book of the same title epitomises the attitude the government sought to pervade the home front and domestic sphere during the Second World War. The home front was promoted and portrayed as another battlefront with housewives at the fore. This position was constantly reinforced by posters, radio, magazines and newspapers, a version of ‘soft propaganda’ promoted by the British government. The mechanics of rationing, the ration books, coupons and points system are well documented. This case study will look at both food and clothing and examine some of the reality behind the popular images and rhetoric. How did housewives cope and what were the tactics available to them in times of ever increasing challenges and tensions?

Elspeth King is a doctoral student at the University of Worcester. She is particularly interested in twentieth century British history, especially the Second World War and is currently researching class and identity through the lens of rationing and consumption on the home front in World War Two.

3.00pm            Break

3.30pm            Closing Lecture: Croome Estate during the Great War

                           Sue Atkins   

4.15pm            Questions

4.45pm                 Finish

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