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Victorian School welcomes public for 'powerful' open day

PUBLISHED: 17:24 11 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 12 March 2018

Twin brothers (L) Adam and Alex Stevens (9) at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Twin brothers (L) Adam and Alex Stevens (9) at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A school like no other finally opened its doors to the public today after the snow disrupted the original plans.

Headmistress Sally North speaking to Oliver Wittridge (8) at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to Oliver Wittridge (8) at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Great Cressingham Victorian School, which has been operating as a living museum since 1994, welcomed people of all ages into the classroom to learn how children were educated in the 19th century.

Headmistress, Sally North, said: “It was a quality day and that is because this is a quality school.

“There is nothing else like it in the country and since 1994 20,000 children have visited.

“I am so lucky that I have this school and I need people to know about it. It is amazing and no one comes in without gasping.”

Headmistress Sally North speaking to Oliver Wittridge (8) at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to Oliver Wittridge (8) at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Miss North, as she is known to her students, bought the building in 1993, a year after it ceased operating as a working school, and restored it as closely as possible to how it would have been in Victorian times.

This includes an oil lamp and a coal-fired tortoise stove which warms the classroom.

The open day is a rare opportunity for people of all ages to come to the school which ordinarily caters for school trips.

Miss North said: “We had people come in with all sorts of connections to the school such as former students or people who had come on school trips when they were younger.

Headmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

“There was on older couple in their eighties who were quite frail and sat in the classroom and didn’t want to leave.

“It was a really powerful day for me and all of the people.”

Visitors are treated to traditional Victorian lessons as well as games such as playing with a spinning top or can simply browse the various historical artefacts in the museum.

Miss North runs the lessons as a traditional Victorian teacher and describes herself as strict and stern, but also kind.

Headmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

She added: “I am so privileged to be leant these children. I keep them for three hours and can lift them out of their normal range of experiences and enrich them.”

Anyone interested in visiting the Great Cressinghiam Victorian School and to learn more about it can visit their website at www.victorianschool.com

Headmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Headmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

Headmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtHeadmistress Sally North speaking to the class at The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Victorian School open day at Great Cressingham. Picture: Ian Burt

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