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Castle Acre Church of England Primary Academy

Better Together

Mistress Matilda from Pudding Lane

As part of our Great Fire of London topic we had a special visitor to school.  Mistress Matilda travelled all the way from Pudding Lane in London to give us a first hand account of what happened. Meanwhile, all of Whitebeam Class travelled back through the years, as can be seen from the clothes they were wearing, to meet her. She told us all about how the fire started, gave us very timely warnings that fire can be a very dangerous thing and showed us how to make Ships Biscuits (also known as Hardtack...and hard they are!) which were a common produce of the Pudding Lane bakery. These biscuits were made of flour and water which then had to be soaked in barrels of water on board ship to make them edible and were often infested with weevils and maggots.  We also had a go at making them, without the maggots but they didn't taste much good!

When the imaginary fire was raging some children formed a human chain passing leather buckets of water to try and put it out, while Didier did his best with a long pole, pulling down houses in an effort to stop it spreading.

Several children took part in a re-enactment with Samuel Pepys, King James and other characters to establish how the fire progressed and was finally extinguished.

After lunch (thankfully more nutritious and tasty than ships biscuits) we returned to the classroom to learn about Norwich Cathedral and a fire that severely damaged it, much like the fate of St Paul's Cathedral in London. 

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