Anna Stephen, a student on work placement, tells us about her time at PHM in this guest post
My favourite object in the museum is the docker’s pineapple in his lunch box. It shows how ordinary the worker’s diet of the time was (a massive pie!), and that a piece of fruit we now consider part of our regular shop was now available for ordinary people- but still thought of as an exotic and exciting treat, not the commonplace object we know of today. Plus it is big and plastic and looks dangerous.
As part of my work experience placement at the People’s History Museum, I’ve done dribs and drabs of all sorts of interesting work to give a full perspective on employment opportunities at the museum. I’ve made dizzying use of the spinny chairs taking care of reception, and even been taught how to wield a gun by the front-of-house staff (a price-tag gun, that is)!
I’ve sat in on incredible schools living history performances- historical figures such as suffragette Hannah Mitchell and chartist William Cuffay are portrayed with great élan by professional actors who reenergise history, imbuing it with a sense of dynamism and urgency as they show children the perspective of someone actually living at the time. There’s also a Q&A session with the historical figures afterwards, so you can ask all the questions you would never be able to without a time machine!
I’ve also designed a superhero postcard for children to design their own inspiring figure and describe what they’d do to change the world.