From 2019 the Museum Schoolroom increases its range to three centuries:
• The Victorian Schoolroom experience based in the 19th century;
• The Wartime Schoolroom experience set in 1944 at the time of the D-day landings
• The present-day audio-visual experience.
The two schoolroom experiences are available to pre-booked parties wanting to travel back in time to a specific time period. The present-day audio-visual experience is open to all visitors and allows them to see the schoolroom as it might have been in earlier centuries. The artefacts on display have a maritime theme as well as reminding us of schooldays in the past. The presentation consists of fascinating footage from the experiments carried out around Appledore during the preparations for D-Day. In a side room there is an actual Asdic machine, with its operator, searching for enemy U-Boats. You can hear and read about how it was used from the accounts of serving seamen. Here too you can read about the dangerous mission of our very own frogman – Rene Le Roy.
Both the Victorian and Wartime Schoolrooms have maritime artefacts, toys from the time and, to ensure good behaviour, a sturdy cane.
The Victorian Schoolroom provides pre-booked groups with the chance to go back in time and have a taste of what a Victorian Primary School would have been like. Dressed in costume pupils learn about Queen Victoria, the importance of the Empire as well as practising the 3Rs using slates and ink pens.
The Wartime Experience is in the same setting but with the threat of war ever present. Our evacuee pupils are asked to come dressed for the part with their gasmasks and identity labels. They will learn about the importance of Appledore in the preparation for D-day, what life was like as a child during the war as well as practising their 3Rs - making do with the slates as paper was scarce during the war years.
School classes, youth groups and adult groups are all welcome to visit our schoolroom, at any time of year, regardless of museum opening. The school is run by an experienced volunteer, who will agree a programme and fee before your visit.
We have found that teachers/organisers appreciate the opportunity of a preliminary visit, to see what is on offer. We are pleased to arrange a free visit to both the Maritime Museum and the Classroom to plan a programme, but please let us know in reasonable time. Alternatively, this can be discussed with our volunteer by phone.
Each group must be accompanied by a responsible adult for the duration of the visit.
For the Victorian Schoolroom we are able to provide costumes for the whole party, although you may wish to come ready dressed. For the Wartime schoolroom we ask groups to ‘make do’ with costumes of their own.
We are happy for you to take photographs within the guidelines of your own establishments. Possible photographic highlights include caning of miscreants, writing with ink pens and playing the harmonium.
The final programme will be adapted to fit each group’s requirements but can include: Writing on slates; using ‘dip and scratch’ ink pens; handling pre-decimal coins; handwriting practice; addition using shillings and pennies and learning by rote.
In the Victorian classroom we also talk Victorian toys; about the differences between rich and poor people; Queen Victoria and the British Empire. In the Wartime classroom we will look at rationing, raising money for the war effort and the effect the war had on the lives of ordinary children in Appledore.
Our classroom has a collection of interesting artefacts which the children can handle or look at.
As part of the visit the groups will visit the museum with a volunteer guide who will point out items of particular interest and provide quiz sheets if required.
We would suggest allowing about 1 ½ - 2 hours for your visit, depending on the size of your party
Information For Teachers
Cars and minibuses may be parked in the Odun Road Pay & Display Car Park, which is opposite the North Devon Maritime Museum.
Pupils should disembark from the coaches at the entrance to Odun Road. Coaches may park at the Quay Car Park, which is below St Mary's Church, Appledore.
There is a toilet on the ground floor of the Museum and there are two toilets adjacent to the Classroom with wheelchair access.
For more information or to arrange a visit, please contact Amanda Gratton by email: