Discover the role children played in the industries that shaped the Lake District in the Victorian era.
The exhibition covers industries and events such as mining and the 1910 Wellington Pit disaster that rocked Cumbria where 136 miners died, including children as young as 15. There are interactive experiences for all the family demonstrating why small children were considered ideal for roles where they needed to work in smaller spaces.
Before the late 1700s children usually worked at home helping their parents with farming, wool production or knitting. With the onset of the industrial revolution child labour moved into factories or large mines. At the time 30% of the population of Cumberland and Westmorland were under 15 and there were few regular free schools for them to go to, they represented an almost unlimited source of cheap unskilled labour. The exhibition will look into the truth of how children worked and how that affected public and government opinion.