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WATCH: Wearside school children go on strike

Beamish Museum Washington Children's Strike 3 Tom Cowie store

6:16am 17th February 2017
(Updated 6:26am 17th February 2017)

7 of our region's primary schools will be going on strike tomorrow.

There's no need for parents to worry though, as it's taking place during half-term.

They're re-enacting at the Beamish commemoration of the 1917 Children's strike, which saw over a thousand of Washington's youngsters fight for free school meals.

Beamish's Matthew Henderson tells us about the motives behind the action.

It's the centenary tomorrow of the Wearside strike that took place on February 18th 1917, when youngsters from Washington and Usworth schools refused to go to class.

They were protesting as many families were starving.

Pupils from Wessington Primary School will be at Beamish Museum to re-enact their outcry, as kids break up for helf term.

During February half term, visitors can mark the centenary of the strike by joining a march from The Pit Village to The Town, making flags to wave, singing protest songs, sampling poor man's soup and seeing displays from Wessington U3A War Memorials Project, Washington History Group and the SAFC Museum.

It will be giving kids an insight into football history.

Micheal Ganley is from the museum.

SAFC Sunderland museum Michael Ganley

They can make parcels and postcards for soldiers on the Front, sign up for the army and children can try on uniform at the recruitment station, and discover the effect of the war on the Co-op's supplies.

Gemma Stevenson, Community Events Officer, says:

"We're all looking forward to this exciting event, commemorating the Washington Children's Strike and celebrating the history and heritage of the area."

"There will be lots of activities for people to get involved in - they'll be able to strike for their soup, make flags to wave on the march and sing along with protest songs. Come and join us."

Beamish Museum Washington Children's Strike

Beamish has been working with eight schools in Washington and Sunderland to explore the Children's Strike.

Pupils have taken part in marches at the museum and learned a song, No School for Us Today Sir!, written by Beamish's Bill Elliott, a renowned folk performer and one of the Elliotts of Birtley.

Simon Woolley, Head of Learning at Beamish, says:

"The children have truly lived the experience. They have explored old maps, newspaper reports, photographs and artefacts, they have sung strike songs, made banners, interviewed miners and demonstrated on The Town street at the museum."

Beamish Museum Washington Children's Strike 2

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