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R11 History Trip to Cardiff Castle

On the 18th of October, R11 visited Cardiff Castle, and all of us had a wonderful time. We arrived at the majestic castle at about 10am in the morning, where we visited the Medieval undercroft. This was one of the most important rooms in the castle, as all the important functions were held here. As the Undercroft was made out of stone, it helped to make our sound very resonant.Our morning guide, Elizabeth, taught us two songs,’We will meet again’ and ‘Hen, when will you lay me an egg?’. By observing the words carefully, we learnt more about the WW2 rationing, and how songs boosted the morale of parting families.

After this, we went down to the Air Raid shelters. Lord Bute had let the people of Cardiff use his tunnels as a shelter, and this is where we went. We listened to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s speech about Britain declaring war on Germany, shortly followed by the recording of an Air Raid siren. This helped us to get into the 1939 zone. We then discussed the conditions of staying in these tunnels for several hours, and how people survived. There were also certain rules, such as no spitting and no smoking!

After a wonderful lunch, we were split into groups of two girls and three boys to act out a role play of a bombing. We had to try and convey the emotions as well as using historical facts to support our actions.

An ARP Warden, Mark then discussed with us WW2 in general. We learnt about the Axis and the Allies, the Anderson and Morrison shelters and the different types of bombs the Luftwaffe used. We even discovered how the incendiary bomb worked. Many of us were also privileged enough to try on gas masks that were from WW2. The baby gas mask was truly horrifying!

We then went outside to learn how people would put out the fires made from the Infirmary bombs. One in every dozen or so houses would get a pump to put out fire. There was a boys v girls race on who come drain all the water out of the bucket first. The boys were winning until they tipped the bucket over!

All in all, everyone had a wonderful time, and every pupil came back to St John’s knowing more than when we left. A big thank you to Cardiff Castle to giving us the opportunity to come on this trip.

Hiya R

23 October 2017

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