Slavery comes alive for pupils

August 04 2017

PUPILS from Begbrook Primary Academy in Stapleton were the first school party to visit the New Room in Broadmead since the completion of its new multi-million-pound Heritage Lottery-funded visitor centre.

PUPILS  from Begbrook Primary Academy in Stapleton were the first school party to visit the New Room in Broadmead since the completion of its new multi-million-pound Heritage Lottery-funded visitor centre.

The trip was organised as part of Year 5’s work on aspects of slavery, giving the children the chance to learn about the history of the slave trade and anti-slavery campaigning led by John Wesley. 

Teacher Chloe Thomas said: “All the children had a fantastic time and it added so much to their learning about slavery.”

The story of the New Room Riot was brought to life for the children by the New Room’s education officer Mandy Briggs who explained how, in 1788, John Wesley caused a small riot when he took the unusual position of preaching against slavery. 

In response local merchants sent men to disrupt service in the chapel, but Wesley was never deterred and continued to campaign against slavery to the end of his days. 

The children enjoyed re-enacting Wesley's anti-slavery sermon and the ensuing riot.

The museum exhibits challenged the youngsters to consider different aspects of slavery, including exhibit boards they could relate to, such as the story of a slave who was severely whipped for the ‘crime’ of overfilling a tea-cup. 

The New Room and its new visitor centre is open from Monday to Saturday 10.30am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm all year round. Entrance to the chapel is free. Admission to the museum is £3 for children and £6 for adults, with family tickets at £9 for one adult plus children, or £14 for two plus children.