The experience

Through Dickens and his works, you have learned lots of things about Victorian times and the Industrial revolution but…are you ready for the experience?


You will be able to visit the most significant places to fully understand this period and its importance for our most recent history.

Being able to see the first steam engine, the factory models in Manchester, vistiting museums such as the Kew Bridge Steam Museum, the Museum of science and history or the Charles Dickens museum; gathering information from libraries which keep original documents regarding the Industrial Revolution, walking around the streets that Dickens depicted in his works…

All this incredible experience will enable you to have the best picture of this period and it will help you understand why what started in England at the end of the 19th century changed our world.

“Victorianise” yourself, “Dickensify” yourself and “Industrialise” yourself. Come back full of wonderful experiences to share with all of us! Enjoy while you learn!

We started our school trip in Manchester. Here we explain the things we learned and studied:



Today in Manchester we have visited the Museum of Science and Industry. We have worked in groups to find out information of the different sections in the museum.

Science & Technology:

Group’s members:

– Carla González

– Pau Salvadó

– Marc Muñiz

– Adrià Hernández

Explain the different scientific discoveries and how the local newspapers reported those advances.

The main newspapers reported it with an important relevance, putting them in the headlines. Then, all newspapers wrote plenty of articles on them. They were interested in explaining the discoveries because the newspapers and the media could take advantage of the new inventions.

The main discoveries that they explained were:

1840: The railway comes to Manchester

1920: Radio appears

1837: Cooke and Whaetsone invent the telegraph

1945: Atomic Bomb!

And many others.

– Name the most important events of the industrial revolution in chronological order:

1769: Richard Arkwright created the first cotton mill in the world.

1846: Piston powers were created and allowed steam engines to move.

1803: John Dalton worked using simple equipment, but he became the father of atomic theory.
1912: William Henry Bragg invented the X-ray crystallography.

1947: The electron microscope is created.

2010: Atlas Detector is created.

– Manchester Scientists. Explain the life stories of four significant Manchester scientists and their discoveries.

William Lawrance Bragg was born in 1890 and died in 1971. He refined the new  microscopy of X-ray diffraction. Bragg and his team worked on molecules containing silicon. They also studied the gemstone beryl.

John Dalton worked using simple equipment, but he became the father of atomic theory. He is researching subjects ranging from chocolate-making to finding mysterious sub-atomic particles.

– What scientific discovery is the most important for you? Explain why.

For us, the most important scientific discovery was the steam engine, because the majority of the inventions of the Industrial Revolution were based on it.

In our opinion, the most important discovery was the X-ray crystallography, because it shows us where atoms are inside molecules. With this we can look at the inside.

The thing we liked the most:

We liked all the museum, but especially we have enjoyed the room for young people so much, because you can play and practise. It’s a good way to learn new interesting things. We think is better to try to make and understand the things by themselves and not to have a person who explains everything, because in that way, you can´t experience them.

Industry and Innovation:

Group’s members:

Bernat Pallí

Núria González

Albert Comes

César Navalón

– Find out how Manchester emerged as the world’s first industrial city through King Cotton and its legacy.

Manchester became the world’s first industrial city for many reasons:

  • It’s close to Liverpool where the cotton from America arrived by ships.
  • Lancashire had fast flowing streams which were used to turn water wheels. This was originally used to power paper mills. The first cotton mills were also powered by water.
  • It was easy for people to build mills and houses for workers because there were very few planning controls in Manchester before the 1830.

– Describe the different methods of construction of different fabrics. Pre-industrial and post-industrial machinery.


Method: pine trees are crushed and the natural cellulose in the pulp is taken out, mixed with acetic acid and other chemicals.

Fabric: underwear.

Fibre: the stem of the plant is cut off and then the fibers are separated. They are spun and woven into linen.

Linen: suits, curtains and kitchen towels.

Method: it comes from petroleum industry. It is forced through small holes.

Fabric: jumpers and soft toys.


Metod: It comes from the seed of a plant. We clean the seed and we obtain the fibers.

Fabric: t-shirts, trousers and cushions.


Method: It’s made from wood. It’s crushed into a pulp and mixed with water, then mixed with acid. It is set into a thin fiber.

Fabric: dresses, shirts and blouses.

– Translate the names of the fabrics:

Cotó, nylon, pvc, acrylic, acetat, lli.

– Explain the stories of two people who came to Manchester to work in the cotton industry.

William Fairbairn

He came to Manchester to make a living as an engineer. He arrived in 1813 at the age of 24, and worked as a textile and mill engineer. He was from Kelso, Sctoland, and his religion was Presbyterian.

Lily Burns

Her parents came to Manchester in 1902 beacause they were fleeing to avoid persecution. They were from Poland, and she was born a few weeks after her parents arrived in Manchester. She was employed as an office worker in a textile merchant’s office, and she died at the age of 32. She and her family were Jewish

– The Manchester Mills:  working conditions in a cotton mill.

The conditions were very poor. The workers lived in the same building where they work during the day. They didn’t receive much money. They work for many hours and at night they had very little time to sleep.

– Talk about the papermaking machine.

Before the invention of continuous paper making, paper was made in individual sheets by stirring a container of pulp slurry and either pouring it into a fabric sieve called a sheet mold or dipping and lifting the sheet mold from the vat, but with the industrial revolution this manufactured method changed.

People & Communication:

Group’s members:

– Oriol Teixidó

– Albert Bastida

– Pablo Gasulla

– Helena Lluís

-The social and political consequences of Manchester’s rapid transformation from a market town into an industrial city:

Manchester transport innovation allowed people and goods to travel further and faster. Air transport extended the city’s travel horizons. Britain’s first regional airline connected Manchester and Blackpoll in 1919. From 1922 there were regular flights from Manchester to Europe so that they increased the population by having a lot of transport in order to be communicated with other cities and that means that their little market increased in to an industrial town.

-Explain the living conditions of the poorest members of society.

Living conditions


-Define The Peterloo Massacre of 1819. What happened? Why?

Peterloo Massacre


-Water supply today and in the past. From the Roman latrine to the present day. Water for the home.  Explain the different types of toilets.

There were two different types of toilets, the poor people used to do their necessities in public toilets or in the countryside and rich people did their necessities in some special bathrooms where there were more luxury things.

-From the paper to the print. Describe the evolution chronologically.

Manchester got its first printing press in 1719. Before its development, the paper was manufactured, but then paper was made automatically.

-Photographic technology from the Nineteenth Century.

Louis Daguerre had the first photographic studio in 1839 and licensed Manchester’s first photographic studio. John Benjamin Dancer took the first known photograph of Manchester in 1842. He improved lantern projectors and new photographic techniques. He invented the microphotography process in 1852 and the binocular stereoscopic camera in 1853.

-Explain the beginnings and the evolution of the Moving Image.

The beginnings of the moving image developed into the cinema. The television started to work with an experiment in 1922. The Baird (surname of the inventor John Logie Baird) was the first type of television that went on sale everywhere in the world. The inventor was Scottish.

-Describe the main changes between Nineteenth and Twentieth Century telephones.

First, the telephones were very big and with one auricular and one microphone but it changed very fast. The first telephones were made by David Moseley and Sons of Manchester. Later with many changes the phone became smaller than it was and with the auricular and the microphone in the same part.

-State the different uses and the importance of the telegraph:

The first commercial telegraphs office in Manchester opened in 1852. It was very important at the time because it help communicate over long distances before the invention of the phone. The first telegraph office opened in Manchester in 1882.

What did we like the most?

The thing we liked the most is the first computer (The Baby) which was invented in 1948 and worked with a system of valves and it had only a memory of few bytes so it could only have a little number of programs.


Group’s members:

– Alex Rodergas

– Frances Cuixart

– Pablo Casino

– Yaiza Oliver

– Explain the development of steam power for transport.

1712 : All started at 1712 invented by Thomas Newcomen, they were first used to pump water from mines, but soon adapted for other purposes.

–       The piston is highlighted.

–       The structure hasn’t movement. Only has movement the piston.

1830: Beam engines were often highly decorated in a classical style by their builders.

–       It was overweight.

–       It has low pressure.

–       Condensing beam steam.

1840: The action moves up and down like insect’s legs. It works on the principals as the beam engine, but was made to fit in smaller factories that needed more compact power unites.

–       Engine type: Grasshopper beam engine (llagosta)

1864: The wooden cladding on the steam cylinder was designed to stop heat escaping, making it more efficient.

–       Engine type: Single horizontal cylinder condensing engine

–       Took up less space than a beam engine.

–       Were soon accepted as the way forward for powering mills.

– Why it was so important the Liverpool and Manchester Railway?

The railway was very important because with it they could transport the manufactures between Manchester and Liverpool. There were also canals; the most important was the one which connected Manchester and Salford.

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR) was the world’s first inter-city passengers’ way.

The line opened on 15 September 1830 and ran between the cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

It was primarily built to provide faster transport of raw materials and finished goods between the Port of Liverpool and mills in Manchester and surrounding towns.

The line was engineered by George Stephenson who also played a key role in the development of the Rocket locomotive for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company.

–  Talk about the expansion of the railway during the ‘railway mania’ of the 1830s and 1840s:

During this decade the British railway was developed and the number of passengers which used it increased a lot.

The First Railways

  • 1830 à The Manchester to Liverpool line was opened, comprising 30 miles of railway
  • 1833 à The Leicester-Swanington line – a line for coal transportation – was opened
  • 1835 à Isambard Kingdom Brunel was employed to build the London – Bristol line, with Daniel Gooch as the engineer. It was the start of the Great Western Railway (G.W.R. – God’s Wonderful Railway), which was absolutely flat for 85 miles.(SEE here for further information)
  • 1838 à The opening of the London – Bath – Bristol line.

The opening of the Birmingham – London line.

By 1838: a total of 500 miles of railway existed

By 1848: a total of 5,000 miles of railway existed

By 1860: a total of 10,000 miles of railway existed

–       One of the reasons for the massive expansion in railways was because iron was cheaper:

  • In 1838          5½ million rail passengers
  • In 1845          30 million rail passengers
  • In 1855          111 million rail passengers

– Types of locomotive used in the early days of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

· Pender

Is a Victorian steam locomotive. It was built in Manchester in 1873 for the railway on the Isle of Man.

· Railway carriages

It consists of the First Class and Second Class Railway carriages. The differences between them are explained below.

· Planet

Is a working reproduction of one of the locomotives that ran on the Liverpool and Manchester line in the 1830s.

· Novelty

It is a reproduction, with some original parts, of one of the unsuccessful competitors in the 1829 Rainhill Trials.

· 1830 warehouse:

It is the world’s oldest surviving railway building. The design was based on canal warehouses where the barges would be unloaded inside the warehouse.

– Characteristics of the 1st and 2nd class railway carriages.

1st class railway carriage:

It is a restoration, using the original body from the Manchester-Birmingham Railway, fitted to a modern chassis.

2nd class railway carriage:

Carriages are reproductions of the type of carriage used on the Liverpool and Manchester line in the 1830s and 1840s.

– Describe the First Class Booking Hall

Mass-produced period prints and souvenirs, such as jugs and medallions, give a sense of the Railway’s great popular appeal.

The room in the museum has been reconstructed to show how it would have looked in 1830 but includes modern items such as display panels; fire extinguisher; electric sockets, switches, lights and fire alarm.


Group’s members:

– Marcel Palet

– Yaiza Oliver

– Francesc Cuixart

– Pol Segarra

– Explain how the first generator worked:

For hundreds of years, the power of water flowing in streams and rivers has been captured in watermills. It was clear that water power was an alternative to the use of steam, gas or diesel engines as a means of turning electric generators.

– Brief history of the exploration of the electricity, explain the early scientific investigations:

One of the most important early experiments was the conversion from AC to DC. At the first this was done by using an AC motor to drive a dc generator, what they do was combining these two machines to make a rotary converter. At the first the electricity wasn’t able to all the people, but with the pass of the years it was improving its quality to present days.

– Development of the early electricity industry in the late 19th century, how did electricity use to work in a house?

Today most people rely on electricity to provide home comfort an entertainment and to make housework easier. We take these things for guaranteed, but in 1919 only 6% of houses were wired for electricity. Even by 1960 less than 50% of homes had an electric washing machine, refrigerator, kettle or television.

– Improvements in electricity:  the home during the mid-20th century.

In 1955, 88% of households had electricity, 58% of houses had power sockets, averaging 3 per household. Many people bought or rented televisions. The rapid spread of televisions made a big impact on people’s leisure habits.

By 1955 88% of houses had electricity more people were able to afford electrical appliances because of rising wages and lower prices for electricity appliances. There was a bum in hire-purchase sales in the late 1950s.

– The first power station. Give examples of the variety of the early gas burners used for illumination before the invention of the gas mantle in 1880s.

The first power station was in Dickison Street in the 1893 it supplied offices and stores in a half square mile of the city center.

– Explain the process of making gas:

The gases are obtained from the mains of coal or from the oil or also as natural gas and this gas can be used to drive gas engines.

– Explain how coal was formed and describe working conditions for gas workers:

This has always been the most important energy source for electricity generation. Heat produce by burning coal converts water to steam which is then used to drive machines. The workers work with very bad conditions, they were like sleeves.

– What did we like most?

What we liked most was the interactive part that you can play with electric elements and at the same time you can learn something about the energy.


At the People’s History Museum we enjoyed a theatre play.
Theatre Play reviewed by Pol Segarra, Bernat pallí, Marc Múñiz, Pablo Casino:

  • Title: William Cuffay:  the history of a slave
  • Plot: This history is about the life of a slave called William Cuffay and his grandson. William Cuffay was born in Africa, he was caught by English people and became a slave. He started working in the industry, his son was a slave too but his grandson wasn’t. He is now like another normal person, and he works too, He is very proud of being a descendent of an immigrant slave, and he is happy with his life because he feels integrated in the British society.
  • Main characters: William Cuffay and his grandson
  • Main themes: industry, immigration, exploitation, slaves, revolution, work, capitalism, bourgeoisie, Justice: Africa, Great Britain.
  • Personal opinion: We think that is very important to make the immigrants feel as any other native person.  And we might be apologized about this.  We think that the Industrial revolution was a great form to claim justice (for all the people,  from the black people to white ones) and the rights of the working class.

Theatre play reviewed by Núria González, Carla González and Yaiza Oliver:

·         Title: The life of the Cuffay’s family

·         Plot: It has shown us how the working classes and the slaves lived, that were really bad.  An actor playing the role of William Cuffay, has explained the life of his father and his grandfather, who were slaves.

·      Main characters: Cuffay’s family (grandparent, father and son, William)

·      Main themes: Victorian age and the industrial revolution.

·     Personal opinion: We think that it has been a very good explanation of the beginning of the industry’s revolution, with the demonstrations and the claims about their rights.

Here you can see a fragment of the Play “Slavery & Suffrage –William Cuffay’s Story”



In the exhibition we learned a lot of things:

  • Tom Paine: He was a bourgeois that wanted to change the life of the poor people.
  • Radicals (chartists): They wanted more rights that they got.
  • Peterloo’s massacre.
  • Robert Owen (1832).
  • Liberal and conservative party (18th and early 19th centuries).
  • 2nd reform act (1867).
  • 3rd reform act (1884): All men who owned property of a certain value got the vote. There were still no votes for women.
  • Conservatives (great war): (1910).
  • National government (1930).
  • Spanish civil war (1936).
  • Labour government peaceful revolution (1945).


After a few days learning about the industrial revolution in Manchester, we can compare the situation of industrial times in England with the industrial age lived in Catalonia.

Here there is  some information we found to compare the reality shown with the reality in Catalonia, we also include some chronological information (century, years and important dates):

GREAT BRITAIN –          18th and 19th Century

The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times.

It began in the United Kingdom, and then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world.

William Bell Scott Iron and Coal, 1855-60

th Century (ends of the century, after the British one)

It occurred between 1840 and 1891 that Catalonia became one of the most dynamic areas of industrial and joined the small group of European regions that achieved before the 1860 high levels of industrialization. The Industrial Revolution was made possible by the economic revival which saw the Catalan economy and society in the eighteenth century.


  • Main facts and events related to the history of the industrial times (eg opening of important factories, incidents, etc…) List of the diferents industries in Manchester since the industrial revolution:

  • · Abbey business centres
  • · B3 Cable Solutions
  • · BD Recruitment
  • · Britannia Hotels
  • · Creative Lynx
  • · Fast Web Media
  • · ISOFT Group
  • · JJB Sports
  • · LateRooms
  • · Manchester Building Society
  • · Marble Brewery
  • · Mayne Coaches
  • · Passion For Perfume
  • · Texet Sales
  • · The Co-operative Group
  • · Co-operative Bank
  • · Co-operative Financial Services
  • · Co-operative Insurance Society
  • · Thomas Cook Airlines
  • · Transitive Corporation
  • · Turned On Digital
  • · United Utilities
  • · Urban Splash
  • Whispering Smith PLC

Origin of the immigrants (continents, countries…):

Coastal regions were filled with people of Andalucia and the closest sites, of the same country, The south was a very poor zone in those ages the Rich man started exploting the people and this immigration came to Catalonia waiting for oportunities.

  • Urban areas and neighborhoods where immigrants settled down:

In Barcelona, in neighborhood of Raval, neighborhood of Poblenou, neighborhood of Clot (Village of Sant Marti) and Village of San Andreu.

  • The creation of industrial communities /”colonies”:

The creation of the industrial communities was made for the  good development of the workers in his jobs, first the workers were on his houses in the different parts of the city then to improve the efficiency of the workers the bosses constructed houses just in front of the factories and industries  they gave free houses at the workers but the workers were all the time at work, in Catalonia we find the example of The Gaudi’s Community where you can fins also a Church!

  • General living conditions of the working class:

The workers worked from 12 hours to 16 hours every day, the hygiene of the factories and the intense work produced very bad diseases at the workers. The conditions were very bad but in s.XIX the England parliamentarians approved a law helping the workers then in 1843 the most of countries did it.  One of the first persons in denunciate this was Freiderich Engels who showed the example of an Irish family that slept n the same bed at the same time.

  • Child labor:

The Industrial Revolution led to a population increase, but the chances of surviving childhood did not improve throughout the Industrial Revolution. There was still limited opportunity for education, and children were expected to work. Employers could pay a child less than an adult even though their productivity was comparable.

Many children were forced to work in relatively bad conditions for much lower pay than their elders, 10-20% of an adult male’s wage. Conditions were dangerous.


  • Types of manufacture /factories and name important factories:

First  factory at Cromford, near Derby.

  • Names of entrepreneurs: Andrew Carnegie, Matthew Boulton, James Watt

Look for information to compare the reality shown with the reality in Catalonia:

· Main facts and events related to the history of the industrial times (eg opening of important factories, incidents, etc…)

  • Innovations
  • Transfer of Knowledge
  • tecnological developements in Britain
  • Transports in Britain
    • Canals
    • Roads
    • Railways
  • Social effects
  • Expansion of the revolution around the world
    • USA
    • Japan
    • Sweden
    • Belgium
    • Germany
  • Second industrial rev.
  • Growth of the industry.

· Origin of the immigrants (continents, countries…)

  • Manchester: they came mainly from Africa.
  • Catalonia: Andalucia, Extremadura, etc.

· Urban areas and neighborhoods where immigrants settled down.

In Catalonia, the main part of the immigrants settled down in the neighborhoods: La mina, el raval and el Carmel. In Manchester, the main neighborhoods were in the top of the city.

· The creation of industrial communities /”colonies”:

The industrial communities began in Catalonia and here, in Manchester, more or less in the same way. In both places, started in the second part of the XIX century. The communities, usually were placed near the rivers because those field were too much cheaper than theones in the city center.

·      General living conditions of the working class:

Basically their general living conditions of the working class were:

Some people started living out of the city, in the fields.

The people earned less money but worked more hours.

This class suffered of mistreat and bad conditions of life.

· Child labor:

  • Manchester: The children started working at the age of seven. They received a little education in the colonies.
  • Catalonia: The children started working, unofficially at the age of seven. But officially they should have started at 13.

· Types of manufacture /factories and name important factories:

  • Catalonia: Vapor Bonaplata (1832), La Igualadina Cotonera (1842), el Vapor Vell (1844) and La Fabril Cotonera. Cotton and wool.
  • Manchester: Ford Motor Company (1910), Westinghouse Electric Corporation (1910); Aircraft factory.

· Names of entrepreneurs:

  • Manchester:  George Stephenson, football players
  • Catalonia: Güell, José Comas y Solá,  Eduard Fontserè,  Narcís Monturiol; Joan Oró.

· Evolution of the industry from the origins to our times:

  • Catalonia: First we have textil industry. It appeared big business. The creation of the colonies. They worked with more manufactures. They began to export their manufactures. The ferrocarril appeared. Later they would to maximize the modernism.
  • Manchester: First we have the Peterloo’s massacre. Then there appeared the industries and the chartists, that were the voice of the revolution. The political parties appear and newspapers improves a lot. They wanted free newspaper so the poor people could know about it. In 1884 all men who owned property of a certain value got the vote. There were still no votes for women.


Helena Lluís, Carla González, Pablo Casino

The Working Class Movement Library is situated in the heart of Salford, Manchester and explores 200 years of working class movement activism.

About the library:

–          The library was founded by two people in their own house. It was founded in 1955. In 1987 it moved to the building where it is now. The founders were from the communist party.

–          One of the objectives was that people who couldn’t study could come here for information. The other objective was to raise awareness of the class to make people know or understand they were the working class, and to make them understand better their present in order to change their future.

–          The library works as an educational charity. It doesn’t belong to a political party, so it is not supposed to have an ideology, but it gives information for people, it is the best thing they could do for the people to form their own ideas and make their decisions. As a charity they don’t have an opinion but they have information and we can have an opinion.

–          In the library there aren’t only books, we can also find photographs, videos, music, real objects and old historic banners and posters related to the working class activism and a lot more.

–          Most of the material is British but there is also material from other parts of the world: Spain and the British colonies, etc. They have also material about communist party and fascism, socialism, Marxism.

In the library we’ve learned important facts about the Industrial Revolution. Here we can find a few examples:

–          Women and children were preferred to do the hard work because they were weaker than men. They worked for 18 hours every day. It was easier to make them work so much because they weren’t as strong as men were.

–          A important thing is that the working class could know and fight for their rights and they needed an organization.

–          The working class started to get organized and the first trade unions started in Manchester.

–          In 1868 there was the first trade union congress in England. By chance this week the trade union congress was going to be held in London. Unionists were going to discuss the celebrations of a general strike to protest against government cuts. The last general strike was in 1926.



In the afternoon we have visited the Salford Museum next to Salford University. Inside we have visited Lark Hill Place, an atmospheric re-creation of a typical northern street during Victorian times.

Lark Hill Place was originally created in 1957 when many shops and houses in central Salford were demolished to build new developments in the town. Many of the shop we visited in Lark Hill Place are the original ones that were saved and restored. The interiors have been furnished and are full of authentic objects, recreating the way they were used in Victorian times.

We have explored the street and dressed up in traditional Victorian costumes to really get in the spirit of those times.

Finally we have prepared and performed a brief theatre play based on all the historical facts of the working class movement during the industrial revolution that we have learned these days.

We here leave you the video of the play:

Theatre play at Salford Museum



Marta Minguell, Lika Silva

Dickens was born in 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth, UK at the regency period.

He was born in a small house in Portsmouth, he lived there a few months and then, in the summer, he moved to 16 Hawke Street. At two years he moved to London with his family and he lived there since he died (at 58 years) at the Victorian time.

The house where he was born is now a museum and the other two houses in Portsmouth were destroyed.

John and Elisabeth Dickens were the parents of Dickens. They had a big family. Dickens was one of their seven children, concretely the second.

John Dickens was sent to work in the navy in Portsmouth from London that means why Dickens’s was born in Portsmouth and not in another city.

The house where he was born is small but comfortable, it has three floors in each one there are two or three rooms maximum. At the lower floor there is the kitchen, it’s the only room that hasn´t been replaced.  In the first floor there is a room called The Parlour and it’s the posh sitting room. In front there is the dining room that it has similar wallpaper to the original. There are pictures that are prints of contemporary beauties by Bartolozzi and also in the other paintings there are naval British battles. The dinning suite is composed by the table and the chairs. The dresser (to dress the room, for decoration) is furniture in the right it’s from the 18th century (1770). The pottery is for decoration but also for the day use, it’s from 19th century.

At the second floor also called the bedroom floor there are two rooms, two bedrooms.

First room:

A reminder of Dickens birth a portrait and parian porcelain bust of him are displayed in this room. The bed it’s a type of regency style from the 19th century. There is a furniture called chest of drawers, and the taller was called tallboy (old mid-18th century). There is also a mantelpiece in the fire place. They used to wash the clothes by hand and hang them in the clothes stand by the fire. In the time they didn’t have running water so there was a sink were they washed themselves.

The other bedroom:

They have put an exhibition with information; there is the couch were Dickens died on 9 June 1870 at his home, Gad’s Hill in Kent. The death certificate gives ‘apoplexy’ as the cause of death; now it would be described as a stroke, in this room there is also the death certificate. There are paintings of Dicken´s characters and several belongings of his.

In the third floor, there is the attic.

The attic: the two attic rooms were invented as bedrooms for children and domestic servants.

Several of Dickens’ objects on display are:

Oil sketch of Charles Dicken´s as a young man – painted by J.Hazlett

Portrait of Charles Dicken´s painted in Rochester, 1869.


  1. Paper knife
  2. Paperweight
  3. Tankard
  4. Rentbook
  5. Lorgnette
  6. Ring
  7. Snuff box
  8. Waistcoat buttons
  9. Check
  10. Lock of Charles Dicken’s
  11. Carte de visite

The house

The rooms

Couch on which Dickens died


Our visit in Portsmouth continued looking for Dickens’ trail. We walked through the town to spot those places related to Dickens’ life. Here you can see all the pictures of the places we visited with the information of every place:

[slideshare id=15479478&doc=portsmouth-placesrelatedtocharlesdickens-121204023520-phpapp02&type=d]


We’ve been today to the Olympic area of London, this is what we have learnt:


Since 2005, when it was announced that London would host the next Olympic Games, there have been different changes in the city:

–          8000 new houses

–          5 new districts

–          91000 square metres of commercial surface

–           357 new football stadiums

–          More than 35 km of cycling routes

All these facilities have been built around Stratford, at the East side of London.

The Olympic Park

The Olympic Park will be opened to the public in July 2013, and people will be able to visit the facilities. The seating stands of the aquatic park will be modified and made of glass.

These days everybody speaks about “regeneration”:

Regeneration: This word is often used to describe the rebuilding of many new things in an area which had been abandoned and only used as a garbage dump commonly called “shithole”, and nowadays it displays a very different look. However, there is a big controversy around it because some people claim that this area won’t be used after the Olympic Games. This situation can be compared to what happened in Barcelona’92 in the area of Poble Nou where people had eventually left because it was a much deteriorated area but it was regenerated after the Olympic Games.

This part of the recent history could be related to the Industrial Revolution: The citizens abandon areas that once had been important and then become deserted.

There is also another controversy related to the small communities that live in the surroundings. They complain about the cost of one important event that will be held only once that will be very expensive to maintain. The politicians say that they will build up a whole new area, which will cost millions of pounds, but won’t be used  enough to get the investment back, so the taxes will increase for the people and specially for the communities that live nearby.


Covent Garden is a very commercial area which is very important because before it used to be a very busy market where they use to sell basically fruit, vegetables and flowers.

There is a café called Charles Dickens Coffee House, which survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, and that lasted for six days. This house has also survived modern architecture. It was a café where Dickens used to go to drink a coffee and watch the people passing by.



Marta Minguell, Pol Segarra

Today we’ve visited the Regent’s canal, close to Charing cross. We have been guided through the museum and we have found out important facts:

Canals are man-made. Unlike rivers, Canals are entirely designed and constructed by man. They were built where needed on new routes, often far from rivers. 6000 kms of canals were built in England in 50 years. Engineers needed to find ways round or through obstacles, and obtain the water to keep them filled.

This canal started at 1820. Nowadays it’s very calm but many years ago there were in the canal hundreds of boats. This canal:

–          4 km long.

–           It gets together with another canal that goes to Liverpool and Leeds.

–          It isn’t flat, it has slopes.

The canals in London are changing: before it was a cheap area because nobody wanted this place, the waters of the canals were dirty. It is happening that people are coming back to the canal to have a flat and it’s now really expensive. This place is in the middle of London and it’s cute.

In this building there are two ice wells.

Ice trade many years ago: In the days before refrigeration, ice was gathered in winter and stored for the summer. It was a scarce commodity used only by the wealthy. Importing it in large quantities, as Carlo Gatti did, made it available to more people. It was brought by sailing ships from Norway to the docks, then by barge along the canal, unloaded into the ice well and then taken by the horse and cart across London.

Picture of the ice well at the London Canal Museum:

In this building there is an ice cart model: dates from the 1890s. Gatti’s yellow ice carts were a familiar London sight until the 1940s. Drawn by one or two horses, they distributed ice from depots all over London.

Ice trade is linked with the canals because they used to transport the ice. Carlo Gatti, entrepreneur and promoter of ice cream, started a business on this site in 1857, importing and selling natural ice.

Moving ice is not easy, because it slips. Blocks of ice were heavy and slippery and difficult to move around. Special tools were used to grip them. A block might weight around 100 to 300 Ibs. Ice dogs of various designs were used to group the ice with their sharp points (like teeth). Then, they could be pulled along a level surface by hand, or lifted by a crane. Ice-men’s pick were used to split the blocks into smaller pieces to customers requirements.

We saw the fridges at Victorian times, boxes made of wood and very old but the system is the same as today, it keeps the ice in the walls of the box. The smallest one was used in the houses of rich people in Kensington area.

The Caronis boats

Canal boats were made in 1832. This type of boat it’s called narrowboat. There is a cabin in the boat were Victorian families lived, there were maybe 8 people living in that space.

There weren’t toilets in the period of Victoria queen, when she was 67 were invented more a less. People use to put the canal to put all the waste, that’s why water was so dirty, there was plenty of disease and people didn’t want to live there. But people said it was better to live in the boats instead of working and living in the factories. Long period people stayed away from the canal cause everyone were there to throw away there the rubbish and excrements.

Horse power

Today we have learnt very important facts about horses in the Victorian age.

There were half a million horses in London in Victorian times. There were a lot of uses for the horses. They used horses like a transport or other things. It was a big horse industry. Horses took a lot of looking after. As well as good stables, a horse needed food, shoes, grooming, harness, and veterinary care.

Standards of house care improved steadily during the 19th

century. In the early days power on the canals, animals were often treated badly. The first law against cruelty to horses was passed in 1822. During Victorian period there was more legislation and attitudes gradually changed.

Horses also pulled most canals boats for 150 years. The whole of the canal infrastructure was designed for horse boating. Horse boating was a skilled operation.

The Canal Locks

The locks make waterways work: locks feature on both man-made canals and rivers that man has made navigable. On rivers their function is to bypass a weir or a natural fall in the water that would otherwise prevent boats from passing and allow a boat to ascend or descend under control. Canal locks connect sections of waterway built at different levels.

Leonardo’s Great Invention

The mitre gate is a key part of the design of modern locks. The idea of the mitre gate is usually credited to Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519). This drawing shows improvements to the canal system in Milan. This principal was first used in England in 1577 at Walthman Lock On The River Llee. The simple concept of the mitre gate is still used over the whole world.


Francesc Cuixart, Oriol Teixidó

Today we’ve been to the Tate Modern Museum and we searched for some artworks related to the industrial revolution. The building of the museum is also linked to the industrial revolution because this building in the past was a factory and now has turned into a museum.

We found these artworks:

In the level 3 we can see within the exhibition “Transformed Visions” works of Thomas Hirschhorn and Germanie Richer. This section explores artworks during the period after time the Second World War.

Both authors have made sculptures to express their feelings of disagreement with the society. The disagreements are about the Second World War, all the catastrophes made by humans, etc. He uses some everyday materials to represent the oppression that had the people of that time.

In the level 4 we can see the section “Energy and Progress”, which we can relate to the industrial process. In the room 3 and 11 (from the group of artists Arte Povera and Anti-form) we have explored the work of Abraham Cruzvillegas. He has made different sculptures with different materials.

In this work the author represents that with very poor materials he can make a sculptures that deal with his past living in a poor area surrounded by factories.  He used to collect waste materials from the factories. We can link these sculptures with the industrial revolution because we can see in this sculptures a metaphor of the smoke of the chimney of the industries, the contaminating waste that the industries produce and how with humble and prime materials like wood, sand, stones, fabric, we can also express art.


Lika Silva, Adrià Hernàndez

Today we have gone to the Science Museum of London. In this museum we have learned about the evolution and developing of the steam machines.

In the museum we have seen examples of steam machines like the first steam machine that was built. It was created in 1712 by Thomas Newcomen.

We have also learned that steam machines worked with coal, and the 80% of the coal used by steam machines was being mined in Britain; thanks to the steam machines the industrial revolution started. The steam is also useful nowadays, as it produces the 75% of the world’s electricity.

The museum also gives us information about James Watt, a steam machine pioneer, and the hero of the industrial age. His engines moved any type of vehicles and machinery, anywhere, anytime. James Watt’s engines had the most advanced technology of the time. The Watt’s engines were really big, but one of his employers, William Murdoch, made more compacted steam machines that were the ones commercialized.

Then, Richard Trevithick used the strong steam -steam at high pressure-, this allowed them to make more compacted steam machines, but with more risk of explosion. These machines would be used in ships and agriculture machines.

In the 19th century, the engineering was strongly developed and Manchester became the main city of the industrial revolution. The steam machines became more and more common. They were used to drain the water of a mine, move locomotives, and became the heart of workshops and factories.

The mills began in the industrial town, and most of the economy would focus on the industrial towns, their machines and their workers. People had very hard working conditions and lost their rights.

The electricity became one of the most important facts in the industrial revolution, because it made the steam machine more efficient.

We have had a great time in the museum and now we know a lot of things about the Industrial Revolution.


Francesc X. Cuixart


Camden Town has existed only since the 1790s. Until then, the area north of Tottenham Court was open land and fields. This green expanse was crossed by the Fleet River.

The arrival of canals and then railways transformed the whole region.

By 1850, sleepy, rural Camden had been encircled by the expanding metropolis, and Camden Road railway station opened in that year. Railway and canal construction brought the first Irish settlers to Camden. This process was accelerated after 1840 by terrible famine in Ireland. By the end of the 19th century, railway terminals covered a Camden High Street busy with shops, trams and horse-drawn buses.

Warehouses and other businesses were constructed along the canal in the following few years, and worked successfully until the end of the first canal era, around the beginning of the 1950s when road transport killed off most of the waterway traffic, and the canals fell into decline.

Even then, Camden Town was a centre for shopping and entertainment. It had a famous theatre, the Camden Theatre, and the Bedford, which regularly attracted big stars and large audiences.

The opening of Camden Town Underground station in 1907 marked the final integration of once rural Camden into the wider City.

During the Second World War the railway termini were an important target and the area around Mornington Crescent was badly damaged by bombing.

Over the past few years the main change has been the development of seven-day trading at Camden Lock Market and other markets in Camden are following suit with many stalls to be found any day of the week, 52 weeks a year. In addition most Camden shops are now staying open seven days a week.

On February 10 of 2008, a fire burned the streets of Camden Town. Some famous locals of the area as The Hawley Arms were ablaze. There were no injuries or fatalities, although there was considerable damage. The fire started in one of the stalls of Camden Lock.

Charles Dickens in Camden:

Charles Dickens, placed various characters and places of his stories in Camden: Bob Cratchit’s family in A Christmas Carol (1843); the Micawbers in David Copperfield (1850); and in Dombey and Son (1846–1848), a description of the building of the London and Birmingham Railway, includes a trip through Camden Town.

South Camden later featured in the novel Oliver Twist. Nearby, Hampstead Street formed the background for the Pickwick Papers.

Charles Dickens stayed in Bayham Street in Camden town, in 1823. A small plaque marks the site of his home.

Number 48 Doughty Street, held unhappy memories for Dickens as it was where his wife’s sister, Mary Hogarth, died in his arms in 1837. This tragedy became the inspiration for the death of Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop.

Tavistock House where Dickens lived from 1851-60, at the height of his popularity, was where he wrote Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, and the journal Household Words. He also began Great Expectations. It was in this house that Dickens established a small theatre.

While Charles was working in the factory, he stayed in Camden Town at 112 College Place, in April and May 1824. When the separation of his family was proved that was devastating, he was allowed to move down to Lant Street, Southwark to be near the prison where his family were.

After Charles’s father release from prison, the family moved back to the Camden area to the run-down 29 Johnson Street, Somers Town, in June 1824.

The 48 Doughty Street would have been demolished, if it were not for the fund-raising campaign of The Dickens Fellowship, a group founded in 1902. They bought the house and enabled the Dickens Museum to open on 9th June 1925, the 55th anniversary of the author’s death.



During the last days we have followed Dickens’ trail in the city of London. After a lot of research we could visit many of the places related to his life. The neighbourhoods where he used like and walk, the pubs where he used to sit for a beer… Here we leave you the link where you can find a map of London with the places we have visited and one blog we have created with photos and information:




Here we have made a video with the hits of the trip, those funny lines we would very often hear:




We here leave you two albums with the photos we took during our trip. Please click in the links below and enjoy the pictures:

Photo Album – The experience



















11 Responses to The experience

  1. Francesc says:

    Day 16-10-12
    Today has been our first day so we’ve waken up very early just to know how everything was going to be. We had a quick breakfast at our hostel, sharing the kitchen with other people in the hostel from other countries.
    Later we’ve gone to the reception of the hostel and we have organised all the things that we had to do during our day.
    When we finished this, we walked to the Museum of Science and Industry, where we looked around to answer some questions that our teachers gave us. It was a very interesting museum, with a lot of information about the Industrial Revolution. After searching for some information, we had lunch at a restaurant inside the museum.
    In the afternoon, we went for a tour around Manchester city, and everyone said that it is such a beautiful city! After that, we went to eat something in the centre city, and we returned to the hostel, and finished some activities for our project.
    We have spent a fantastic first day in a fantastic city.

    Francesc X. Cuixart and Oriol Teixidó

  2. Adrià Hernández says:

    Today we visited the People’s History Museum in Manchester. In this museum we learnt about how the Industrial Revolution has affected the today’s democracy.

    This museum is an interactive museum, where you can feel like a person of the time. The museum uses new technologieslike a tactile screens with interactive information.
    The first part of the Museum was a little theatre play, in which a man talked about his childhood, and explained that his granddad and his dad were slaves. We could understand better the society of the time and how it affected their lives.
    Then we have learned about the evolution of the Industrial Revolution and how it led to the development of the democracy as we know it. Everything started in Manchester with the Massacre of Peterloo. This massacre took place because the workers wanted a good life style.
    We learned about the feminism and its evolution, the creation of political parties from trade unions and secret associations; how the workers lived and worked and much more. We also learned about the banners, there are a mix of a big display print and a heraldic shield, they way to advertise trade unions and political campaigns at the time.
    We can compare the Industrial Revolution in Manchester, the place where the revolution began to Catalonia where the Industrial Revolution was really important; and we can extract the main differences for our project.

    At the end of our visit all the groups discussed all the things we learned to put everything in common. We had a very good time in this interactive museum.

  3. Carla González says:

    Today we have been in Salford. We walked a long way to it, but it wasn’t a waste of time, because we could have a walk along Manchester’s streets, and that’s always great. Actually we wanted to take the bus, but it was so far. Finally we arrived at our destination, the working class movement library. Our intention was working at that place, but there wasn’t WiFi, so we divided into two groups and while one man was explaining to one of the groups about the library and her history, the other group was looking at some books and taking notes. We liked that library so much, it was awesome! There were lots of old books, banners, relics, photographs…
    Then we went to Salford’s university to have lunch. We could choose between meat and fish and potatoes, rice, etc. Fruit and yoghurt for dessert, yummy!
    After that, we had an activity to do: ask to English people some questions about Manchester and Salford. Our group of five (Yaiza, Lika, Helena, Marta and Carla) met a famous photographer. He took pictures of: Jimmy Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder… He and his manager were so kind and invited us and our mates to an exhibition at the university of arts. We took some photos with them.
    Then we went to the Salford museum and we did a very funny activity. First we saw how the old city was in a model and then we dressed up like the people of that time and we made a play.
    Finally we came back to the hostel by bus and now we are working in the project. It has been a very happy day.

  4. Pablo Gasulla says:

    Yesterday was a very important day because we left Manchester and went to London to continue our project. In the morning we woke up later than the other days because we took the train at 11. In the hostel we had breakfast, some toast and cereals and then we took the train to move to London. In the train we slept the two hours. When we arrived to London we got installed at the hotel and we were a bit disappointed because it wasn’t as good as we expected. Finally we went to Picadilly Circus for dinner and we ate there. Alex’s Father came to London and we saw him.

  5. Bernat Palli says:

    Today, Saturday, we got up at 6:15 because we had to go to Portsmouth. We had breakfast at 7:30.
    In the morning we took a train at Victoria station to Portsmouth to visit Dickens’ birthplace. The train was comfortable and we travelled for two hours.
    There we walked to his house. We saw the sofa where he died, his death certificate, a lock of his hair and more of his personal things.
    Then for lunch we ate an extra large salad sandwich at Subway. The teacher gave us some time to do some activities in groups. The work consisted on going to different parts of the city related to Charles Dickens and Victorian Times.
    We left Portsmouth at the evening by train.
    Then we went to Leicester Square to have dinner at Bella Italia restaurant and we ate a big dish of spaghetti bolognese.
    Here we are writing our blog in the kitchen at 12 o’clock.
    Sweet dreams.

    • Pablo Casino says:

      Today we got up later than the other days, approximately at 8:30 a.m. and we had an excellent breakfast with butter toast and chocolate milk. After having breakfast we stayed some hours relaxing at the hostel until 12:00 a.m when we left it to visit the Olympic area of London.
      We took the underground at our station near the hostel called South Kensington. Before taking the metro we bought the lunch in a French Sandwich shop called Pret a manger, very typical here in the English capital. We have bought a delicious cheese sandwich, a bottle of water and of course a piece of fruit (banana). We took the metro and we went to Stratford (where the Olympic Games took place) by the Central line transferring in Holborn Station because we were at the Picadilly Line. There we have visited the Olympic Park (by the outside) and the Aquatic centre, where the famous swimmer Michael Phelps won his last medals! But they were closed because they are going to be remodelled and we saw them through a commercial centre built because of the Olympics celebration.
      Then we moved to Covent Garden, a very known and old market. We have visited the Cafe of Dickens, the only place of London where according to the legend the big fire didn’t cause extreme harm. There we had some free time, in which we have done different things like visiting the market, having a walk through the zone, looking the new updates of the Apple Store, buying some souvenirs or presents or relaxing in a Cafe.
      During this time we found a pizza bar called Pizza Hut where we had an abundant dinner plenty of different yummy pizzas. Finally we have arrived at the hostel where we are going to finish this amazing and fun Sunday relaxing with our respective computers or mobile phones.
      Tomorrow we will have lessons so we have to sleep a lot. Good night and see you tomorrow London maniacs.

  6. Núria González says:

    Today we had our first English lesson. We had class of pronunciation and speaking basically. We woke up at 7:00am and we made a 1 – hour journey by tube and DLR., the light railway. It was very exciting as I had never caught the DLR, and it was an easy and fast transport, I liked it. When we arrived in the language school, we divided the class in two small groups of 10 or 11 people.
    After 1 hour we had a 15 – minute break and then we continued the class during another hour.

    We speeded by the time at class joking and making different activities to improve our oral skills.
    Then we visited the meridian 0 of Greenwich and walked by the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Naval College, magnificent buildings.
    During the rest of the afternoon, we went to Westminster abbey and we visited the London eye, the Houses of parliament, the Big Ben and other monuments in this area. I had seen that last year, but it was okay to see it another time.

    Finally we had dinner in a famous pub, beef pie and mash. The English food was very nice and the company too.

  7. Carla González says:

    At the beginning of the day we have done English lessons at the ISIS for three hours approximately. Today our groups have been to the Docklands Museum of London. I think it is a really interesting museum for its explanations, pictures and videos. Also there was a real representation of the streets, shops and houses of the Victorian Times. It smelt very bad and it was dark so it wasn’t cosy at all.
    After that we went to eat a typical British meal: fish and chips! It was really good. Then, after having a wonderful lunch, we went to the National Gallery of art. We were supposed to do and activity about the Victorian Times’ paintings, but unfortunately that part of the museum was closed, so we visited the other part of it until it closed. Then we went to Leicester square. We were near Piccadilly so we went for a walk around it.
    Before going to have dinner we met some new Dutch friends. We were playing, singing and dancing all together! Finally we went to an Italian restaurant with our new friends to eat some delicious pasta.

  8. César Navalón says:

    Today we’ve got up later than yesterday because we haven’t been to the ISIS junior school. After having breakfast, we have bought the lunch next to the underground station and we have gone ahead to the London Canal Museum, next to King’s Cross Station (the one that appears in Harry Potter). After a long journey in the underground and after a short walk we have got to the museum. There, we’ve met our guide, John, who has explained all about that wonderful museum, from how did the canals work to how did the ice industry began and get useful. Also, we’ve seen a canal’s ship and how a Victorian family lived inside. After finishing the visit, we’ve had lunch on the walk to the Tate Modern Art Gallery, located next to the St Paul’s Cathedral, at the other side of the river Thames. The building was a factory before and its reconstruction is awesome. We’ve visited the free part of the gallery which is the fourth first floors. At the same time, we have done four interesting activities and then we have had a discussion in the hall to expose the things we’ve seen. When we’ve got out of the building, it was six pm and the teachers have decided to see the Shakespeare’s theatre, the Globe, Millennium Bridge, London Bridge and finally Tower Bridge, so we have walked along the bank of the river for a long while. After resting in a square next to the Thames, we were starving and we’ve had dinner in an Italian restaurant called Strada, located in the same square. When the dinner has finished, we have returned to the hostel, tired but with a smile written in our faces.

  9. Albert Comes says:

    Today has been a hard day but interesting too. At the morning, in the hostel, we have separated into groups and everyone has designed a tour in London about the most important places related with the writer.
    First of all, we have visited the science museum and we have seen he first steam machines of the history, and then most of us have bought something at the museum store. After visiting this museum we have gone to another one called Victoria and Albert’s Museum, where we have seen the original manuscript of one of the first books by Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist, and another one by William Shakespeare.
    After visiting these two museums we have taken the tube to go to Westminster Abbey, where Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Handel and many other important people which take part on the universal history are buried. Then we have gone to buy lunch to have it on the go; the sandwich was delicious.
    In the afternoon we have visited some Charles Dickens’ favourite pubs. Then we have had dinner and before taking the tube to go to the hostel we have taken some photos on St Paul Cathedral.
    Well, so as I said before it has been a great day.
    Follow us on twitter: @escolavirolai #projectedickens

  10. Pol Segarra says:

    Today, 27th October, it has been a great day. First of all, we have gone to Greenwich to the English school where we have met our teachers for the last time. There we’ve done a lot of things, like Amy’s class that has made a newspaper with all the things about London and the English tour that we’ve seen. Everyone has written a report about the things they like the most: Victorian times, Charles Dickens, the museums we have visited…
    Then the other group has created a comic strip about Charles Dickens too, writing different versions of Oliver Twist.
    It has been the last goodbye. The teachers have given us the last instructions to improve our English at home and then we have left the school to go to have lunch. It has been a very good lunch with two options: English breakfast or Indian food. It has been very complete and very tasty.
    Later we’ve gone to Oxford Street and Covent Garden area to do the last part of the Dickens’ London tour. We could choose different places to visit in the area: Seven dials square with the Seven Dials monument or other places featured in Dickens’ novels.
    And last, to end the day we’ve had dinner in a pizza restaurant that has been really nice and the pizza was yummy.
    It has been a really nice day.

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