Extracts from diary entries that children produced from this weeks session:
This is by far the worst day ever! I was sitting on my bed and I wanted to go to sleep. Then, my mam shouted she needed help getting water. So I got out of bed and got the water but it kept on spilling. So I had to go back and get some more. When I was about to go back to bed, my sister asked me to clean her clothes. So I cleaned them, dried them and hung them next to the fire to dry. Again, I went to bed but my brother needed a drink, so I got the water but it took a long time to heat up. Once it heated up, I put the water into a tea pot and into a cup. I asked if I could go to sleep and mam said yes. Now I am writing exhausted to you.
I was on my bed and I wanted to go to sleep but I never get a rest! I have had to light the fire and I just hate it. My mam said I have to go in the bath. All I do is work, work and work. Then, I had to carry a bag full of heavy, watery stuff! Also, I had to do the washing for my parents! It’s not easy. It takes ages and I do this every day.
I am sitting in my bed and I want to go to sleep but my mum wants help and I don’t want to do it, but I need to. I do this every day. I do the washing and get the water. Earlier, my mum kept on shouting for me to get downstairs and help out. So I stomped downstairs and done it. It’s not fair, my brothers would not do it so why should I? I have to cook sometimes but I like cooking so that’s ok!
I was at home, sitting in my bath getting washed when my mam asked me to help her start the fire. So I was made to get out of the bath and get dressed to help mum start the fire. I walked down the wooden stairs and walked into the sitting room and mum tells me to put the scrap paper on the fire. I wouldn’t have minded but I had just got clean and now I smell of fire again.
1936- One day, on a cold icy morning I went to school but first I had to collect coal for the fire. I had to get it from the backyard all the way back to the living room. It was very heavy and hard to carry. Then, I went to school. It was a very long journey from the house to school. When I got home from school, I was the only one in the house. It was a struggle getting the fire on and getting the water ready.
I opened the door and everybody was sitting around the fire. My mam was cooking a chicken for out tea. I went into the backyard and it was my turn for the bath. So there I was, in the backyard stepping in the tub that seven of my siblings had already been in. After that, I went back inside; my dad was knocking on the wall, sending bugs going back and forth, back and forth. I was standing there, thinking of a plan on how to reach all the way up to the gas mantle. Then I had a plan ‘I know!’, I got the chair and put it on top of the table. Finally, I had to wash the dishes. Now I best get to sleep as it will be the same chores to do tomorrow!
I woke up and shuck my whole body because I had lots of bugs on me. I got up and had a bath. I was the smallest, so I had the bath last. I had to get the coal with my sister. It was so heavy and the fire was upstairs. So Alex, my sister, helped me carry it up. I put the coal down and took the scrap coal out. I put the coal in and I put it on.
I was just minding my own business until my mum forced me to dry the washing- very dangerous (I almost got my fingers caught). She wanted my little brother to hand me the washing but he refused to do it, so I was stuck doing it myself. I had other chores to do: getting the water for the bath, make the dinner, get rid of the bugs in the walls. When I finished all of my chores I tried to sleep but every five minutes the bugs kept on coming back. It’s not an easy life, no-way-hozay.
If I lived in Jarrow… by Louise.
If I lived in Jarrow 100 years ago, the hardest thing would be going to sleep because there were bugs everywhere and I don’t like bugs. I also would have to sleep with my brother and parents. My parents snore so that would be annoying. I would have had to do lots of jobs like: wash clothes, make the fire, and fetch water. I wouldn’t have minded making the fire but everything would have taken so long. Life was very hard back then.