A Life More Ordinary

I Have Been Industrial Revolutionized! Pt. 1 — Victorian Town

Posted on: August 24, 2011

WOAH. Who knew the Industrial Revolution could be so cool? Really, aside from all that Horrible Child Labour, unsafe mining conditions and the exodus of the rural communities into the larger (and much dirtier) cities, The Industrial Revolution was awesome.

Our friend John Corbett came to visit from dear ‘ol Montreal. He was only here for a few days and was interested in what is considered by many as the “Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution”. We aim to please our guests so we headed off to the town of Telford, about an hour’s drive away to check out the Ironbridge Gorge Museum — a World Heritage Site. This is my 6th in the UK and 12th overall. (I might be missing a few though).

Our first stop was Victorian Town. I was at first wondering if this was going to be one of those cheesy Ren Fest kind of things where it was a bit campy and you felt silly because you were wearing modern clothing and flip flops whilst someone was attempting to take the piss because of it. (However I must say I attended with pleasure every year I lived in the KCMO area). I was pleasently surprised. First off, no one had to fake or force an accent.

I would have to say, I was impressed, and I have some pictures to prove it. Behold!

The General Store had some items for sale, and as I’ve gathered, I think they are mostly made on site. Also, everything there was so very photogenic. They had lovely carbolic soap for sale. It looked like the real deal.

Sean and Henry checked out the plumbing shop while the Foundry was shut over the noon hour. When it opened up, they made their way over.

This fellow was busy making sand casts of the items they have for sale inside the Foundry. Unfortunately, they only actually fire up the Foundry once a week. However watching him making the casts was fascinating enough.

There was a candlemakers as well that made and sold tallow candles, however thankfully they don’t fire up the rendering pits anytime during the week…

There was a kick ass Letterpress shop,

There is also a butchers that had pork pies, a bakery full of fresh baked goods and a kick ass fish and chips shop that fried their cod in beef fat. Yum.

Many of the structures had been moved from other towns and villages in the area to make this town. Some of the structures are original to the site. One of them being the blast furnaces. They looked quite surprised to still be there.

However all kidding aside, seeing these blast furnaces, and knowing (now) how they work, they seem very powerful and daunting even now. The level of intense heat the workers had to endure with no modern means of eye and face protection, let alone protection against being overworked and paid a ruthlessly low wage adds another level of dark and daunting to them. However the Industrial Revolution stops for no one.

At this time, Dear Reader, I will say goodnight and goodbye to Victorian Town. Up next: The first Bridge made from Iron, (and one of the last ones standing). Stay tuned.

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Month of Letters

Month Of Letter Writing

Month Of Letter Writing


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  • Ben Jackson: Quite a scene out there. More snow headed our way. :) Sent from my iPhone >
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