Ely Museum welcomed children from the city’s Polish Community School to learn more about farming in the fens and discovered how similar it is to farming in Poland.
After comparing the two, the children discovered many similarities in the landscape, farming, and traditions between the two countries.
From learning about the types of vegetables grown in both English and Polish soil to exploring the museum’s collection of historic farming tools.
They also discovered how eels, or ‘węgorz’ in Polish, were caught, the children enjoyed a mixture of crafts, stories, and object handling as we got hands on with our shared history.
The older children also visited the traditional fenland ‘Wise Woman’ and found out about the different cures people had in the fens for illnesses and accidents.
And that was whether that is a few drops of eel blood on a cut to help it heal or by adding some cool and slimy eel skin to a burn.
The children decided that, for now at least, they preferred to stick with modern medicine!
Emily Allen, Community Engagement Officer at Ely Museum said: “We have had lots of fun at Ely Museum with the children from Ely’s Polish Community School and we have learnt so much about the similarities between farming in Ely and farming in Poland.
“From the types of food grown, the landscape and the different traditions in both places, the children have been able to explore our shared heritage through objects, food, and of course, lots of fun.
“Dziękuję to all the children and volunteers from the Ely Polish Community School for sharing your knowledge of Polish farming with the museum too”
The children added they “didn’t know how similar Poland and England were before” and that handling of farming objects was “lots of fun because we don’t have anything like this today”
It is with the support of the Art Fund and their support of Ely Museum, which makes activities like this possible and helps the museum to connect with communities and celebrate our shared heritage.
To look out for upcoming events, find out more about visiting the museum and join our mailing list, please visit www.elymuseum.org.uk
Ely Museum Ely Museum reopened in May 2021 after at £2.2 million redevelopment, which resulted in new interactive galleries, a new education space, new entrance, and new facilities.
The project was funded by a National Lottery Heritage Grant of £1.66 million and support from several local and national trusts and foundations, East Cambridgeshire District Council, City of Ely Council.
The museum says it has been delighted by the donations and enthusiasm of local people throughout the process.
In 2022 Ely Museum was shortlisted as a finalist in the Kids in Museums ‘Best Family Friendly Museum’ awards and was also awarded both a RIBA East Award 2022 and a RIBA East Conservation Award 2022 for the redevelopment.
EDITOR’S FOOTNOTE: All photos courtesy of Ely Museum. Thank you.