Adventures in Time Travel

By Daria Gal, Year 8

Inspiration, inspiration, inspiration! The trip on February 11th for 16 Year 8 and 9 students on the theme of  adventures in time travel, was all about talented writers, memorable surroundings and exquisite artefacts. Upon arriving, we explored the history of the Wallace family and the Wallace Collection. Our workshop at the Wallace Collection was co-led by writer, Elizabeth Ferretti, and Art Historian Roxanne Matthews. We immersed ourselves into the world of art, craft and history. During the day, through different activities, we built up our skills and confidence in creative writing and drew inspiration from the artefacts and the stories around them. 

Roxanne Matthes helped us analyse the paintings and exquisite objects that surrounded us, explaining to us the symbols used by the artist. Most of the walls were covered with silk of vivid colours with intricate patterns and in each hung room a shimmering chandelier. The rooms were filled with collections of rare vases, paintings, furniture and daily commodities of the time. In one of the smallest rooms of the museum there was a collection of glistening snuff boxes. They were very popular during the 19th century and at the moment would have an estimated value of over 1 million dollars. Some were made of crystal or diamonds, while others had personalised pictures on the lids. There was one box made of rosin and it had a secret compartment inside, which displayed a picture of the owner on one side and the picture of his beloved on the other. 

Elizabeth Ferretti organised activities in order to engage our creative sides, using the context of the 18th and 19th century, so that we could begin to form our own creative writing piece. We were given the opportunity to prepare an entry to submit for the Young Walter Scott Prize later this year. It is targeted at budding Historical Fiction writers and later evolves into a competition for mature writers. It was truly a magical experience of stories and reality as we went on a walk through time.

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