It’s been an interesting day

Today we have been delving into the past in a way that makes history interesting.

Also, it’s another way to get young children to take an interest in the past, seeing that is often very difficult to part them from their iPad, smartphones and computer games.

It is part of a weekend devoted to history.

First up is a ride on an old steam train, the engine dating back to the 1950s, as are some of the carriages. Now, for someone like me who is only two years younger, it doesn’t seem that old, but to them, it’s a relic.

And for the youngest of our granddaughters who tells me that this will be her first ride on a train, any train, it’s going to be vastly different from her next ride on a train.

I don’t think it went faster than about 30, whether that’s miles an hour or kilometres, so we had time to take in the bushland, the river crossings and the smell of the coal-generated smoke.

And the biggest treat was for them to climb up into the engine cabin to see who drives it, and how it all works.

I try to tell them this is a far cry from the 300kph bullet trains in China that we recently travelled on. This ride was rattly, noisy, and we were barely able to sit still, whereas on the bullet trains you hardly knew you were moving and was so smooth and silent you didn’t know you were moving until you looked out the window.

Tomorrow we’re going to a historical township, built out of digging for gold in the area. It will be of significance to the elder granddaughter as she is working on a project on Eureka, where there was a watershed between the miners and the authorities.

History, in my opinion, cannot be taught entirely by books, there must be visual and active participation in simulated events for them to get a better understanding. That, and then writing about it in the way historical fiction often brings moments in history alive.

We are all looking forward to tomorrow!

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