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Last Updated: Tuesday October 13 2009 12:41 GMT

Ricky goes to a Victorian funeral

Children learn at a funeral

Children in Cheshire have been taking part in an unusual school trip - visiting a museum and taking part in a Victorian-style funeral.

Although the funeral's not real, it's based on a true story and supposed to help kids think about what life was really like long ago.

Ricky went along to find out more.


"Talking about death is never easy. Many of us shy away from it and it's not something we really want to think about.

But death affects us all and the way each of us cope with it is different.

Ricky at the funeral
Ricky went to the funeral too

Some schools teach children about life and death with the help of a school pet. When they pass on, children will often experience bereavement for the first time.

Now, some schools have been arranging trips to a special museum in Cheshire where kids get to re-enact a funeral from the Victorian times.

It's meant to help young people cope with death and experience a pretend burial.

The coffin goes in the grave
The coffin goes in the grave

The Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum holds a special service for a young boy who died many years ago in a mining accident.

The children get to learn about his short life and then they carry out the Victorian funeral, dressed up in traditional outfits.

For some children, this is the first time they've seen a coffin and even witnessed a funeral.

Emotional experience

The kids help to wheel the bier - a wooden cart - which carries the empty coffin. They take it off the cart and carry it up a small hill.

The pupils looking into the grave
The pupils looking into the grave

The coffin is placed next to the grave where Reverend Stephen Hatcher says a few words about the boy's life before he's lowered into the ground.

Some of the kids found the whole experience a quite emotional and for the first time on a school trip, they were absolutely silent.

School trips
Victorian school

A few of the boys had the giggles, because they found the whole situation a bit odd, which is pretty understandable.

The people who work at the museum think the Victorian funeral, based on a true story, will help the kids understand death a bit better and cope with bereavement if the worst should ever happen."

Ricky