Georgian Times My Story


Georgian Times

Preschool history series. Oliver and grandma Melanie go on a journey of discovery to find out what life was like for a child living in a lighthouse during the Georgian times.


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This story belongs to Oliver, and his grandma, Melanie.

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It's a tiny tale about how children, just like you, lived 200 years ago.

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And now it's time for Oliver

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and Grandma Melanie to go on a journey of discovery.

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Together, they are going to find out what life was like

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all those years ago.

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What can you see, Oliver?

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-The lighthouse.

-Do you know what the lighthouse is for?

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-To keep ships safe, not to bump into the rocks.

-Well done, that's right.

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I know a story about a little girl that lived

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in a lighthouse on the islands over there with her family

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about 200 years ago.

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-Really?

-Yeah. She was called Grace.

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Would you like to hear a story about that little girl?

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-Yes, please!

-First, shall we go and get dressed up like Grace

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-and her family would have done?

-Yes, please. That would be fun.

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Grace and her family lived on the Farne Islands, which are out at sea.

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There are lots of rocks under the water near the islands

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which can damage ships.

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To help keep ships safe at sea people built

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lighthouses near the dangerous rocks.

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Ships would see the light shining from the lighthouse

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and know to stay away from the rocks.

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-Would you like to dance with me?

-I would love to dance with you.

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So, what do you think of these clothes, Oliver?

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-Wonderful.

-Tell me about your hat.

-It's a bit tall.

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-And what colour is it?

-Black.

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Tell me about your jacket, Oliver.

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It's brown and it's beautiful and it's got a tail

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-and lovely, bright, black buttons.

-It has.

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It has. It's very, very smart.

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-Now tell me about your hat.

-My hat is very, very posh, isn't it?

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Yeah.

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Do you think Grandma should wear a hat like this all of the time?

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-Yes.

-Yeah? And what about my dress?

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Beautiful, I think you should wear it when there's a wedding happening.

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Do you think?

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Under here, lots of petticoats to keep me warm.

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Would you like to find out what it was like for Grace

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-to live in the olden days?

-Yes, please.

-Yeah, me too.

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This is Souter Lighthouse.

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The lighthouse, look at that.

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-Are we having a lovely time?

-Yes.

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Grandma Melanie has brought Oliver here to see

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how Grace might have lived.

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It has a lighthouse keeper's cottage.

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When she was small, Grace and her family

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lived in a cottage like this, because her daddy was a lighthouse keeper.

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-What do you think of this house, Oliver?

-Wonderful.

-It's wonderful?

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-Would you like to live here?

-Yes, please.

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-It's not like our house, is it?

-No.

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Look at all these old toys.

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Oliver, we're in the children's bedroom, what do you think?

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It looks wonderful.

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-Is it like your bedroom at home?

-No.

-No, it's quite small, isn't it?

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-Yeah.

-Yeah, the lighthouse keeper's cottage was quite small.

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-How many people have you got in your family, Oliver?

-Six.

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-How many do you think Grace might have had?

-Six.

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Greece had five brothers and three sisters.

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Then there was Grace, and mum and dad. How many is that?

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-11.

-11. How do you think it might have felt in such a little house?

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It sounds like a bit of a squash.

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Grace used to share her bedroom. Who do you share your bedroom with?

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My little brother, Zander.

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-What do you like to do in your bedroom?

-Play and jump.

-Yeah?

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Grace would have liked to play too,

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but I know she used to like writing letters as well.

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Shall we have a go at writing a letter?

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-Yes, please.

-Yeah. Grace would have used an old pen just like this one.

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It's not like the pens we use today.

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Old pens like this had a piece of metal on the end called a nib.

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You had to dip the nib into a bottle of ink

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and write carefully, without smudging the ink.

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Great job, Oliver. Well done.

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It goes on and on.

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-And round and round.

-It doesn't give my legs a rest.

-It doesn't.

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No, it's very hard work.

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Grace's daddy's job was to keep the lighthouse light shining all the time

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and to keep watch over the ships to make sure that they were safe.

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It's a long way to the top of the lighthouse, Oliver.

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Yes, it is.

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Wow!

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This is a good lighthouse.

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Grace and her brothers and sisters would have helped

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their daddy to do his job.

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-Shall we pretend to be lighthouse keepers?

-Yes!

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Can you see any ships, Oliver?

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-They're too small.

-Too small?

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-So why don't you use...

-A telescope!

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Yes, a telescope. Well done.

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Can you see any ships now?

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A pirate ship!

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-And what's the weather like?

-Why?

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Because if the weather was bad the ships might get into trouble.

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-You've been a fantastic lighthouse keeper. Well done.

-Thank you.

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So, Oliver, there was only Grace

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and her family lived on the islands, so there was no school.

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So her daddy would have taught her how to read and how to write

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and other subjects like...

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-Nature and geography.

-Nature and geography. Well done.

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Geography is all about directions. What do you think this is?

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-A compass.

-A compass. It's a very old compass.

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And this tells you which direction you need to go in.

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So it always points North, so here.

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It's pointing North and the sea is over there, which is East.

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-And where is South?

-South...

-Is...

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And where's West?

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That one.

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Well done. Good job.

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So, where are we?

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-Right here.

-Right here!

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SHE LAUGHS

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Careful, now. It might be heavy.

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Well done.

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Grandma Melanie and Oliver are looking for driftwood

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on the beach, just like Grace would have done.

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There were no shops on Grace's tiny island, and no trees,

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so Grace and her family used the driftwood

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they found to make fires to heat the lighthouse.

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Wow! Oliver, look at all that driftwood we found.

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That's going to make an amazing fire.

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Good job, Oliver.

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Grace loved looking at all the animals

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and birds on her little island.

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Grandma Melanie has brought Oliver to Annstead Dunes to see

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if they can spot some wildlife.

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Oliver, when Grace was a little girl there were no televisions

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and no playgrounds, but Grace used to love playing outside with

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her brothers and sisters.

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And they would go looking for all the animals and birds on the island.

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And she had a little dog called Happy.

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Would you like to go and look for wildlife?

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-There's a seal!

-Yay! Look at that.

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-What's that?

-That's an oystercatcher.

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And, if you look very carefully, you might see some eider ducks.

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Grace used to have some pet eider ducks.

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-Really?

-Yeah, she used to look after them on the island.

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-I hope that was fun.

-I think it would have been.

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Oliver, if Grace wanted to go and visit her grandma,

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how would she have got there?

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-Er, a rowing boat?

-A rowing boat, that's right.

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Would you like to go

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and have a look at a rowing boat just like Grace had?

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-Yes, please.

-Let's go.

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Oliver, look at this lovely rowing boat. What do you think?

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It needs four people.

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It's got four oars, so, yeah, it would have taken

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four people to row it.

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And it's called a skiff.

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And Grace would have learned to row a boat just like this one,

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would you like to go for a trip in this boat?

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-Yes, please.

-Great, let's go.

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-Can you tell me a story about Grace Darling, please?

-I can.

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A long time ago, when Grace was a young woman,

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she had seen, from her bedroom window,

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that a ship had bumped into some rocks near the Farne Islands.

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She had seen the ship was in trouble and gone and told her daddy.

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And her daddy and Grace rowed out in their boat and rescued nine people.

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It was a very, very stormy night and it was very, very dangerous.

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Grace was really brave.

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This is a painting of Grace and her daddy in their rowing boat.

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Grace's story was in all the newspapers

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and she became very famous.

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She had her portrait painted and people wrote songs

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and poems about her.

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Oliver, have you had fun finding out what it was like a long time ago?

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Yes, I loved finding out about Grace and the things that she did.

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-Can you remember all the things we've done?

-Yes.

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We got dressed up in old clothes, which was great fun.

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You looked wonderful and I felt very special.

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We visited a lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper's cottage.

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I wrote with an old pen,

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just like Grace would have done.

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We pretended to be lighthouse keepers.

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You taught me geography...

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just like Grace's dad taught her.

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We went looking for driftwood.

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We went on a rowing boat.

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And I learnt how brave Grace was.

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What have you enjoyed the most, Oliver?

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Dressing up and rowing a boat.

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What have you enjoyed the most?

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I enjoyed going out on the rowing boat

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and telling you all about Grace Darling.

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I think we've had a good adventure together,

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so I think it's time for a big cuddle.

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-You know what...?

-And tickle!

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SHE LAUGHS

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What a fabulous heap of fun!

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That was Oliver and Grandma Melanie's tiny tale about Grace Darling's

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childhood over 200 years ago.

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Now Grandma Melanie has shared this story with Oliver,

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it's time for Oliver to start his very own story.

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Do you know someone with a story to share?

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Oliver and grandma Melanie go on a journey of discovery to find out what life was like for a child living in a lighthouse during the Georgian times! Grandma Melanie and Oliver dress up in Georgian clothes, and grandma Melanie takes them to a special place to learn about a girl called Grace Darling. They visit a lighthouse, like the one she would have lived in with her family, find out where she went to school and how she travelled around. Together, they discover that Grace Darling was a very special girl who rescued sailors after a bad storm.


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