Air Raid Disaster – A Classroom Experience!




Key Stage 2 – History, Local History, Creative Writing

Air Raid Disaster!

Air Raid Disaster is a multimedia exploration of the air raid disaster at W.A. Wilkinson Ltd, North Shields in 1941.

Delivered by site curator Peter Bolger* and local author/teacher Peter Hepplewhite**,  this interactive morning or afternoon session allows children to get an in-depth understanding of the Wilkinson’s Lemonade Factory disaster in the wider context of the Blitz and Home Front/Civil Defence.

Children are told the story of the air raid, using survivor and eye-witness testimony and a range of multi-media archive resources.

They then get to see and handle a range of vintage and reproduction ARP objects and through this are encouraged to ask questions and develop their understanding of life in 1940s Tyneside.

Then, we lead on one of several creative history/literacy/computing activities – where the children bring their expert knowledge to: research historical dbases, create propaganda posters, design a 1940s style comic, create a wartime radio broadcast or create their own national ID card. (these elements will require class sets of iPads and the download of free/premium apps in advance with agreement with the school.)


The Lemonade Factory Disaster – Expert Talk

An engaging, multi-media presentation about the air raid disaster and the wider context of the Blitz and the Home Front – followed by a Q and A. Suitable for individual classes – Ys 4-6.

For more information:


* Peter Bolger is an escaped librarian and has worked developing blogs in schools and classrooms for the past decade. He recently appeared on BBC 2′s “How We Won The War” as an expert on the Wilkinson’s disaster.

** Peter Hepplewhite is the co-author of the very first Horrible Histories book (Awesome Egyptians) and has published over 50 history books for young people. He is a former teacher and Education Officer at Tyne Wear Archives and Museums.