Not least because I subscribe to ‘A Learning a Day’ which has been developing my thinking for some time now. Indeed, Rohan’s blog is one of the key influences in starting this series of my own notes!
Today was a whole bunch of lessons about the underpinnings of the industrial age, while I was at the Elsecar Heritage Centre. Once a thriving location in the iron and coal industry; today it’s a museum supported by shops, cafes, delicatessens and an antiques market. It’s home of the world’s oldest steam engine still in its original location, a 1795 Newcomen Engine that pumped water from one the collieries.
Aside from the very direct lessons provided, it gave rise to thinking about class struggles (then and now), privilege and inheritance, public vs private sector innovation, and the impact of capitalism. This led to a good few hours on Wikipedia on getting home. It’s astonishing just how much can be learned from a little activity that stretches the mind, and indulging the curiosity that follows.
I also learned not to board a train that’s being locked up unless it’s marked as ‘open’ and someone knows where you’re going. This is the kind of lesson I keep re-learning, but it does keep the mind active…