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Shopping Pioneers workshop

Shopping Pioneers schools workshopWhat was it like to shop in the past? A new workshop aimed at immersing students in the world of the Rochdale Pioneers, which was piloted at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum by students from St Joseph’s Primary School in Rochdale, will be available for school groups from April.

The Museum is housed in the original building where twenty eight working people of Rochdale set up shop for the first time on 21 December 1844. For the Shopping Pioneers schools workshop, students took part in Pioneer role plays, had a go at adulterating food (like the shopkeepers in the 1840s, who often mixed arsenic with flour or dirt with cocoa, a practice the Pioneers condemned), explored the museum with riddles, dressed up as bees and shopped in the replica shop at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum using mini-shopping baskets and trolleys.

Through looking at photographs and handling packaging from different period, students discovered how shopping and the products we buy have changed over time, learning the difference between ‘counter service’ and ‘self-service’.

More information about the Pioneers Museum’s schools workshops and how to book a free school visit are available at

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