Sunday, 21 April 2013

Queen Victoria would not be amused!

How ironic that local primary school children may not be able to study Victorian and Edwardian history. For that’s in a town where the local museum is putting on three exhibitions this year relating to those important periods in Britain’s development. And where the town itself is full of landmarks dating from those times, including Fairlynch Museum itself.

This latest development in our schools, according to the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), would be as a result of yet another education initiative.  The Association is strongly opposed to the government's proposals to remove Victorian and early 20th century history from Key Stage 2 History, believing that it will have a damaging effect on children’s learning and appreciation of history.

Under the proposed curriculum changes 18th, 19th, and 20th century history would no longer be covered in primary schools; instead this would form part of Key Stage 3 taught at secondary school level.

AIM feels that the changes will prevent children from enjoying museum visits and being inspired by the history of these centuries at this important time in their education. Earlier periods are represented in far fewer museum collections and at historic sites.

The Association has pointed out that the history of Britain from the 18th to the 20th centuries was transformational and included widespread social, scientific and technological change which shaped present day society. Young people relate more easily to the period, and it is well represented in most museum collections, providing a powerful and popular teaching resource that can be easily accessed by schools as a day visit.

Museum organisations have joined with AIM in writing to Education secretary, Michael Gove, urging him to adjust the proposals for the History National Curriculum to ensure that “we do not exclude young people from inspirational learning experiences by clinging to too rigid a curriculum proposal”. 

Referring to the proposals’ “unforeseen but very undesirable consequence” of a “significant negative impact upon the learning experience of many young people”, the letter explains in practical terms what this means.  The letter is signed by Matthew Tanner, chairman of AIM; Diane Lees, chairman of the National Museum Directors Conference; David Anderson, president of the Museums Association and Brigadier Colin Sibun, director of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust - together representing the majority of museums in the UK. 
For more information about AIM click on

Above: Portrait of Queen Victoria by the photographer Alexander Bassano


  1. Hi Michael,

    Do you know where the Queen Victoria Inn was?

    I found reference to it on a couple of websites ( ) but can't dig up any more info.

  2. Gareth
    That Robson's 1839 Directory entry is pretty clear about Robert Prady being an inn keeper, The Queen Victoria. I've asked the local expert on Budleigh Salterton town walks about this but he was not able to help. He mentioned only that the original pubs were The Exeter Inn (now a house known as The Clink), The Feathers (still standing) and The Rolle Hotel (now replaced by flats). He's not sure when the Salterton Arms started or what its original name was. One possibility I thought of is that the former King William Hotel on the High Street (now Ocean Café) might have been renamed The Queen Victoria to honour the new monarch who was crowned in 1837. And then at some stage reverted to its original name. I'll try to investigate that.

  3. Thanks for the response, Michael.

    I'd be interested to know but it's only out of curiosity, so please don't go to any trouble.

    Perhaps the pub was out of town and the inn keeper merely lived in Budleigh. That said, the nearest Queen Vic that I could find was in Exeter.