Children have been on a musical voyage

Three sets of twins (l-r) Tommy and Billy Reynolds, Jimmy and Robbie Littlefield and Hannah and Katie Taylor with Tony Crisp from Fort Cumberland Guard
Three sets of twins (l-r) Tommy and Billy Reynolds, Jimmy and Robbie Littlefield and Hannah and Katie Taylor with Tony Crisp from Fort Cumberland Guard

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Children have been finding out what sailors in the Royal Navy used music for when they were away at sea.

More than 100 people took part in a unique workshop at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

A drummer from the Fort Cumberland Guard brought in his drum and bugle for the children to play with.

Sailors used to use instruments to communicate with each other across the ship, and they were also used as a social tool to entertain those on board.

Children made their own tambourines and they made up simple songs too.

Fiona Harvey, learning officer at the National museum of the Royal Navy, says: ‘It’s part of our summer programme. The activity was about getting musical and the impact of music on the Royal Navy.

‘If you are at sea for a long time its important to have things that are social. Dancing and singing was very popular.

‘It was great. Everybody enjoyed it. All the children were desperate to have a go.

‘It was very much about fun and learning new experiences.

‘They got to have a go on a musical instrument and see what they were doing on a ship.’

She adds: ‘As a family activity it was a chance for mums and dads and children to do something together.

“A lot of the dads had done some bugling before, so they could show their children what they had done. There was that sharing in generations.

‘Children love making a noise. Music is on the curriculum at schools but not all children get to have a go.

‘For a couple of the children who had never done it before, it might get them to go on and do music at school.’

Fiona says the children enjoyed seeing the drummer in the dockyard.

‘Having somebody in costume brings the museum to life,’ she adds.

‘He was brilliant. It was a gentleman in a very ornate uniform. It sort of livened up the atmosphere.

‘The children loved it. They really did enjoy it. It was a great experience for them. We like to see children enjoying it and it’s nice to see children getting so encouraged.’