The Victorians – Victorian Audio Clips

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The Victorians Victorian Audio Clips

The Victorians – Victorian Audio clips have been created by the BBC and provided on the BBC Schools radio site. These audio recordings may be really useful when studying the Victorians as they give a clear insight into the lives of poor children in the Victorian era.

These short audio dramas are available at any time and are intended to support the Key Stage 2 History topic ‘The Victorians’.

They include dramas about a number of key people and events from the era, identified in the National Curriculum.

There is also an emphasis on the lives of children in the era of the Victorians.

There is also a set of teacher’s notes to support all the themes in the section:


The site provides three short clips completing a short story on each of the following topics:

  • Victorian children working in coalmines – The Trapper
  • Poor Victorian children – Street children
  • Victorian children working as chimney sweeps – Up the chimneys
  • Victorian children working in service – The maid
  • Life in a wealthy Victorian family – A comfortable life?
  • Victorian railways
  • Victorian inventions
  • Famous Victorians: Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  • Famous Victorians: Mary Seacole
  • Famous Victorians: Dr David Livingstone

It is a real eye opener for children to listen to the story of an eleven year old actually working in the pit. The first of the clips, The Trapper, is introduced as:

The first of three short dramas set in the north-east of England in the 1840s about a young miner called Jimmy Turton.

Jimmy introduces himself. He’s eleven years old and he’s about to start his first day working in the mine as a trapper.

In the mine he’ll be working alone in complete darkness, opening and closing trap doors to allow coal carts along the tunnel and to control the flow of air through the mine.

Jimmy is feeling anxious as he enters the cage with his brother Benjamin and an older miner called William.

He’s been in the mine often enough before, but not since his father died in an explosion about a year previously.

Jimmy tells us about his work as a trapper, but the episode ends on a sombre note with Jimmy imagining the explosion that killed his father.“(The BBC)

The recording is 6 minutes and 30 seconds! There are teachers notes and a transcript to help.

The second episode is about when jimmy falls sick and can’t earn any money for his family. The family survive and Jimmy goes back to work but in part three Jimmy gets into a very dangerous situation as the mine is flooded.

The Victorians Victorian Audio Clips