Cholera 1831

A new school resource pack for Key Stage 2.

Cholera 1831 is a free teachers resource pack for Key Stage 2 children. Through creative exercises and structured discussions your learners will understand more about the devastating impact that cholera had on the local communities of Gateshead, and what they did to overcome it.

Curriculum Links: Science, Local History, Drama, Creative Writing, Oracy.

The pack contains all you need to deliver this history project in your classroom including lesson plans, films and PowerPoints. Join our mailing list to access the free digital download.

Please note: We’ve made these plans and resources available exclusively for teachers to deliver activity with their own class of students. If you would like to use these resources in any other way please get in touch with us.

Cholera in the North East

Cholera 1831 is based on material from Newcastle University Library’s Special Collections. Newcastle University has a vast number of objects and tracts in its Special Collections including many related to the Gateshead cholera outbreak. This archive provides a fascinating insight into the response to the crisis by public health authorities and local residents.

In 1831, just before Christmas, Gateshead was hit by an outbreak of cholera. The disease had travelled from India through Russia then across Europe into Germany before making landfall in the UK at Sunderland. When cholera came to Gateshead it took a particular toll on those close to the river who lived in very difficult conditions. At the time no one knew how the disease was transmitted and local communities struggled to contain it. 


We are very aware that infectious disease is currently a difficult subject. Cap-a-Pie has worked closely with teachers to create this resource and has drawn on their expertise of engaging pupils in sensitive topics. We have included optional activities to discuss the clear connections between what happened in 1831 with cholera and in 2020 with COVID-19. Please use your discretion as to whether you would like to complete this part of the project. 

The Team

Written & Directed by
Brad McCormick

Performed & Writing Assisted by
Adam Donaldson

Costume & Props by
Imogen Cloët

Film & Edit by
Lindsay Duncanson

Sound by
Marek Gabrysch

This project was based on Collections Relative to the cholera at Gateshead, in the county of Durham, 1831, Rare Books, Newcastle University Special Collections, GB 186.

Thanks to our Funders

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