We had to decide whether to make sure the material was all historically accurate, and in the end we decided not to. We didn't actually suggest that they had steampunk soldiers like the ones above, but there was so much that the children had to learn, and no chance of them becoming historians in the time available, so we had to let a certain amount of accuracy go.
Of course we did our best to explain how different life was then....
"So I'll put that Mabel emailed her friends - "
"But they didn't have email or any sort of internet."
"All right, she skyped her friends."
"They didn't have skype."
"All right, then, she got out her phone and - "
"Hardly anyone had phones"
And the children did very well indeed to understand how in Mabel's day there were no modern communications. They were interested to learn that horses were widely used, that trains were powered by steam - not to mention getting their heads around the idea of a flea circus and an ambulance train. But it was clear that their story would be much better if they could be themselves. Which meant letting a certain amount of reality escape out of the window!