On 17 March 06:30, the day started at the meeting room hall where all the pupils met up and joined for a 3-hour coach journey to the Portsmouth historic dockyard. It was a pleasant journey, some sleeping, some chatting and others very eager to have another school day.
We arrived at Portsmouth in good time and we split into two groups. Group one, Years 3-8, were looked after by ourselves and Dwayne Marsh whilst group two, Years 9-13, were looked after by Darren and Rose Brown and Gaius Abernethie. The day was split in to four stages and we followed a planned schedule.
- HMS Victory was one of the most famous ships of the British Royal Navy. She was the flagship of Admiral Nelson at the decisive 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar, during which Nelson was killed. This battle was very important to the history of the United Kingdom where they fought against the Spanish and French Navy, and won. HMS Victory is the only surviving ship to have fought in the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence. We learned that canons on a ship are not called canons….they are called guns!
- HMS Warrior was a ship from 1860. This boat was Britain´s first iron-hulled, armoured warship. It was powered by both steam and sail so it became the fastest and most powerful warship in its time. The ship was in good condition and interesting, but as we didn’t have a guided tour the pupils’ interest only lasted for about 20 minutes!
- National Museum of Royal Navy: this museum was basically built up on little video clips from the Royal Navy, WW2 and up to recent times. Different families telling their stories of loved ones on ships far away. There were different rooms and galleries, one of Lord Nelson and then different ships and victories.
- Action Stations: this was the pupils’ best part…. where they could enjoy a helicopter ride in a simulator …climb, kick box and try out laser shooting for an extra £6 and generally let off some extra steam before heading back to the bus.
The two groups met up and enjoyed some lunch together out in the sunshine. One boy left his lunch box in the bus which was parked miles away in a bus park so he enjoyed some scones from the café and some of us enjoyed a hot drink too…! The day ended brilliantly and everyone was happy….. Action Stations seemed to be the most popular attraction of the whole school trip.
On the way home we forewarned everyone that the toilets on the bus had run out of water (because of excessive use on the way up!!) and everyone said they had gone to the toilets, or so it seemed …until we had travelled 10 minutes on the coach and one or two of the pupils were bursting! So we had to tell the bus driver to stop at the next services and they all trotted off to the toilets with detours at Burger King and Costa!!
Back on the Motorway again…we got stuck in a lot of traffic but managed to come back in time to just rush off, get changed and enjoy the next event! Thanks everyone for a lovely day out!
Damien and Josephine Swanson