M.G.S. Magazine - July 1957

Section: |   1  |   2  |   3  |   4  |   5  |   6  |   Choose another mag  
MGS Magazine 1957
School Trips


Once more the time is drawing near when the poor unsuspecting inhabitants of foreign parts will be subjected to the linguistic abilities of some of our scholars. This year it is Bruges again, which we hope has recovered from our last visit of two years ago.

At the moment, with the weather so fine, we are reminded of the last time we were there, when the thermometer rose day by day, and the smell of the canals became more intense as time went by. Then indeed we were glad to stagger weakly to the nearest cafe, and to lie exhausted, under an awning, with a glass of cool refreshment to console us. Our visions of lying lazily in a drifting gondola, propelled by a swarthy Flemish gentleman were scattered by the realisation of a trip by modern motor boat on the refuse laden canals.

Seriously, though, Bruges has many things to recommend it, not the least being the aforementioned canals, which are floodlit most effectively at night. Or perhaps one would prefer the view from the thirteenth century belfry after negotiating the odd one hundred and eighty steps to the summit. Certainly there one obtains a marvellous view of the whole city and is charmed by the melodious notes of the carillon heard at short range if one's ear drums permit.

Once again we are remembering longingly the warm sea at Malo-les-Bains, the ascent of the lighthouse on the beach at Dunkirk, or the ferry crossing to Walcheren Island in Holland.

The attractions of Belgium are many and varied from the old world charm of Bruges with its stately Flemish architecture, to the extremely modern coastal resorts. Indeed, there is something to satisfy all tastes in this friendly country.



On Thursday, April 11th, a party of thirty potential mountaineers, under the leadership of Mr. Evans and Mr. Barker, arrived at Derwent Bank, Keswick.

After a night of fitful slumber and attempts to adjust our own contours to those of the beds, we embarked, bleary-eyed, on a walk over Catbells and Maiden Moor. When our first packed lunch had been voraciously devoured we split up, "A" party to climb Dale Head and Honister Pass, where they were to meet "B" party for tea before the march home, and "C" party turned homewards by Borrowdale and Castle Crag. However, "A" party, beset with the avarice of Scrooge, somehow contrived to carry away with them all the thirty tea packs. As if this was not enough they lost their way, going up when they should have gone down, and down when they should have gone up. Needles to say, "B" and "C" party waxed eloquent when the culprits arrived home.

Saturday was comparatively uneventful. Grisedale Pike and Causey Pike were vanquished with the addition of Grassmoor and Sail which we all summoned enough energy to scale. "A" party, however, were again unexpectedly led astray by a scree-riding author and accomplice, Michael.

Sunday, being a day of rest, saw some members attending Crosthwaite Parish Church. Others however, taking the literal meaning of the day went into training for a proposed Mirfield-Oxford boat race against some Oxford undergraduates staying at the hostel. At the eleventh hour our Oxford friends withdrew to take some of the girls rowing-much to our boys' chagrin.

Monday saw "A" party scampering up Helvellyn while "B" party rambled among the Langdales. Rain, however, put a stop to this, washing "A" party down Helvellyn and giving them a choice of waiting four hours for a bus or finding their own way back.

The next day was spent in a pleasant walk round Derwent Water, past the Bowder Stone and Watendlath. Wednesday, though being rainy, was proclaimed an "open day" and only a few braved the elements to climb Skiddaw or Great End and Sty Head Pass.

We arrived home on Thursday with a glimmering understanding of the feelings which animate the more professional mountaineers who, like Icarus, wish to "go up higher".

* It is not often that I feel compelled to take up my pen in wrath, but many will feel that our understandably anonymous contributor (whose script referred to Cats Bells and Murder Moor until corrected by me) deserved to be washed down Helvellyn and it is a pity he wasn't. I am told that, despite the sharp lesson he was given after decamping with our tea on Dale Head and keeping us waiting for hours in a snowstorm on Honister Summit, he also ran off with the lunch over the summit of Helvellyn. In fact, running off the summit appears to have been his speciality. BRROK will understand what I mean, for he was another of the principal sufferers.

Those of us who are genuine walkers will recoil in more than horror from one who shudders at the thought of spending four hours in or around Grasmere. Main roads are built for such, and to main roads should they stick (flat).

There is only one other comment I should make, in fairness to other members of the party. The Grinders, alas! are still with us; the Walkers are still there, calm and serene; but a new clan has arisen-BLISTERS, bold, blatant and barefaced.



Exceptionally early on the morning of Friday, May 17th, eight sleepy people drifted into Wellington Road bus station in Leeds, looking forward to a geological weekend on the coast, but still thinking rather longingly of their warm, comfortable beds. Rucksacks having been stored away by the funniest of bus conductors, we piled into the bus and started the four hour journey to Whitby, which was quite uneventful except for a slight hitch at Pickering where one misinformed individual was almost left behind.

On arrival, the glorious afternoon was spent "geologing" along the east cliff and, after visiting the museum, the hundred and ninety nine steps (as counted and recounted by us all) were climbed to the Youth Hostel. There we had a substantial meal and with the chores done we had time to explore the ruins over the wall known as Whitby Abbey.

The next day after a reasonably good night we trekked, loaded like sherpas, to Robin Hood's Bay where more fossils were found and ruined than there are boulders on the beach at Hayburn Wyke. The night was spent at Bogglehole but during the evening two braves went for a swim, returning only to find some friends had removed their towels.

Seven of us set out next day, when the tide allowed, to walk the eighteen miles to Scarborough-we had lost one member who had to attend a christening that afternoon at Clayton Bay. En route, a slippery boulder clay cliff had to be negotiated and our revered leader almost lost a leg stopping clumsy girls tumbling down head first.

After slight rain, Scarborough was reached in glorious sun but this was soon overshadowed by the warden at the hostel where the motto may have been "Eat and Drink" but "and be Merry" was definitely out. Also staying at the hostel were three German girls whose gutteral voices lulled me to sleep. On Monday, Castle Hill was explored and by this time nearly all shoulders, one or two backs and a hip bone, were feeling the strain of their owners' folly in removing the beach and cliffs along the way. We were all glad to leave our packs at the bus station whilst we wined and dined. During the afternoon the museum was honoured by a visit from us and we learnt to respect the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.

The bus was caught after slight trouble with a rucksack in a turnstile and we all returned home with sun-tanned faces (one member nursing burnt knees) having had a thoroughly enjoyable week-end, for which we thank Mr. Jessop.