M.G.S. Magazine - July 1958

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MGS Magazine 1958
School Trips


Once again a party of twenty three boys and myself will be setting out as Ambassadors of goodwill (we hope) to foreign parts. This time we shall be obeying the statement so often made on reports, "This boy should go far!" In fact the destination is over one thousand miles to a small place in an ideal setting some twenty miles from Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol.

The area is very mountainous and lakes and rivers are plentiful. Our hotel is situated right on the edge of one lake, the Achensee, the largest in the Tyrol. This should prove disconcerting to any sleepwalkers in the party as its temperature is only 34°F. I understand the fishing is very good there and that one can notice many fishermen if one looks for a pole with a worm at both ends.

The scenery is magnificent, although as one American was heard to remark, "Take away the mountains and lakes and what have you got?" which reminds me of the boy whose face fell a mile on reaching the mountain top. Not with disappointment, someone pushed him!

I can imagine no more breath-taking experience than one and a half mile cable-car ride up a mountain, with a sheer drop below, nor anything more exhilarating than to travel swiftly in a ski-chair suspended fifty feet above the steep grassy slopes.

The journey there will be long, but I always find it to be an enjoyable part of the holiday. We shall be leaving Mirfield at 7 a.m. one morning in the capable hands of British Railways and shall not arrive at our destination until 5 p.m. the next day. In between times we shall travel by boat and train through four countries, sleeping peacefully part of the way on the hammocks so thoughtfully provided in the railway compartments. The return trip will be made fourteen days later in complete disregard of the pleadings of certain people who shall be nameless. I only hope we shall leave behind happy memories of M.G.S. after another successful Continental excursion.



The day was Saturday, the first in April. The time 9 o'clock. A party of 24 pupils from M.G.S. accompanied by four seasoned walkers, boarded the coach which was to take them to the delightful smoke-free atmosphere of North Wales, there to spend a week casually wandering around the dominating peaks of that district.

The bus ride was quite uneventful and lasted approximately six hours, during which time a few unsuspecting individuals were caught by the candid camera of a certain (anonymous) youth.

The good Welsh lady of the Guest House was sensible enough to know that the English think first of food. After a substantial meal several energetic members ventured to take a walk. Four returned ten minutes later claiming that it was too dark!!

Sunday, Easter Sunday, was a free day. However, several enthusiastic characters managed to explore 10 miles or so of the country side and conquer their first 'Knobble' which, much to their disgust, was not even shown on the map. The memory of 'four seasoned mountaineers' descending a dangerous 'chute' is still very vivid-to them we offer our congratulations.

Monday found us on the summit of Cnicht, a mere 2,265 feet. We descended a rock face and arrived at the bottom in one piece-much to the surprise of certain females-and meandered through the Aberglaslyn Pass to reach Beddgelert in time for tea. The 3½ mile walk to the Guest House revived appetites for the evening meal.

On Tuesday the party met at the top of Snowdon for 'Summit talks.' These began with a substantial meal of cheese, tomato and jam sandwiches and finished with the loss of three heels-fortunately we had an excellent cobbler in our midst. The descent was made down a scree slope-rather on the damp side but a good time was had by all.

The common room proved to be an attraction, probably because of the log-fire and the piano which must have needed tuning by the time the week was over. Nights in the barn were quite eventful-by all accounts-not surprising since eleven boys dwelt there.

As a reward for the previous days' effort, Wednesday was an easy day. A coach took us to the Swallow Falls and thence to Bettws-y-Coedd. Four notable characters went for a ramble in the brambles and eventually arrived at Llyn Elsi. So as to justify our existence as a hiking party many of us took a stroll round the Dolwyddelan district. In the evening we danced to the music of Victor Sylvester.

Thursday brought rain, and dampened spirits, besides one twisted ankle, brought about by falling down the stairs. The party set off minus three and arrived at the summit of Moel Hebog minus eleven. Later at the evening meal there were several caustic comments as regarding 'Skrim Shankers.'

Another free day was arranged for Friday when we visited Portmadoc where one poor individual in his turn visited the Dental Surgeon. After the invasion of Portmadoc we visited Criccieth and Caernarvon where some went shopping and some visited the Castle. We arrived back at Bryn Dinas where the evening meal awaited us.

At 11 o'clock the following morning we reluctantly left behind the exhilarating district of Snowdonia taking home to Mirfield many very happy memories of funny days, even funnier nights and an invigorating week.



On Friday, August 16th, three employees of British Railways were surprised by the sight of Mirfield Station crowded at the early hour of 7-39. The 'crowd' consisted of a group of boys, two small girls, Mr. and Mrs. Saywell and two of their friends. This party was watched by a number of anxious parents as we climbed aboard the train, goodbyes having been hastily said. In another half hour the above-mentioned railwaymen thankfully coupled our carriage to a London bound train at Wakefield and beat a hasty retreat.

After an uneventful journey, interrupted only by a short stop in London, we arrived at Dover at about 4-15 p.m. By 5 o'clock we had settled down to a 3½ hour crossing to Ostend. From Ostend a coach took us to Bruges, where all were ready to fall into very comfortable beds, though a few had energy enough to explore the neighbourhood before turning in.

The following morning we were awakened by sweet bells (which I heard called by other epithets during the week) and on examination in daylight found we were surrounded by oily black canals. This knowledge and a vague idea of the geography of the town I acquired in the three hours before breakfast. It was a free day, as was the next, Sunday.

In these two days we saw most of the sights of Bruges, spent long periods in cafes, and tried to get used to the country air.

By Monday, when we went on our first excursion, we were all confident of knowing Bruges fairly well. Our trip took us through Blankenburghe and along the coast to Nieuport, where we stopped and made the ascent to the top of the Albert Monument to enjoy the fine view. We made Furnes our second stop, with perfect weather and old buildings. After refreshments we continued to Dunkirk, where we visited the War Memorials and climbed the lighthouse. There was still evidence of war both in the old town (still partly ruined) and on the beaches where some of the party found live ammunition. We then moved on to Malo-les-Bains and returned via Ostend.

It rained most of Tuesday morning and this made it a miserable ride to Ghent, where we went on a very interesting tour of the old castle. The energetic ones climbed up the cathedral tower, down again, and back into the Ford which took us, via the sand-carpets, to Brussels. Here we visited the Palais de Justice, marvelled at the preparations for the International Fair and photographed the most important citizen. We made good time on the autostrasse both ways, considering the vehicle we were in covered about 120 miles that day.

We rose to bright sunshine on Wednesday morning and wandered around in two's and three's, looking and buying. After lunch we caught the electric train to Ostend where we broke up into small groups and set off in any direction which took our fancy. We looked round the docks and saw a war relic, the bows of the "Vindictive," and had a glimpse of the Cathedral. After lunch some of us went on a trip to the "White Horse" at Blankenburghe, organised by the W.T.A. resident in the hotel. A good time was had by all.

Our visit to Holland came on Thursday, and so did good weather. Our trusty Ford and a ferry-boat brought us to Middelberg on Walcheren Island. We first visited the model of the town which astonished us all by its precision, then entered the town proper, where it was market day. It was very busy, and everyone bought presents because they were cheaper than in Belgium. We returned via Sluis, where we looked round a working windmill.

Friday morning was declared 'free', but in the afternoon we paid another visit to Blankenberghe, the Blackpool of Belgium. It was the sort of afternoon when all you wanted to do was to lie in the sun and sleep. This was a favourite pastime that afternoon but, alas, too soon it was time to return to the hotel.

Saturday was the last full day and was spent in buying last-minute presents and re-visiting favourite haunts.

Our holiday was now almost at an end. Sunday dawned, with packing to finish, customs lists to be made out, good-byes to be said.

After a somewhat bumpy crossing and a frantic rush to London in a vain attempt to catch our train, we found ourselves with five hours to think over the last ten days. A train journey to Wakefield, which I can remember little about-then familiar scenes. Our thanks to Mr. Saywell for his swiftness through the Customs and a good holiday!

M. Sinclair


The poor unsuspecting village of Stainforth did not quite know what had happened to it, when four would-be geologists, a couple of friends and a master, armed with hammers ranging from the best coal variety to the true geological type descended upon it one fine sunny day at the end of the Easter holidays.

On arrival the boys thought it their duty to investigate the village with its ins and outs, so that we shouldn't get lost the following day. We stayed at the Youth Hostel and listened to fascinating tales of pothole, dale and the supernatural told by the warden. The hostel definitely shook that night and we were very relieved to hear afterwards it was but a Scottish-bound express.

We set out next day with two communal rucksacks in glorious weather with the promise of more to come and were not disappointed. We trailed after the geographer who, map in hand, looked rather like a prophet as he picked his way round the foot of Smearsett Scar. It was just a short way down the other side that the similarity almost became reality when a little lamb took a great fancy to him.

Martin, alas, thought it his vocation to put his feet in every stream and although we earnestly tried to dissuade him he stolidly persisted and earned himself a place in the elite geologist's club. The rest of the day was uneventful except for Tom who, mimicking Atlas with a large boulder held high above his head, found the boulder too much and dropped it into a muddy pool, just as the rest of us were passing-we returned singing negro spirituals.

Next day with our good-byes said we set out to walk over Fountains Fell to Malham, where we were assured we would catch a bus at about five for Skipton. On the way up we passed Catrigg Force where David decided to show us how to slip down waterfalls. After crossing very rough moorland in the boiling heat we came to a pothole into which four of us ventured but it proved to be very muddy as Vic's mother will tell you. We reached the top in penny numbers and after having a snooze in the sun dropped down for Malham. We caught Mr. Jessop looking most artistic as silhouetted against a bright blue sky he paused on top of a wall to admire the crinoids.

We arrived in Malham, only to find that the - bus didn't run and we had two hours to wait for the next. We passed the time muttering curses about people who couldn't read bus timetables and eating beans and chips in a café where our fellow diners gaped as they watched us rapidly clean the table.

At last the bus swung into the square and we climbed aboard to wind our way through the drowsy dales on a warm sunny evening, tired but happy.



An excursion headed by Mr. Salton and Mr. Jones set off on Saturday, April 26th for Wembley. Leaving Mirfield at 7-25 a.m., we arrived at King's Cross at 11-40 a.m.

After lunch we set off to Wembley by tube. Alighting from the tube we were met by the twin towers of Wembley looming up ahead of us. After enjoying the community singing, the excitement grew to fever height. To a rousing cheer the teams came out and at 3-0 p.m. they kicked off. It turned out to be an entertaining match enjoyed by the whole of the 90,000 strong crowd.

Returning to our rooms at the Leicester Hotel, we had tea and then set off to the Empire Pool, Wembley for Ice Hockey. We saw the Wembley Lions beat the Brighton Tigers by 4 goals to 2. Then it was back to the Leicester Hotel and bed.

We awoke to a sunny morning and set off on a tour of London by coach. We had a very interesting morning, stopping at Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square. We had lunch and wandered around Hyde Park until 2-0 p.m. After making our way back to King's Cross, we set off back at 3-0 p.m. arriving at Wakefield; we were rushed by taxi to Kirkgate from Westgate, and we stepped off the train at Mirfield at 8-20 p.m.

Many thanks must go to Mr. Salton and Mr. Jones for a well organised and enjoyable trip to Wembley.

A. Stephenson (4 Alpha)