Joan Goodfellow (nèe White)

School Trips

Joan remembers her Laindon High Road school trips in the 1960s to the Lake District with teachers Mr Miniken and Mr Burch with affection. Below is her account written at the time of what they got up to on their 1964 trip:

We left the school at 8.30 on Friday 15th May 1964 in a Happy Wanderers coach driven by Ernie. All around us in the coach was luggage, on the floor, seats and luggage racks. We went up the Arterial Road to London and then on the M6 and M1 stopping twice at Services Stations. We eventually arrived at Newlands Youth Hostel, Keswick, Cumberland at 7.15, dinner was waiting for us. After dinner we were shown to our rooms.

There was already about 120 school children there, mostly junior and one senior school from London. We struggled to get to sleep that night because everybody was restless and excited but we finally settled down around 12 O’clock.

After breakfast next morning we all set off (42 of us) for Causey Pile. This was an easy climb compared to the others we were to encounter. We reached the summit at around lunch time, we continued after lunch and climbed another three peaks before starting back down. Going down was not as easy as one thinks, in fact I think was a lot harder. We slid down about a thousand feet of xxxx and a thousand feet of rock and grass before stopping at a pretty stream at the bottom. After a walk along the valley to finally descend in order to get back to the hostel.

After dinner that evening we were allowed to do what we liked. Teachers from the junior schools organised a dance which was enjoyable, this was followed with cocoa at 9.30, with lights out at 10.30.

The following day, Sunday, the majority of our party walked to the nearby church. As the church was a small one, the Rector decided to hold the service outside on the green. Communion was held in the church after the service but most of the hostel groups took a slow walk back to the hostel.

After lunch we walked to Derwentwater, some of us went swimming while others sun-bathed. This was followed by a light tea, then it was off to bed again.

During breakfast in the morning we had a thunderstorm and it continued to rain most of the day. We went by coach to the bottom of Helvellyn. (Helvellyn is 3116 ft high). A number of us decided to walk the 3 miles to the top of Helvellyn in the pouring rain while others went with Ernie to Lake Windermere. Those of us that reached the top of Helvellyn sat down and ate our packed lunches in the heavy mist, everybody was shivering with the cold and wet. On one side near where we sat was a sheer drop, a little scary.

It was time to walk back but by this time everybody was soaked through, when we reached the bottom we had another 2 mile walk along the roadside by Derwentwater until Ernie picked us up for the run back to the hostel.  We put our wet clothes in the already packed out drying room, had dinner and then played table tennis in the hall until coca time and bed.

After breakfast next day we were off again, this time to the Yorkshire Dales, stopping on the way at Kirby Lonsdale. On reaching the Dales we had lunch and in two parties with guides we explored White Scar Caves. The caves were narrow, wet and you could just about stand up straight. On each side was stalagmites and some forming, also dripstones caused by dripping water. Afterwards a number of us went up the hill above the caves to look at the limestone scenery.  Back at the hostel it was dinner then amusing ourselves in the hall and barn.

Next day it was off to Scarfell the highest mountain in England (3260ft). We walked three miles along the mountain valley before climbing. On our way down a number of us got split up and we had to find our own way and we only just got back in time for dinner. After dinner our boys played the other schools at football, then it was down to the barn and river for some mucking around before cocoa time.

On Thursday our last day, Ernie took some of us around Keswick, we did some shopping. Back at the hostel we packed and cleaned our bedrooms. Had a stroll along the river, watched Ernie do some shopping and then after dinner went to the hall for a dance that Mr Burch had organised. It ended at 11.15, so back to bed but most of us struggled to go to sleep as we were going home the following day.

We were up at 6pm, had breakfast, said our goodbyes, I had a little cry before leaving at 8.30. We arrived back at school around 7.15pm all very tired but glad to be home safely, thanks to Ernie.

We all had a very enjoyable, exciting, interesting holiday and I know that I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.


Ps: Can you remember what your school trips were like, if so let’s hear about them but don’t forget the pictures.

1964 Group
Joan. Cat Bells near Derwentwater.
Mr Burch taking a walk on his own.

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