Members of the 1st to 4th form enjoyed an extra-curricular visit to London on the weekend of the 12th-13th of May. Departing from Manchester Piccadilly at 9:15 am, after skilfully navigating the London Underground with 35 of us, we were greeted by blue skies and lots of sunshine. After dropping off our bags at the youth hostel in which we were staying, the boys, accompanied by Mrs Smith, Miss Davenport and Mr Eastham journeyed on in trepidation to the first attraction: the notorious London Dungeons.
After a prolonged wait (to build the tension, we were sure) we were ushered inside by a villainous-looking guide to the first ‘exhibit’. Needless to say, after being plunged into darkness and sprayed with water from unbeknownst directions, the collective fear of the group had been heightened. Several attractions later, including a visit to see Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, as well as Mrs Eastham being the victim of torture instruments once used to persuade the infamous Guy Fawkes to talk, we exited slightly worse for wear. All boys were amused at Mrs Smith’s and Miss Davenport’s screaming but they were soon corrected that the screams had arisen from Mr Eastham.
After a brief pit stop to refuel at Pizza Express, the haunting theme continued with a visit to the fortune theatre to watch ‘The Woman in Black’ An amazing two-member cast delighted and enthralled the boys (cue more screams from Mr Eastham) and we left with the boys commenting on how memorable it had been.
Post breakfast, we then headed en masse to London’s oldest market street, Borough Market. There we were greeted with many culinary delights, from authentic Parmigiana to kangaroo burger. However, there was one piece of local gastronomy that we could not leave without trying. Head-to-head in a battle of what can only be described as sheer lunacy, James Bishop and Mr Eastham sampled the Londoner’s favourite: jellied eels.
Some slightly green faces and fish bones aside. We then headed to the main attraction, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. Here, the boys were able to view the inside of the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe, reproduced as closely as possible to the original structure which was destroyed by fire in the early 1600s. They were able to contextualise the performances studied in class and visualise how directors could organise dramatic conventions.
A quick lunch later, none other than Subway for most of the boys in the capital of culture and we made our way to our final stop, The Victoria and Albert Museum. Here boys were able to see marvels and curiosities at their leisure, whilst some took some extra time to recuperate outside in the London sunshine.
Overall, the trip was a huge success and enjoyed by all.