A student from Jersey College has taken the time to give us her account of their recent 2 day, 1 night History Tour to London.
On Thursday, March 1st, thirty-five excited girls and four slightly apprehensive but excited teachers arrived at the disgusting hour of 6am at Jersey Airport. Knowing it was the first trip away for our GCSE’s, everyone was prompt. After taking the appropriately named ‘Red Eye’ to Gatwick, the first stop was breakfast before taking the train down to Kings Cross. The first visit was to St Thomas’ Hospital, the oldest operating theatre in London, which has now been converted to a little museum/ lecture room. We were invited in and led up a long, creaky, wooden, spiral staircase. At the top of the building was a tiny artefact museum which had everything from brains in jars to old medicines. Our guide led us into what used to be an operating theatre, and warned us:
“If any of you feel faint, please feel free to leave the room for a little while”.
Everyone exchanged nervous glances. However, it wasn’t as bad as expected, after a detailed explanation of the room and its history, Miss Douglas, one of our teachers, was asked to come down and lie on the operating table. A nervous Miss Douglas descended down the stairs onto the operating table and a demonstration was given showing how a leg would be amputated After this we went outside for a ‘Public Health Guided Walk’. I think everyone would agree he knew his stuff, giving us detailed explanations of every part of Public Health related to London. Initially we all sat in a church where he explained the illnesses of the monarchy right through to the peasants of London, explaining that infections such as Cholera took over the nation. For the final part, he sat us all down in a courtyard with a statue of Keats right behind us and further expanded his already impressive knowledge. Everyone’s tummy was beginning to make strange noises, so we visited a local market and everyone went their separate ways for half an hour.
That afternoon, we checked in to our hotel and after getting rid of our pyjamas and toothbrushes and attempting to make our beds, we headed out to the tube – by now everyone was beginning to grasp the concept of staying on the right of the escalators! It was time to enjoy some shopping time at the famous Westfield Centre. From Prada to Primark, and Tiffany’s to Topshop, you will never see anything like it. Having just one hour to shop, forty panicked girls ran off in every direction, realising that those who had pre planned their visit had been extremely wise. An hour later, everyone was back on time.
The next stop after this stressful afternoon was Planet Hollywood for dinner. Can I just say, if you ever go to see a show in London, the Lion King is incredible, but Legally Blonde was amazing – a girls trip to London needs something like that! At the end of the evening, everyone left the theatre singing the catchiest tune of the entire show, ‘Oh my god, oh my god you guys’. Thirty nine utterly shattered females travelled back to the hostel for a well-earned rest!
The next day, the plan was to leave at 9.30am. Our first stop that morning, after questioning how much toast it is humanly possible to eat when freely available, was the Science Museum! We were given a quiz, and asked to be back in two hours, lunched and ready to go. The museum was really interesting with all sorts of artefacts to do with medicine through time, impressive intricate displays of communities and tribes throughout the ages and relevant medical information. Everyone arrived back on time with full stomachs and our completed quizzes in hand.
Our final stop for the trip, which had felt like a week long rather than two days, was the ‘Florence Nightingale Museum’. I’ve never seen such an interesting layout for a museum – it was almost a maze, with many little holes you could look through at pictures and information of Florence’s life. The thing that shocked a lot of us was what a focussed individual she was and excellent female role model she remains to be.
Sadly, our trip was coming to an end, and the entire group was very tired and sad that this short but incredibly information packed visit was nearly over. At about 9.30pm everyone was safely back in Jersey Airport, commenting on how ridiculous it was that it ‘was only yesterday morning we were here!’
Parents and students alike thanked the teachers who had helped organise a fantastic trip, Thank you very much to Mrs McGovern, Mrs Hotton, Mrs Winspear and Miss Douglas for making it a truly memorable and exciting trip.
Student, Jersey College.