Sixth Form Historians Enjoy London

Sixth Form Historians Enjoy London

On a drizzly, grey day in January, with Storm Jocelyn howling in the background, the Sixth Form historians set off at lunchtime for the capital. Despite the challenges presented by ‘tap in’ payment systems and elementary road crossing, we made it to Farringdon (via East Croydon) without mishap in good time for our workshop at the Karl Marx Memorial Library.

Within, a trove of political memorabilia awaited. The staff, who were marvelously well-informed, friendly, and helpful, offered a tour of the building, a short video, a display on the Russian Revolution, and some genuine contemporary publications, photographs, and diaries. A particular highlight was the desk at which Vladimir Lenin worked in the early nineteenth century, editing revolutionary journals such as Iskra. The history staff were also deeply excited by the presence of various banners carried by the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, although as Mrs. Fenton remarked, they should have been stored flat rather than hanging! After a short Q&A, we crossed London to Victoria for a much-needed dinner stop. A brief visit to Westminster Cathedral provided an oasis of calm and beauty amongst the hustle and bustle of London, although with a Mass in progress we had to keep our visit short and unobtrusive.

Refreshed, we took our seats for the evening performance of Hamilton and were blown away by the sheer energy and talent of the performers. With keen theatre performers and backstage staff amongst our pupils there were plenty of critical eyes on the stage, but none went away disappointed. Given that the performance on the preceding Saturday had been cancelled due to illness, we were lucky indeed to see the show in full and the students reconvened afterwards in high spirits.

As the curtain came down we made a rush for the station in time to catch the 22.38 from Victoria. A brilliant trip that left the pupils and staff buzzing and uplifted amidst the gloom of winter. Many thanks to Mr. Hosking for organising the trip, and to Mrs. Fenton, Mrs. Lomas, and Mr. Ace for coming with us.

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