The Great Glasgow School Trip
Everybody remembers the Great Glasgow School Trip, its the only time everybody in your school, actually behaved, wore their uniforms and turned up on time for a whole week running up to the “excursion”.
Every school trip wasn’t the same however, oh no, there were a few different types:
The Educational One
The educational involved the class being carted along to a “living museum”. A couple in particular stand out, “Summerlee” Museum of Scottish Life or “Beamish” the Living Museum of the North. A day out here would consist of the teachers disappearing to the nearest pub, and the school kids being left in the clutches of actors who take their 19th century job incredibly seriously. They revelled in forcing 19th century working and education conditions onto 10 year old bewildered children.
Sort of like modern day corporal punishment, dunce hats, standing in the corner, being forced to write with your right hand (all you lefties know what I’m talking about), an hour of hard labour, generally all the things that children are supposed to enjoy on an excursion from school. They never used the belt, (well apart from on each other, we imagine). but they would ‘skelp’ it right off the desk. That was fear enough in itself.
The Religious Retreat
If you were at a R.C school and you were approaching the final months before High School. The school would arrange a day retreat. Tended to be a place to find serenity and almost meditate, usually ran by monks or druids, you would separate into groups of about four or five and spend the day wandering about the grounds, learning and taking part in various meditative classes. Very zen. It was probably the last time you felt safe until you reached the peak of 6th year in High School, and then pretty much never ever again.
The Week Retreat
Ah the week retreat, usually sometime during p7, you knew it was on the horizon, you’d badgered the parental guidances to fork out the £90,000 pounds to travel thirty miles down the motorway. Dounans or Kilbowie typically and during the week you pretty much turned “Lord of the Flies” feral. Apocalypse Now survival techniques, roamed forests, team building, survival training, fighting bears, wrestling alligators (the last two were only rumoured). Typical Rambo adventures. And don’t even mention bumping into a rival school, “PTSD Nam” type flashbacks are common.
The Theme Park
Absolute brilliant pandemonium, letting two hundred teenagers loose in a theme park, hundreds of miles from home, complete bedlam, fights, projectile vomiting, smuggled alcopops, organised chaos. You would probably find the teachers, in a quiet pub on the edge of the theme park reconsidering their life choices as the kids rampaged around the park. As long as the parents signed the waiver prior to leaving, all bets were off.
The bus driver would forever, wake up nightly, covered in sweat, screaming, following his experience of driving the bus to Alton Towers.