On Tuesday 14th July a large contingent of Blue Coat students and staff embarked on a trip to the Lake District, as part of the School’s annual Trips Day. Physics teacher Mr Caulkin has kindly provided us with a first hand account of a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day out, on one of the Lake District’s most impressive peaks.

“Twenty five Year 12 and Year 13 students and six staff including Mr Croxton, Mr Keating, Mr Kershaw, Mrs Forster and Mr Richarson, a Blue Coat Trustee, departed from the school car park just after 8.00am in the School’s two minibuses and one car for a hike up Skiddaw, a 3054 ft high mountain. After a traffic free drive we parked the vehicles just past the village of Applethwaite, about a mile north of Keswick. We met a former Blue Coat teacher, Mr Dave Rainbird, who retired a number of years ago and who was also climbing Skiddaw with his friend John.

We all sped off up Jenkin hill with the weather becoming better all the time and the gradient gradually increasing until it was quite steep necessitating numerous few minute breathers! A lunch stop was made just before Little Man at about 2500 feet, with the sun now very warm and the views magnificent in every direction. With the energy from our lunches giving us a second wind we were soon on the summit of Skiddaw with its mountain indicator pedestal informing us of all the mountains in the distance. Visibility was excellent, with blue skies and some clouds above, some below us in the valleys, that gave a real dramatic impact to the views.

We descended the same way down and those who had complained a little about the climb were more cheerful as all the ascending was completed for the day! Arriving at the vehicles about 4.00pm we drove to Thirlmere and had a refreshing drink, to rehydrate us, at the King’s Head Hotel, sitting out in the garden in hot sunshine! Everyone chatting about the hike, the steepness, the views, the beauty, the meal later, etc…! Then back in the transport for the short drive to Crook, just past Windermere, for our meal at the Sun Inn. We were all in one part of the restaurant on tables for six and enjoyed a delicious community meal, well deserved, with some even going for a dessert!

Leaving at 8.30pm the drive home was trouble free arriving back at Blue Coat at 10.00pm after a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable day out. The next day there was talk from other staff that some students had been destroyed or traumatised! But they were told that they would leave as boys and girls, and return as men and women! We did not want to disappoint them!”

Mr Caulkin.

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