Tuesday, 5 January 2016

As others remember .............. Barny and the coach trips to Ewell

The second of an occasional series contributed by readers who also grew up in south east London.

Here Barny remembers the school trips from Samuel Pepys to Ewell playing fields in the early 1960s

Who remembers you say??

How could I forget?

The memories come flooding back from purgatory...

(1) - The outgoing journey, New Cross to Ewell.

The smell of the dust from the old coach seats. Fighting for a back seat (essential for pulling faces and executing various hand gestures to anyone driving behind).

Ten minutes into the journey, that distinctive pong of vomit from those pupils who didn't travel well.

Outbreaks of skirmishes and bickering throughout the remainder of the trip.

(2) - Let the games begin.

Always Cross Country Running in the winter, so you had to suffer inhaling air at Absolute Zero. The pain!!

Hiding in a small wooded area, until joining the run on the last time around. Fag break!

Football, more like a medicine ball, kicked really hard against my soft skin. The agony!!

The abject boredom of being unpicked for a team and left goalkeeping.

Rugby, no fun at all if you're 8 stone (112 lbs or 50kg).

(3) - Cold Showers.

Oh! the joy. Towel flicking from horrible pupils, aimed at the soft parts of my body.

Five minutes to run the gauntlet through the ice cold showers. (time includes getting dried and dressed),

Getting dressed, almost impossible with wet skin and numb from the cold fingers, still covered in mud.

School duffle bag full of junk, deposited by some oiks whilst you were showering.

Pants or one sock missing. grrrr!

(4) - The home journey, Ewell to New Cross.

Fighting for a back seat again. Further skirmishes and bickering. The stink of Smiths Cheese & Onion crisps.
That vomit smell again.

Pupils comparing body parts and functionality, apparently!

Miscellaneous instances of irritating noise and diesel fumes.

It's no wonder that various rouses and schemes were devised in order to give Games a miss. My favourite and one that always worked well, was to leave a penny in one of your socks throughout the previous day.

Then, just before Games, you show the horrible looking bruise on you foot to a teacher, and viola! - excused!! Who remembers you say??

© Barny

Pictures; Banfield Coach, Leyland Tiger Cub, 1959

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