Thursday, 20 September 2018

Paris school trip 1968

As promised here is the report from the Bourne - thanks to the author, Martin Everett, and to Martin Jones for tracking this down.

THE PARIS TRIP 1968 By M Everett. U.6.M.1On the morning of July 19th, 44 people struggled out of bed at the unearthly hour of 6.30am and made their various ways to Victoria station. Bleary-eyed they huddled round the Golden Arrow platform entrance and only awoke from their somnolence when some girls appeared in the same train compartment.
After a smooth Channel crossing and a three hour train journey to Paris, the party, consisting of 41 boys (including six prefects) and three members of staff arrived at Gare du Nord at 4.30. The party settled into the Lycee Louis Le Grand, situated opposite the Sorbonne in the Rue St Jacques, the street where riots had flared only a week before; and after dinner the main party took a stroll along the Champs Elysees from the Place de la Concorde, while the prefects sought the amenities of the nearest bistro.A late night was followed by an early rising, and having sampled a typical French breakfast of coffee, bread and jam, a Metro journey took the party to the Eiffel Tower. The ascent to the top was made by lift, and once there, the consumption of plastic replicas outpaced that of ice-creams. This state of affairs did not, however, last long.A coach tour of Paris followed in the afternoon after a delightful lunch of chicken and chips, a stop being made in the artistsquarter of Montmartre to view the Sacre-Coeur church and for souvenir hunting. The party caught glimpses of the Elysees Palace, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre before adjourning to the largest store in Paris, La Samaritaine (a sort of high class Kennards) for more shopping.
Dinner over, four of the prefects were drawn by the bright lights of the Moulin Rouge, whilst the rest of the somewhat footsore band enjoyed a trip up the Seine from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower, the return being made by Metro at around midnight.On Sunday, the temperature climbed into the eighties. Two groups were formed, one visiting the Louvre to ogle, in the company of countless Americans wearing garish sports-shirts and carrying expensive cameras, at the Mona Lisaand the Venus de Milo, while the other group visited the Musee dArt Moderne, near the Eiffel Tower, where over 20 of Picassos works were on show. In the afternoon, with the temperature still rising, the party made the half hour train journey to Versailles and spent a pleasant but extremely fatiguing three hours or so wandering round the magnificent Palace gardens. As luck would have it, this proved to be the one day in the month when the fountains were playing. The intrepid voyagers returned home for an early night at about 9pm, whilst the sixth formers again sought solace in a bistro.
On Monday morning, the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame, situated on an island in the Seine, was visited; the famous Rose Window, all of 800 years old, is breathtakingly beautiful. The eerie singing of the clergy reminds the tourist that he might as well be in 1268 as 1968, and for a moment, he may forget the modern world and lose himself in mediaeval Paris. The ascent of the towers of Notre Dame was made by most, but, alas, Quasimodo was conspicuous by his absence.For some of the group, the ascent was replaced by a visit to the Sainte Chapelle, a two-tiered church containing some of the finest stained glass in the world; after which everyone had time for some last minute shopping if they had any money left. Au revoir was said to Paris at the Gare du Nord at 1.40
and the party struggled off the Victoria train seven hours later. All in all, the weekend was of necessity a hectic one, but nevertheless enjoyed by all; our thanks are due to Mr Pettitt and Mr Payne (by now experienced campaigners) and to Mr Rainforth, a newcomer who stood the rigours of his baptism well, for their faultless organisation, unflappable calm and slow tempers. A very successful weekend. "

No comments:

Fas et Patria

Please explore the world of Purley Boys School 1914-1988. Feel free to leave your memories and comments on the photos.

There is a search function too - see the box top left ? Just enter a keyword and all the articles or photos that match will appear from the archives.

Many thanks - Nick Peaty - mail me at

If any of you are tempted to make a donation to help with the long term upkeep of this site then please click the Paypal Donate Button below.

 Grateful thanks to those of you who have sent funds in the past