NOSTALGIA: When the train took the strain for us pupils

John Bateson

John Bateson

First published in News

John A Bateson, former Mayor of Kendal, recalls primary school trips of the past

UNTIL the mid 1960s it was usual for Kendal primary schools to organise day excursions for their pupils, not by motor coach, but by specially hired train.

As a pupil at Kendal Parish Church (Kirkland) School, I was able to enjoy four of these delightful days out to different locations across the country.

Always taking place in early June, these excursions were well organised and timetabled to fit in with the regular rail service.

The school’s headmaster, Sam Inglesfield, gave the instructions to pupils to line up ‘crocodile style’ (a phrase I have never forgotten) at Kendal station forecourt to await orderly entry into the awaiting carriages.

Those few of us who lived in Oxenholme were allowed to join there.

The four destinations I visited were Whitley Bay, Whitby, Chester and Largs, all considerably distant from Kendal, ensuring a good, long train journey.

One teacher, Mrs Haygarth, refused to join us on the Chester trip, as she disapproved of zoos.

Once we arrived at our destination we were accompanied by teachers, yet free to enjoy the various amusements along the way.

My first task on arrival at Whitley Bay was to send a postcard home, which, of course, arrived the following day!

We were all tired when we rejoined the train in the late afternoon, and armed with the various presents we had bought enjoyed the long journey home.

Today rail excursions are still organised, but I doubt we shall see a revival of school days out by hired train. They were hugely enjoyable and memorable

Comments (4)

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10:53am Mon 24 Mar 14

tom watson says...

If you had attended Endmoor Primary School as I did you would have had much better excursions than you did, not by train but coach. Yes we did Chester and we did Ullswater (re-daffodils) and every one of our excursions was to educate. A former Kendal mayor's wife can attest to this.
Joyce Bryers gave me and many others an education we should and in my case embrace. Took me a while to see what a dedicated teacher could do but acknowledge it now.
If you had attended Endmoor Primary School as I did you would have had much better excursions than you did, not by train but coach. Yes we did Chester and we did Ullswater (re-daffodils) and every one of our excursions was to educate. A former Kendal mayor's wife can attest to this. Joyce Bryers gave me and many others an education we should and in my case embrace. Took me a while to see what a dedicated teacher could do but acknowledge it now. tom watson
  • Score: 0

8:05am Tue 25 Mar 14

fellsman says...

Remember the Largs trip - train to Glasgow then sail down the Clyde on a steamer, finishing at Largs, then back by train - seem to think that we had to stop at various places for carriages to be hooked up and unhooked on the way back
Remember the Largs trip - train to Glasgow then sail down the Clyde on a steamer, finishing at Largs, then back by train - seem to think that we had to stop at various places for carriages to be hooked up and unhooked on the way back fellsman
  • Score: 1

11:34am Tue 25 Mar 14

todhrocks@btinternet.com says...

Fellsman - yes I do, it was the last one I did before I went to Grammar School - bought a Ladybird Book of British Railway Locomotives which I still have.-John A Bateson.
Fellsman - yes I do, it was the last one I did before I went to Grammar School - bought a Ladybird Book of British Railway Locomotives which I still have.-John A Bateson. todhrocks@btinternet.com
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Excellent stuff. I wish you had a photo of those kids waiting for the train.
Excellent stuff. I wish you had a photo of those kids waiting for the train. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

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