Sheffield school trips – not always far but always memorable
I was out on Big Moor last weekend – located on the edge of the Longshaw estate – trying to catch a glimpse of some of the wild red deer out there.
Going round the large traffic island at Owler Bar, as I came to the exit for Totley , I was able to look down into what I call the Bowl of Sheffield or Valley – what a view on a clear day.
This reminded me of school trips I used to go on .
This then got me thin king about other school trips, and how important they are to children, their development, and for their memories.
I was a young lad who grew up in the Ellesmere area of Sheffield in the 60s and 70s.
I never saw herds of cows or sheep in my day-to- day life; the only time I would see anything like that would be on a school trip out of the city which for us – in Sheffield – is now only a short drive away.
But then these trips were few and far between, for a young inner city boy this might as well have the other side of the world.
The memory of these trips has stayed with me for a lifetime, giving me access to areas as a child I may never have had, and memories and knowledge I now share with my children.
One of my earliest trips with school was to Riber Castle – situated in Matlock, Derbyshire – in the early 70s.
At the time it was a z oo. I don’t remember everything about it, but at the end of the trip we were introduced to a seemingly very tame golden e agle.
This part was very memorable to me. The e agle had a massive six- foot wingspan, which as I remember it displayed on command. It instantly became my favourite bird, a memory I’m forever grateful for.
This is a trip I may other w ise never have made w ith my parents, brothers and sisters.
Another school trip not too far away and which I believe bonds thousands of school children in Sheffield, was to Thornbridge Hall, not far from the m arket to wn of Bakewell.
This trip I believe was a right of passage for many of the children who attended my former school Burngreave Middle, as well as children from many other Sheffield schools.
I was lucky enough to visit the h all on many occasions, with school and my youth club ‘Ellesmere’.
Thornbridge Hall is situated in the Derbyshire Dales.
The hall at the time was owned by Sheffield City. From 1945 it had became a teacher training college. In later years, it was used as an educational and conference centre by the council, providing residential facilities for teachers and pupils in the house itself and in various outbuildings.
This gave opportunity for me, and many others the chance to visit the hall and its grounds, using it as a staging post for bike rides into Bakewell.
I always remember the daily trip for a week, from my school in Pitsmoor to Thornbridge.
The journey was the only part I enjoyed, the trip there and the trip back, as the time at Thornbridge was classroom work as normal, but a very short day wasn't all bad.