Performing Arts / English London Trip

Report by Mrs Millar and Mrs Jeffrey

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The annual Performing Arts/English trip to London was an action packed weekend from start to finish. 29 pupils joined Mrs Smith, Miss McGhee, Mrs Jeffrey and Mr Bryans on Thursday at teatime and the fun didn’t stop until Sunday at midnight!

After collapsing exhausted on Thursday night from their journey, the group leapt into Friday action with visits to the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Covent Garden before enjoying a fantastic performance of Wicked. Saturday saw visits to Madame Tussaud’s, the London Eye and the Christmas market- but nothing compared with the London Dungeon, which was so terrifying the group started saying the school prayer.

Sunday began with mass in Fulham, where the group was made very welcome by the Parish Priest and congregation before they hit the shops, including Harrods and Oxford Street. A tired but happy bunch returned to Motherwell at midnight on Sunday.

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Fashion trip to London

The Home Economics and Art Department have a shared topic of fashion design and so they organised a joint trip to the Victoria and Albert museum in London to see two special exhibitions: Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear and You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970.

As part of their time in London pupils also had the opportunity to visit the London Eye and the restaurant Planet Hollywood.

London

Report from Stephanie O’Raw

Friday 6th February, midnight. Our double-decker coach departs Our Lady’s High School and we’re off to London! However our excitement soon turned to exhaustion a few hours into the journey and almost everyone was fast asleep.

In what really seemed like no time at all we had our last service station stop and were now keenly looking out for our first glimpse of a famous London landmark. The coach turned a corner and in front of us was Trafalgar Square. It now truly felt like we’d finally arrived in London! We then started to recognise many of the street names from the monopoly board, Park Lane, Oxford Street, Strand….

Our first stop was Covent Garden. At nine o’clock on a Saturday morning many vendors were setting up their stalls for a busy market day. We were intrigued by the old toy shop and a brilliant cake shop with cakes so colourful and perfect it was hard to tell if they were plastic or edible.

A short while later, after lunch, it was time to regroup and head to the “Queen’s Theatre” for our matinee performance of the longest running musical in the West End, Les Miserables. The show takes place during a revolution in France and has wonderful special effects, lighting and scenery but for some of the group it was a rather scary experience, not due to the realistic battle scenes recreated on stage, but because we were seated in the “God’s” and vertigo was kicking in. However, they soon recovered and after a wonderful performance we headed to an Italian restaurant, La Locanda, for dinner and then, as we were all completely shattered, we went straight to the Hotel Ibis and it was off to bed.

It really was a shock to our systems when the alarms went off at 7 o’clock on Sunday morning and bleary-eyed, we headed down to breakfast. Today, we were going to Madam Tussauds. On arrival, to our delight, we discovered there was a Big Brother Diary Room so we all piled in to sit on the chair and talk to Big Brother and receive one of his notorious tasks. We then had hours of fun posing with the life-like waxworks including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tiger Woods and Shrek. Next, we explored Madam Tussaud’s dungeon (not for the faint hearted like myself) which was a dark room emulating an old prison but there were live actors lurking behind every corner ready to jump out and terrify you. The only plus side of this part was they were preparing us for what we would experience on Monday in the London Dungeons!

After Madam Tussauds, we got back on the bus and made for Oxford Street. Everyone, particularly the girls, were really excited about this spot of retail therapy and driving down Oxford Street, enroute to our bus stop, to our great delight, we passed a huge Primark bigger than the Debenhams in Glasgow… Shopping Heaven!!!

At four o’clock, we all regrouped to compare bargains and walked down to the Hard Rock Café for dinner. The Hard Rock Café is decorated like an old American Diner with lots of Rock “n” Roll antiques hanging from the walls. We hungrily munched into our burgers and expressed our anticipation for the next activity, a night flight on the London Eye. As we boarded our pod we could see the Houses of Parliament lit up and tried in vain to spot Buckingham Palace. We also “spied” the MI5 building. The view down the River Thames was truly breathtaking.

Monday was our last day in London and a scary ordeal faced us in the form of the London Dungeons. This truly terrifying, but somewhat educational, tour takes you through London’s history including a “haircut” by Sweeny Todd, a trip through the wreckage of the Great Fire of London and the notorious murderer Jack the Ripper even makes a brief appearance. Thanks to Mr Millar being found “guilty as charged” in The London Dungeon’s courtroom, we were all sentenced to a trip to the torture chamber which ended with a backwards boat-ride to the east-end of London.

After the dungeons it was back to Oxford Street for some last minute shopping and then we headed to Pizza Hut for an all-you-could-eat feast. Our last stop was the “Apollo Victoria Theatre” for what truly was the highlight of our trip, a performance of the musical “Wicked”. This prequel to the Wizard of Oz had everyone cheering as flying monkeys, broomsticks and a spectacular bubble blowing swing flew across the stage before our eyes. The music was amazing and Elphaba’s (The “Wicked Witch of the West”) rendition of “Defying Gravity” is something many of us will never forget. We were all, even the boys, queuing up to buy the soundtrack at the interval. After a standing ovation, our time in London was almost over.

We went back to our hotel for the last time to pack up our stuff and get a, ahem “good night’s sleep” before getting back on the bus at nine o’clock the next morning to head back home to bonny Scotland.

Planes, trains and automobiles

The Social Subjects trip to London, 16th-18th June 2008.

London 2008On Monday 16th June, 33 bleary-eyed S4 pupils met outside the school gates for an action-packed 3-day trip to London accompanied by four members of OLHS staff – Mrs Letham, Miss Newman, Mr Smith and Mr Law. We headed by coach to Glasgow Airport and flew to Stansted Airport, where we took the Stansted Express then the London underground to the Hotel National in London’s Russell Square area. From there we headed by the underground OLHS, London 2008 (which would become very familiar over the next few days) to Knightsbridge to view Mr Al Fayed’s expensive merchandise in the world-famous Harrods store. The group then took in some of London’s famous sights, including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and 10 Downing Street.

London 2008Following an invigorating power-walk to the South Bank, led by our esteemed geographer Miss Newman, we enjoyed ice creams and a well-earned rest on the London Eye. Here we had the opportunity to view the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Nelson’s Column amongst many of London’s other sights from the air. London 2008After dining in China Town, we made our way to Piccadilly Circus and spent an hour in the Trocadero Centre. However we did have a run-in with the fashion police here after almost the whole group decked themselves out in new hats!

OLHS in London 2008On Tuesday morning we visited Covent Garden and were all impressed with the various stalls and activities to be found there. Another trip on the underground took us to the O2 Centre to visit the Tutankhamun Exhibition, where we were amazed at the artefacts on display – some of which were 3500 years old! In the evening we travelled to the West End for dinner and an evening in the Shaftesbury Theatre where we enjoyed a spectacular performance of Hairspray, starring Michael Ball.

Nice hat. OLHS London 2008An early rise on Wednesday morning allowed us time for breakfast in the hotel before we headed to Westminster to enjoy a tour around the Houses of Parliament. After visiting the Natural History Museum it was time to make the journey back to Stansted Airport for our flight back to Scotland. Exhausted, but having experienced a fantastic few days, all returned safe and well to OLHS around 9pm… still wearing the new hats!