3rd Our Lady’s Pals Battalion visit to the Battlefields 9th -14th June

2013_0614_1623Report by Major Letham

On the 9th of June the 3rd Our Lady’s Pals Battalion led by Colonel Smith, Major Letham,  Lieutenant Pegard and Captain Halket left Motherwell to visit the Western Front.  We followed in the footsteps of those men who fought at Loos and the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium.

 Experiences which stood out

  • The atmosphere on the bus when singing the First World War songs.  The 3rd Our Lady’s Pals were outstanding.
  • British and German graveyards where we heard amazing stories about individual men
  • The monuments at Thiepval and the Menin Gate which are dedicated to the missing in battle.
  • Our remembrance ceremony at Poelkapelle Cemetery  Calum Wilson read out the poem “In Flanders Field”;  Hannah Coakely lit a candle and placed it on the altar;  Ryan Harbinson and Kieran Cubis placed a wreath of poppies on the altar with a message from the 3rd Pals
  • We visited the grave of one of our own from the Motherwell/Wishaw district.  In a very moving ceremony we placed a cross and a poppy on the grave of Private Peter Lynch from Cleland.  Peter was the great-great-uncle of Daniel Leonard and this was the first time someone had paid a visit to his grave.

Down Time

We had a great time on the Ferry.  We all loved the food and the disco.  Members of the public on the ship were so impressed with our dancing and singing that we received standing ovations.  Corey Slavin’s dancing in particular was amazing.  In the beautiful medieval city of Bruges we went sightseeing on the canal boats and on the horse and carriages.  There were so many souvenirs to choose from and most of us brought back masses of Belgian chocolate.

We were promised before we left on the trip that we would return to Motherwell as changed people.  This has undoubtedly been the case.

For more information and pictures, check out this site.


2nd year pupils at OLHS have started a new Interdisciplinary Learning class, finding out about the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France.

Two classes meet on Wednesday mornings and three on Thursday mornings. Staff involved include Mrs Fitzpatrick, Mrs McAlinden and Mr Pegard from Modern Languages, Mrs Letham and Mr Smith from Social Subjects, Ms Steinert from Art, Miss Kane from Religious Education, Mrs Macfadyen from the LRC and Classroom Assistants, Mrs Johnstone and Mrs McFall.

To begin with, pupils got organised into groups, and looked at some heraldic designs, before creating their own gorgeous coats of arms along with French mottos like, Comme un reynard.


Secret Bunker

Report by Mrs Letham

The Social Subjects Department took a group of 34 S1/S2 pupils to St Andrews to visit the Secret Bunker.  We enjoyed finding out about the arrangements which had been put in place for important people in Scotland in the event of a Nuclear War.

Pupils also enjoyed speculating on what would have happened to the ordinary people of Scotland in the event of Nuclear War, and also where the secret hideout for “important people” is today! 

The weather was so good, we then went on to the beautiful coastal town of Anstruther where we were able to sample the local delicacies.  

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!