Greenhill Grammar school, Oldham

10_cartouch    -  VISITS/HOLIDAYS


The School Trip to Menton, 1961




On the 24th July forty pupils set off from Oldham West Street for Menton.  (Sorry, we collected three in Manchester).
At Stafford we had the first bit of trouble.  The self-starter would not self-start.  The rest of the journey down to London was relatively uneventful.  We were entertained (?) by the constant music of sandwich munching from the back row.

A meal was obtained at Victoria Station in the Chatham Restaurant, about which "least said soonest mended".  We collected a typical British Railways packed lunch which was supposed to survive till the following afternoon before being eaten.
The crossing was reasonable.  Some males spent the time consuming steak in the dining-room whilst the majority tried to get some sleep in the lounge.

The Customs were easily negotiated and we sampled a typical(?) Continental breakfast at Arras.  It consisted of thick, murky black coffee and deliciously succulent croissants.  The first overnight stop was at Ars-sur-Formans at the Hotel Regina.  Some people spent the evening sampling the wares of the local cafes.  Early the next morning we set off for Menton.  The scenery was lovely and the weather beautiful. We stopped several times on the way.

The hotel at Menton was comfortable and the food very good, although not always appreciated by the less adventurous of the party.

The weather was just right - or did someone say it was too hot? - and most of the time was spent on the pebbly beach.

Our visit was temporarily spoiled by the apparent reluctance of the Italian frontier guards to allow us to spend a pleasant afternoon in their beautiful country.  We did, however, manage to reach San Remo.  Some of us spent a pleasant afternoon bargain-hunting in the inexpensive shops there.  One member of staff said it was quite a sight to see a crowd of "Greenhillians" clutching 5 franc notes, in a line at the entrance to the Bureau de Change.

The following afternoon was spent in a very hot Monaco, not, we hasten to add, in the Casino.  The otherwise beautiful panorama from the castle was somewhat marred by two rusty gasometers.  Some people, who had 4/6 to spare, went into an aquarium.  We have not ventured to ask for their comments.

Whilst spending the proverbial penny, some ladies found that the money had to be deposited on a grubby looking saucer, on which reposed two cents.  A large female guarded the entrance to make sure some coin was deposited on the saucer, which she inspected as soon as they had left.  There were then four cents!

That evening three persons, who doubtless prefer to remain anonymous, sampled a typical(?) Continental dance at the local Casino - we did say a dance! - and eight young ladies spent the night in one room, the owner of the bed being turfed out to sleep on the floor (we discovered that the hotel did not have carpets with 3in. pile!).

One male spent a fortune on bottles of "Ambre Solaire".  Each bottle he bought, he broke.  At four francs a time, it became an expensive hobby.  Ask Laurie!

We, or at least some of us, went to church, the Anglican Church, in Menton, on the Sunday morning.  We think that all of us found difficulty in following the Communion Service.  Did we hear a bull?

We stayed at Ars-sur-Formans on the way back and then spent an evening in Paris wandering around looking for a very modern Metro station called Franklin D. Roosevelt.  We found it, thanks to Mrs. Kuler, and it was really worth seeing.

Our hotel was in Montmartre (if you know what we mean) and we left the following morning to tour Paris.  We went to the Eiffel Tower (where we had an eye full - we beg your pardon!), Notre Dame, etc.  Then we set off for Ostend.  We had a very good meal there and then did our last minute shopping - Ostend is quite cheap.  We boarded the boat about midnight.  This time we were able to have a sleep - for bunks had been reserved.  The boys inform us that they did not sleep.

Then came the moment we had all been waiting for. The English Customs were cleared without much difficulty - one member who is nearly eighteen was informed that she was only sixteen.  We had breakfast in Dover, dinner at the end of the M1 at Dunchurch and a quick stop at Newcastle for tea.  By now it was raining - typical English weather.  We stopped in Manchester to let Mr. and Mrs. Kuler and Stefan get off.  We arrived in Oldham, West Street, to be greeted by a steady downpour which was a great change from the weather we had previously experienced.

Our thanks are due to those who made such a holiday possible and to those members of staff who had to put up with us during the holidays as well as during term time.  We all enjoyed ourselves immensely.