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Geography Trips

My recollection goes back only to the early 1970s when these were being held at a variety of centres in this country as well as in Europe, often jointly with the Girls' Division and sometimes with other schools.  The Netherlands and France became regular venues and could be visited during the shorter holidays.  Land reclamation, with agricultural and industrial studies allowed a varied programme in the Netherlands.  The developments taking place in the Mediterranean region, as well as varied landscapes were the basis of work in France.

A very popular field trip involved travelling to the divided city of Berlin for some days study, with a stay in the Netherlands on the way back.  This was made possible by a degree of subsidy from the federal government which kept costs down.  The changes in land use in the divided city, surrounded by the Berlin Wall, as well as historical locations were of great interest.  The contrasts between the the prosperity of the Allied zones and the dinginess and poverty of East Berlin were striking.  The militarised checkpoints and the threatening presence of the Wall and its minefields made a lasting impression, as did the people we met in both eastern and western zones.  I seem to remember that one of our groups was there a few weeks before the wall was breached in November 1989.

These field trips were inspired by Derrick Shaw who was the Head of Geography for many years, and were later taken over by Andrew Compton.  They were hard work at the time, but gave us many good memories.

HJ