1982: Denmark, Newcastle and Bristol within a year

Wednesday 4th August 1982

Arrived in Lubeck late last evening so we  had to get sorted with the youth hostel and didn’t see much of the town. The Jugendherberge is pretty good and in a good location, not far from the river. We walked through the centre, a mediaeval island with a fine central square and lots of small bars to sit and watch things go by. We had a breakfast from the local store in the central square and then went to the river and took a harbour trip. It wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be. I was expecting it to be a trip where they pointed out more buildings and distinctive architecture, much like you would get in Amsterdam’s canal trips. Our trip took us way downstream, in among the tankers and industrial dockyards of the Trave River. It was a bit like a brilliant trip on a much larger version of Avonmouth Docks. We caught the train out about 2, next stop Copenhagen. We had to get the train ferry at Puttgarden. The train goes straight on the ferry as a unit and straight off on rails on the other side at Rodby.. It was a good chance to catch up on some sleep.

We decided it would be best to stay a few nights at our next stop. The usual trip to the central tourist information centre said it would be best to go on to Helsingor. Copenhagen was very busy and we were a bit late for the best hostels so we arrived late afternoon to a brilliant hostel near the beach. Halsingor will be worth a day doing the Shakespeare bits. We are planning at least a day in Copenhagen so we have booked two nights before we head back south.

 lubeck street map

My Lubeck Street map

 helsingor map

Halsingor map with Dan Hostel marked

 train to ferry helsingor

The Ferry entrance

I was doubting myself as to the correct year of the trip until I found my map of Copenhagen dated 1982

copenhagen map

My map of wonderful Copenhagen printed 1982

This was my last holiday with my best mate from home. “Studs” joined me in our inter rail tour of Northern Europe. Chris was working as a traffic planner for the local council and only had a couple of weeks so we were in to the third day of a fortnight long rush around Holland, Germany and Denmark. The route took us via Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Norddeich,, Groningen, Amsterdam and Haarlem. We had a good time, had a last chance to do stupid things with bikes, beers and breweries before getting back to proper jobs, serious girlfriends and all that being responsible professionals could throw at us now 23 year olds.

 Chris studley Lubeck

Sightseeing in Lubeck

 chris studley sommariva helsingor

 Chris waiting for the train at Sommeriva, Helsingor

 Kermit - Lubeck dockyards

The Kermit in Lubeck Harbour

Back in Milton Keynes I had completed my probationary year as a teacher and “despite being somewhat untidy in record keeping, I had built up good relationships with staff and pupils and was able to take on further responsibility.” The responsibility came with coaching a rugby team and organising my first field trips.

I had responsibility for the U13 Rugby team of 1982 -83 season. I had no experience of coaching nor experience of organising a team, My only aim was to get the team to be able to play the game by the end of the year and improve. Leon School sports teams are always good in the end. They have an in-built competitive nature that once organised will win more often than not. This age group however have and had very little motivation to get out of bed on a Saturday morning or to attend practice on a weekday evening. Little did I know that coaching would mean knocking on doors of pupils who promised you faithfully the day before they would be there but were not even at home the next morning. To be fair to the students re practice, they were often the first to be in detentions on the same evening and no way could I get them out of the school discipline structures. The team had some talented sportsmen but not many talented Rugby players. I do however remember many of the lads who were later in their school time able to get over my coaching and become a decent team. I still wonder what became of these chaps, .Paul Malyjerek, Sean Watkiss, Tony Pozzutto, Paul Lines, Lee Demetriou, Kevin Dear, Lawrence Hamer, Shaun Garretty. Tony McMurray, Marlon Morgan and the others whose name I have forgotten.

The first field trip as probably the worst ever. It would have been as boring as boring could be but I had to show I could organise a trip on a larger scale. I decided that as part of the school Geography Unit we should compare Milton Keynes with a very different contrasting settlement. MK is in central England so we should go to the coast. It is obviously very modern so we needed something historic. It had industry based on services so we should find an industrial centre. My trip to Bristol took in a trip to the Downs, a walk around the city centre and a coach tour of the grain silos and potash conveyor belts of Avonmouth docks. I had organised a rare tour by contacting Mike Harse, an old family friend who was a manager at the port. He personally gave us the guided tour. We stopped off somewhere in the Cotswolds on the way back but it didn’t rank as the most active and interesting of field trips. Back in the Lakes Estate I decided that trips to the park in Water Eaton to measure stream flow and do field sketching was probably more appropriate.  In a normal lesson time we could walk the ten minutes to the river, take a few measurements and stroll back through the Lakes estate in time for the bell at the end of a lesson. Sorted!

On April 2nd of 1982 we were driving back from my first residential trip with “A” level students. We had been on a week-long residential organised by John Earp. We walked around depressed mining villages in County Durham, talked with fishermen in Tynemouth, visited and measured the Tees near High Force, climbed fells and did proper Geography stuff. The date is significant as the class tuned in to the radio to hear that the Falklands war was about to begin. That was a great way to get students chatting on a long mini bus journey home. The following year it would my turn to organise this trip without the essential leadership of John Earp.

field trippers high force

Mssrs. Ambrose, Lassman and Squire among the trippers at High Force

 guy plumb high force

Now pub Landlord, Guy Plumb doing Guy Plumb things

 Question. Where was Mary Hickman?

Sport wise I had finished my first season playing Rugby for Bletchley. During the summer most of those who liked cricket played for Bletchley Sports in the midweek league. Fifteen eight ball overs was good fun and sometimes a high standard. This was a team made up of a mix of Bletchley town cricket and Rugby players. The more serious players were also signed up by Andy Tooley into playing for Rickley Park. League Cricket was soon to be the norm on the Saturday but for this season the friendlies were as competitive, as they were, born out of a history of a club founded as Old Rodexians, a works team with many works team fixtures.

 rickley park 1982

Looking at my fixture card for the season. The averages seemed quite important at the time. For the record I was averaging 26.2 with the bat before this trip.  This sort of set the usual pattern. Score runs up to July. Never play in August as always away on holiday and then watch the average slide in the rain of September.


1990       USA Boston

1991       USA Los Angeles

1992       USA Chicago

1993       USA West Yellowstone

1995       USA Breckenridge

1998       USA Arches N Park

2000       USA Franconia Lonesome Lake

2001       Forest Green R A 1-2

2002       USA Kelso

2003       USA Crater Lake

2004       NEW ZEALAND Ski Resort Golf Cross

2010       Worcestershire

2011       Glamorgan


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