Ski Tour (1959-60)

SKI TOUR 1959-60


At an unearthly hour on 29th December, 1959, over 30 prospective skiers rather blearily boarded the coach outside the school gates. Only Mr Astbury failed to answer his name and he joined us after an impressive sprint along Joel Street.

We left Southend Airport at 10.30 a.m. and in next to no time, it seemed, we were looking down at a tiny lake which turned out to be Lake Geneva. The flight had passed without incident, except for the slight misgivings we had when it seemed that the Alps were in our way and when a rumour was spread by one of the party, while we were flying through a cloud, that three-quarters of one wing were missing.

We reached the Hotel Richemont safely. and found both accommodation and food superb. The patron and his wife were really admirable hosts.

Our first lesson in ski-ing brought us down to earth in more ways than one, Gone were those fanciful dreams of skimming silently over the frozen wastes with the ease and skill of champions. After instruction in how to put on and remove skis and how to move forwards in an upright position, we were allowed to tackle a few gentle slopes - this will explain the worn seats of ski-trousers that most of the party took home to Mum. Then we learnt to get to the tops of steeper slopes (by side-stepping and "herring-boning" and how to stop (always a useful accomplishment). We boys weren't the only ones to take a tumble: some of the masters needed assistance in getting unravelled.

About half-way through the holiday we graduated to the steeper slopes, where we learnt to "traverse", that is, move a great distance sideways across the slope of the hill so that one does not lose height. By this time our Swiss instructor was wont to climb up a perilous slope overlooking a sheer drop into some abyss, cry "We go. Yes. Follow me!" and disappear into the depths. He was a kindly man and always helped us to sort ourselves out afterwards. The fact that small Swiss children aged about five years could tackle these slopes without mishap did not help our self-esteem. On the last day the instructors gave us a test, and David Thursfield won first prize. It was a splendid holiday, and I am sure we are all grateful to the four masters who made the whole trip possible.


1959-60 School Magazine


School Fair (1962)

M.P. Melee (1958)


School Rules