Trip to Rome (Easter 1962)


By D. J. Allen

On the 9th of April, 1962, thirty-two boys and four masters assembled at Victoria station for the start of the St. Nicholas trip to Rome. We travelled by train to Dover, where we boarded the cross-channel boat for Calais. On our arrival at Calais after a calm crossing, we were taken to the train in which we were to travel through France and Switzerland to Milan.

We found the scenery of Northern France very dull, but as we neared the Swiss border, although it was growing dark by then, we could make out the silhouettes of the mountains. We slept for a short period and woke to find ourselves high up in the Alps amid thick snow. The views were, to say the least, spectacular and I think the descent from the mountains to Milan was, scenically. the best part of the journey.

In Milan we changed trains, and the last stage of our journey to Rome was uneventful except for running into snow again while Crossing the Appenines.

On our first morning in Rome we were taken to St. Peter's and the Vatican, the official residence of the Pope. We found the interior very impressive and greatly admired the works of Michaelangelo.

Throughout our stay in Rome we were allowed to spend half the day exploring Rome by ourselves. The ancient city was extremely interesting, and it was quite an odd feeling to stand it the Forum and remember that two thousand years ago the people we hear of in History actually walked, talked and carried on their daily business there. We visited the Colosseum, the catacombs, the fountains of Trevi, the Castel St. Angelo, and the Pantheon. As well as exploring the city we made three coach trips: one to the ancient port of Ostia, and the other two to the Gardens of Tivoli and the Castelli Romani.

We had a wonderful time in Rome and, on behalf of all the boys who went, I should like to thank the masters who did so much to make the trip wholly enjoyable and a great success.

D. J. ALLEN, PA 17

1961-62 School Magazine

Steve Bacon writes -

"The staff involved with the Rome trip at Easter 1962 were Messrs. Winter, Dixon, Owen and Tilbrook.  It was a wonderful coincidence that we were there on Palm Sunday which is one of the fairly rare occasions when the Pope attends Mass at St. Peters.  Staff and quite a few of the boys went to experience the occasion.  We stood in the nave and were duly blessed by Pope John XXIII as he was carried past us on a ceremonial throne.  Again, I may be able to expand on the trip in due course."


Six Years of the School Fair (1962)

Recollections (from former pupils)

History of the School

Soviet Union Easter Visit (1975)