Soviet Union (Easter 1975)


By D. Neal

A party of twenty boys with Mr. Hawley and Mr. Cahill spent a very enjoyable eleven days in the U.S.S.R. at Easter. The flight, by Topolev jet, was very fast and smooth. On the plane we were given a superb lunch (on the way home it included caviar) but at Moscow's Sheremetievo Airport we waited two hours for our baggage to be unloaded and it was a further hour before we left the airport. There we joined our Intourist bus and our cheerful, indomitable guide Natasha, a fiery personality and, for the most part, an organisational genius. In Moscow we stayed at the Hotel Bucharest, where the food was diabolical, but the hotel itself was situated in the centre of the city with excellent bedroom views of the Kremlin and Red Square. We paid interesting visits in Moscow to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and an evening performance of the Bolshoi (with Anna Pavlova's granddaughter dancing the lead) at the magnificent 6000 seat Palace of Congresses in the Kremlin. While we were staying in Moscow, preparations were being made in Red Square for the famous May Day Soviet parade.

In Leningrad, we stayed at the luxurious Hotel Sputnik on the outskirts of the city. One very interesting excursion was to Pavlovsk, the Summer Palace of the Tsars. It was heavily bombed by the Germans during the war, and the superb restoration work, particularly on the floor, was so delicate that we had to wear "overshoes'' inside. Our evening visit in Leningrad was to a circus on ice, whose highly original performance included bears playing ice hockey and blindfold ice motor-cyclists. While we were staying in Leningrad, the anniversary of Lenin's birthday occurred. We all sang "Happy Birthday, Dear Lenin'', and there were flags and pictures on the buses and outside buildings: a feature of the U.S.S.R. is the hero-worship of Lenin.

We were constantly approached by anxious Russians willing to bargain almost anything for our chewing gum. We were offered money, badges, medallions and a variety of other objects, although bartering is banned by the Soviet Government.

Our thanks are due to Mr. Hawley and Mr. Cahill for an interesting and enjoyable trip.

D. Neal

1976 School Magazine


Mr David Lewis Owen (1961)

School Fair (Magazines)

The Old Boys' Association
(1961-62 Magazine)

The Future of the School
(1956 Summer Magazine)