It's not often that I get bookings in schools this late in the academic year. I had been contacted by a lovely lady called Alex Rutherford who had invited me to Broadford Primary School in Harold Hill near Romford. This was a completely new school for me, and they had heard of me through one of their teachers who had previously seen me at Nelson Primary in East Ham. Apparently Broadford was previously an aircraft hanger, probably from the Second World War, which then became a school in the post war years. The outside of the school doesn't really inspire confidence as there is a mass of corrugated iron on display, but once inside you are presented with a wonderfully friendly school, welcoming and bright, with some terrific children and some of the nicest teachers I've met inside the M25!
The school were having a mega History week with various visits from Spartans, and other historical figures. On the day I was there some of the smaller children were having a Victorian day and several of their teachers were swanning around in long skirts and flowery high collared blouses. I kept half expecting to see Sue English leaping out of a cupboard dressed as a Viking at any moment, but thankfully that horrific moment never happened.
We had a fine day with some fun and laughter mixed in with all the learning. After my opening talk the children wanted to quiz me with various questions they had written and it turned into something of a press conference with the King! I was bombarded with questions but it was fun. After a lovely lunch of lasagne we were in the main hall again where first the children gave a demonstration of their singing prowess, followed by a Tudor dance they had been learning. We then went for a full on jousting session which was hilarious, particularly one of the ladies teams which was so laid back that a team of three-toed sloths with no enthusiasm would have lapped. The final was won by a very talented ladies team who came storming back on the last leg to pip the gents in an exciting finale. After a quick teacher's race it was time to close the 2008/09 academic year - it has been a good and very busy one including my 500th visit to a school, so good things all round. At the end of the day I was informed by some of the children and teachers that despite everything else that had been going on, and all the other visits they had experienced during their History week, my show and presentation had been the best, most informative and entertaining. I was most flattered, it was very nice of them to say so!
I have a quick holiday in Wales next week but I will soon be back in Henry work donning my tights for the Southchurch Hall Tudor Weekend at the beginning of August.