Friday, June 22, 2012

West Pennard and Paulton Junior

Good King Hal, belting out an eye watering version of "Don't Fence Me In" on Tudor Britain's Got Plague on Ye TV1.  Lord Callow of the High Slung Slacks called it staggeringly bad, before being hung drawn and quartered, which gave him a chance for a bit of a re-think.  His brutal execution certainly perked up the music charts.

After the early week visit to Newberries in Hertfordshire, it was nice to be back in Somerset and visiting two of my favourite schools in my home county.  First up was Wednesday and a seventh visit to West Pennard School near Glastonbury.  I first ever went to this school on the invite of Ian Gouge, a wonderfully insane teacher and one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet.  He has since moved up a year and now looks after the year six group, so for the previous few years the year five group I entertain are looked after by Tony Wheat - another absolutely lovely chap. 
The morning drive over to West Pennard was very nice - the situation of the school has to be one of the most idyllic you can imagine.  It is tucked away in a back lane of this lovely little village nestling in next to the beautifully Gothic tower of the village church and it's Westminster Chimes clock.  Once inside the school, the staff room has to have the finest view of any school I visit throughout the country.  It has sliding doors leading out onto a sun trap of a patio area, with views across the fields to the striking silhouette of Glastonbury Tor and the tower of St Michael's at it's peak on the not too distant horizon.  Just magical!
It was a fun group on this day - about 30 children and all very enthusiastic.  A whole barrel of laughs all round and lots of good Tudor knowledge.  We began in the brand new library that they have had built (which had been opened by Michael Eavis of Glastonbury Festival fame!) which was particularly nice as, with it being such a hot day we were in the only large room in the school with air conditioning.  Superb.  Another fine lunch of yet more sausages - you can't escape them this week!  We were then back to the main hall for stocks and jousting.  The tournament was very good - virtually everyone who took part was talented and showed a good natural affinity for it, but as it was it was the Gentlemen who streaked away in the final for a relatively comfortable win.  Our score after West Pennard moves on to:
Is the comeback growing in momentum??  Watch this space, or simply scroll down to the bottom of this report for the next result!
Thursday morning was a different weathered beast all together.  Heavy over night rain had subsided and instead I awoke to a murky, misty, almost foggy morning.  I was driving up to almost all the way to Bristol for another return visit to another lovely school - Paulton Junior in.... er.... Paulton.  I was warmly welcomed by the two teachers for the day - new people who hadn't been in with the show before, so it would be nice for them (I hope).  It was a big turn out of over 60 children, all of them in fabulous Tudor costumes.  Well, we had a truly wonderful day, the children began the day a little on the quiet side, but by the time they warmed up it was like trying to stop an express train.  Lunch was a pasta and meatball explosion of taste (and not sausages!) and then we were in the main hall for the stocks and jousting.  What a final we had in the jousting. It was so close - all the teams that took part were good.  But it was almost inevitable that it would be the ladies who claimed the win to keep the distance between them and the boys back to how it was again.  Our score ticks over to:
The evening was spent with Matthew Applegate from Barrington Court, where we met up at the Rose and Crown at East Lambrook for a spot of beer, or several.  It was nice to see the pub full and with some atmosphere for a change, rather than the somewhat sombre, morgue like place it can be when certain people are behind the bar....
Right, driving up to Essex now for an overnight stay with my lovely son James, then off to the Guildhall in London tomorrow to hopefully keep the Lord Mayor entertained.

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