YEAR 8 BOARDERS’ RACE ACROSS LONDON
Report by Olivier G (Yr 8)
On Sunday, 15th of May, the boarders in Year 8 (+Felipe) went on a Race Across London.
We left around 9:30 in the morning. We did not have our phones during the bus ride so we could not ‘track’ where we were going. Our drop-off location was meant to be ‘unknown’ to the pupils. However, from the extremely long ride and the know-how of where to get to places, we knew we were going to the Prime Meridian (which was one of the monuments we had to pass through). We hopped off the bus in 4 groups, with a departure of 5-minute intervals.
Here were the requirements: Travel at least once by Bus, Tube and Boat.
Take a picture at:
- The Prime Meridian
- Cutty Sark
- The Tower Of London
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- The British Museum
- The London Eye
- Madame Tussauds
- Marble Arch
Then we had to take a train to Windsor, after which we would take a bus back to school.
My group consisted of Teddy, Sean Z, Mr Jackson and a Georgetown University student (who was doing a study on Jesuit schools at the time).
Our first stop was the Prime Meridian, then Cutty Sark. We then (barely) caught the Uber Boat and skimmed across the Thames at 30-31 Mph, reaching the Tower of London in less than 30 minutes. We met the first 2 groups on this boat too, as we were the third to leave. However, the fourth group missed the crossing and had to wait another 15 minutes for a ride.
The Hydrocat included luxurious, comfortable seats, the type you find in Premium Economy on short-haul flights (the exception being no complimentary products). It was a stunning ride and included a stunning view too.
Once our 3 groups hopped off the river bus, we sprinted and paced up the pier, as we all wanted to win. We travelled on a tube ride to St Paul’s, after which we found out our travel cards had stopped working. That day, we were supposed to have ‘travel cards’, allowing us to travel on any TFL service for free, and a discount on the boat, with a free ride to our end destination (Windsor). However, we soon realised that we had received travel cards that had only ONE free TFL trip, and any ‘permitted’ route to Windsor.
This was bad, but also good, as it sparked an idea. We went through tube station after tube station, until we travelled on a bus to the Waterloo area, where we took a picture of the London Eye in the background, then went to the other side of the road. We were about to catch the number 68 bus to the British Museum, but Teddy had lost his Beta Travel Card. We missed that bus, and waited 10 minutes for another bus (the number 59). We then went on more tube rides until we got to Lancaster Gate.
We walked to Paddington and went on a GWR class 800 train ( AKA the Paddington to Slough Express service), which was a rapid 13 minutes! This was far different to the trains the other groups decided to take. They chose the SW trains from Waterloo, which stopped at almost every station and reached 40 mph at most. We reached a speed of 125mph for the majority of the journey.
George H reported: “I was on Snapchat, looking at my SnapMap. We were slowly moving, and then I saw Teddy speeding at like 3 times the speed!” He also said that every time the train stopped at a station, the crusty brakes screeched and squealed. Worse than the sound made in the Bakerloo line.
Once we arrived in Slough, we waited on the platform for the Windsor & Eton Central service. Soon after we hopped off our Express Train, the PA announced a non-stop at Slough, which sped past at incredible speeds! Then again, another one sped past; the issue this time being that the PA did NOT announce the passing, so it caught me by surprise. I’m just there, talking to my teammates. Then I hear a horn sound. Milliseconds later; WHOOSH!
We took the train from Slough to Windsor & Eton Central, walked to the bus stop and waited 40 minutes for a bus, which was late. Plus, it was raining.
Finally, we got back to home-sweet-home and jogged into the boarding house. We were disappointed, however, as we only came second. It was quite controversial who won, as those that came ‘first’ went to Egham, a station their ticket was not supposed to allow them to go to. We were told we had to go to Windsor, then take the bus.
But hey, at least we got extra electrics and had great fun in London.
I wanted to let you know today Sunday 15th May 2022, I was travelling on the district line of the underground. I saw some of your pupils, I would like to say they are a credit to your school, very well behaved and polite.
Mrs Lamb, London