Former staff, 1997-2015

Peter Fuller

Peter remembers leading the annual ‘Cycle France’ trip with Senior School pupils:

“The first trip took place in 1981 when I was Technology teacher in Isleworth Grammar School. 

In April 1997, I joined the staff at Claremont Fan Court and asked the headmaster, Mr. Gordon Hunt if he would allow me to organise a cycle trip for the pupils the following year. He was very positive and he said he would like to accompany me, and continued to do so for several years. When we meet now, he still claims, “they were the best school trips that I went on.”

Pupils signed up in early Spring and attended weekly meetings during the lunch break, in the workshop for preparation lessons which included constructing a sturdy panier rack from plywood and aluminium. We then went on a 40 mile ride to check fitness and roadcraft, L.D.S.M. LOOK (behind you), DECISION, SIGNAL, MANOEUVRE.” 

“The first day, fully loaded with camping gear, we cycled 65 miles where we camped the night at Itford Farm, Southease, on the South Downs Way. After breaking camp at 6am, we cycled the 6 miles to catch the Newhaven Ferry to Dieppe. A further 10 miles west (15km) along the coast and we arrived at our “unauthorised” campsite on a footpath in Quiberville on the bank of the river “Saâne.” After pitching our tents the most important task, dig our girls and boys latrines with our garden trowel! 

We experienced only friendship from the locals passing on the footpath and paid for showers in the local campsite. However, on one occasion, Mr Hunt announced, “We have had a visitation” when we returned from a day out. Miss Cuthbert’s tent had been taken and the contents left in a pile on the grass. In future, we alarmed the tents when we went out for the day but never had any more trouble! 

During our stay, we would visit the Chateau Museum in Dieppe, the Manoir d’Ango in Varengeville, Veules les Roses, “The prettiest village in France” and the British War Graves at St. Valery en Caux, where we resisted the German advancing army in 1939. We also visited many cake shops! A remark by one of the girls, “I never eat as much at home,” to which I replied, “You never normally work as hard!” Ten trips were made by more than a hundred pupils, the last being in 2007.”