Business, Economics and Media Studies
London Trip 2017 Report
By Maisie N. (Media Studies, Year 12)
On Tuesday 27th June, 35 Business, Economics and Media Studies students and 4 teachers made our way down to London on the train, for an overnight stay and two days full of educational and cultural activities. We did a lot of walking, talking, and consequent whinging as a result of all the walking!
We assembled at Runcorn station at 8:30, to get the train at 9:03, and arrived a couple of hours later at Euston Station, from where we walked to the Generator hostel. We left our bags, found our assigned groups and received our travel cards and then made our way to Russell Square station. This station, much to our dismay, is famous, or more infamous, for its 175 stairs down to the platform. Not ideal. Especially for 30 odd students walking all day and getting back up late at night, and certainly not for those with any sense of claustrophobia or vertigo! However, our step count was fantastic and we didn’t feel guilty about our chocolate brownies at dinner time!
We began at Covent Garden, where we had a leisurely lunch whilst listening to live opera and then split into our Media and Business/Economics groups to do our first activity. Media Studies students went to the BBFC and listened to a fascinating talk about how films, TV series and such are rated, and the history of how the BBFC has evolved from being essentially a ‘censorship’ organisation in 1912, to a modern day certification and advisory board today, all about awareness and choice rather than censoring or condemning. It was very interesting, but at times quite shocking with the clips shown. Business and Economics went to the Bank of England and learnt about the Government’s inflationary target 2.0 and how monetary policy is used to control the economy.
We then reassembled at Covent Garden and went for dinner at Smollensky’s Bar and Grill. Our pre-ordered meals (mostly burgers or fish and chips) went down very well before we made our way to Theatre Royal on Drury Lane for the fantastic 42nd Street. It was full of jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring tap dancing and a brilliant score, with a great narrative of a young girl, Peggy, who wants to make it big on Broadway back in the 1930’s. We returned to the hostel and collapsed into the rooms, legs quivering from the trek up through the underground station and those endless spiral staircases!
We were back up for 7:30 breakfast and a departure at 7:45, which was slightly delayed but we got to the Houses of Parliament on time. Gosh was that an experience: I personally struggle with getting to school on time, but rush hour in London is another world! We were alerted we would be wowed when we came out of the station, and I think this was definitely the reaction, as 30-ish cameras and phones flung into the air, amazed by the sight of The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) standing 96m above us. We were shown around by a very entertaining and informative guide, Barbara, as she gave us a snippets of the rich history that lies within the Palace of Westminster. After our tour we met our new local MP for Weaver Vale, Mike Amesbury, who enthusiastically answered all our questions ranging from how he got into politics, to taxation and education.
We then got a bit of time on the riverfront to get lunch (McDonalds for a large proportion of us), the proceeded to the London Eye, which gave some spectacular views! Our last visit was just round the corner to the BPI (British Phonographic Industry). This time it focused on the UK music industry (UK’s 3rd largest export) and especially The Brits (note: if you want to do business with an artist, always talk to the manager, the artists themselves are often clueless apparently). We also discussed our futures and they qualities future employers would be looking for in interviews.
Finally, we returned to the Generator and picked up our bags, then got back to Euston and collected some home time snacks. There was a bit of a delay on the train, but that didn’t prevent us from having a good time whilst dreaming of our beds that awaited us after the journey.
Overall, we had an unforgettable experience in the capital, with some awesome memories. Thank you to the four teachers who put up with us bunch, and thanks for not losing us on the trains! Especially thank you to Mrs Dougherty, who organised this brill time for us – we really appreciate it!