A Sunderland man's memories of his boyhood school trip to Holland and Belgium in 1955

It’s the season when thrilled children get to go on a trip with their school.

Friday, 10th June 2022, 11:56 am

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Whether it’s down the road to a nearby museum or a long-awaited journey abroad, it’s always a memorable occasion.

And for Ian Batley, his visit to Waterloo was so memorable, he recorded it all in a scrapbook – 67 years ago.

Now the Sunderland man has shared photos and extracts from his trip to Belgium and Holland with Argyle House School.

Ian Batley's scrapbook memories of his 1955 trip to Belgium, Holland and the battlefield of Waterloo.

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Chris Cordner reports.

Imagine it. You are fresh-faced youngster of 15 and you are about to embark on a holiday to one of the most famous battlefields in world history.

For Ian Batley, it became reality in 1955 when he went abroad with Argyle House School and kept a detailed memory of it all.

Our thanks go to Ian for sharing it and we hope it inspires other Echo readers to share their own school trip memories.

The Argyle House School students and staff which went on the trip in 1955.

Let’s take a look at some of the extracts.

April 13. A school party to Belgium and Holland. We were taken by Mr Pattison and Mr Wray. Train to King’s Cross. Got there at 5.15am. ‘We wandered round London, had breakfast and left Liverpool St Station for Harwich at 5.55am.’

Boarded a ship for the Hook of Holland and arrived at 6.15pm.

April 15. ‘A day of sightseeing – or sun.’ Landmarks viewed included the narrowest street, widest bridge and the royal palace. ‘There are 62 canals in the city’.

The Jeugd Hotel where Ian and his fellow students stayed.

April 16. Went to Rotterdam and saw many windmills on the way. Morning coffee at Scheveningen. Boys and girls were selling flowers by the roadside.

Went to The Hague where we saw the Parliament houses. From here after lunch, we went round a little model village.

April 17. Went to the church and in the afternoon we went to the nautical museum where we saw many ships, and a museum where we saw many famous paintings.

April 18. We went to book tickets to watch the film Vera Cruz. We went to the zoo, had lunch, went to the shops and went to the pictures.

The ticket for the canal boat.

April 19. Left Amsterdam for Brussels. ‘We stayed at a hotel in Belgium whereas a hostel in Holland. The food in Belgium was better than Holland.

April 20. We went to the Brussels shops in the morning and had lunch in the afternoon. We saw many beautiful buildings. Among them were the Palace of Justice, the Royal park.

April 21. Today we went to Waterloo. Mont St John is a village with a farm. The farm sheltered wounded from the battle.

The hill with the lion stands 60 metres high. The monument of the Belgians was erected in 1914 at the memory of the Belgian soldiers killed at the Battle of Waterloo. They fought for the independence of their country and the honour of their flag.

April 22. We had a last look around Brussels.

April 23. We said goodbye to friends we had made and set off at 11.15am.

Ian's ticket to see the Panorama of Waterloo.

Our thanks go to Ian for some wonderful recollections.

What are your memories of your favourite school trip and do you have photos to show us?

Re-live those exciting childhood times by emailing [email protected]

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When Sunderland celebrated a Jubilee with bunting made out of fish and crabs
A tour guide for Waterloo.
Transport with a difference in Amsterdam.
Mr Pattison tucks in to a large ice cream.
Ian pictured in 1955.
Ian Batley, pictured recently. He has kindly shared photos and memories of his 1955 school trip to Holland and Belgium.