Mid Essex Tech 1956-1958


School Trip to Vevey, Switzerland - Easter 1956

Names in picture 2 provided by Liz Holliday (nee Maureen Merredew 1953-56)

Vevey sur Lac Leman
At last the long-awaited day arrived. We all assembled at the bus station at 8.30 a.m. to take the coach to Victoria and from there by train to Folkestone. After an uneventful crossing, we boarded the train for our long journey across France to Basle. At 4-56 a.m. on Thursday, 5th April, we tumbled out of the train at Basle to enjoy our first continental breakfast before boarding the train for Vevey. It was on this part of the journey that we had our first glimpse of Switzerland, and how beautiful it looked in the early morning sun. The train screeched to a standstill—it was Vevey at last. A special coach awaited us for the final stage of our journey to the hotel "Beau Reveil", where everyone seemed friendly and helpful. After our first lunch, we wandered around the area to get acquainted with our surroundings. Dinner at 7.15 p.m. and so to bed.

Friday, April 6th.
After breakfast, we made our first excursion, which was along the lake to Montreux. Despite the overcast sky the trip was still enjoyable as well as interesting. After lunch, we set out to climb Mont Pelerin, as for the most part this was a new experience we found it rather hard work. Once above the snowline however we began to pay less attention to such trivialities and concentrated on throwing snowballs. Tired out we returned to the hotel for dinner and bed.

Saturday, April 7th.a.m.
Made our first tour of the town, airing our French in the shops wherever possible.

Saturday, April 7th. p.m. Went by coach to Champerey—our route took us through Montreux over the Rhone. We then began to climb steadily up the narrow winding roads until we came to the small isolated chalets tucked away in the folds of the mountains. The bus came to a standstill and we tumbled out to explore this small mountain village. With the setting sun temperatures fell so we made or way back with some breath-taking moments as the coach rounded the hairpin bends.
Sunday, April 8th.
Free morning apart from those who wished to go to the English church in Montreux. After a hurried lunch, we dressed in extra clothes to make a visit to the Roches de Naye, 6,700 ft. above sea level. From Montreux, we travelled by rack rail to the summit. Leaving Montreux far below we climbed as it were into another world -everything was snow covered, even the smallest Christmas trees. Getting out of the train we watched the skiing trials until we decided to struggle to the top where we admired the view of the surrounding mountains before sliding down to the train once again. Chugging along down to Montreux we were rather thankful that we did not have to walk; this ended another enjoyable day.
Monday, April 9th.
Breakfast over we visited the Chateau de Chillion built on the edge of Lake Geneva. Inside we explored many parts of the castle from the dungeons to the highest tower, where we had spread before us a grand view of the surrounding district.

After a lunch of soup, mashed potatoes, meat and fruit, we set off on a long walk round the mountains to Lac Brec. This, although rather hard on the shoe leather, was enjoyed by all in the bright sunshine. Returning to the hotel we found it was dinner and bed once again.

Tuesday, April 10th.
This was the day for our trip to Geneva by train. Before lunch we were shown some of the points of interest in the city, for example, the oldest house, believed to be built in 1200 A.D., the building where the red cross was first started, the cathedral, and the longest seat in the world. After a packed lunch in the English garden we visited Le Palais des Nations. We were pleased to be shown around this wonderful building, with its huge assembly halls where the leaders of the nation’s meet. From one of the windows we had a lovely view of the palace gardens with Mont Blanc in the background.
Wednesday, April 11th.
Free morning. p.m. Left hotel for a long ramble up the mountain paths, stopping now and then for a rest whenever possible, we returned to the hotel tired and weary to a dinner of vegetable soup, chips, macaroni, mushrooms and tangerines.
Thursday, April 12th.
It was not such a carefree crowd that assembled for breakfast as all realised our holiday was ending. After hurriedly throwing our belongings in our cases we took it in turns to sit on them, before we could secure the locks. This done, we went around the town to spend our remaining money on tuck for the journey. After lunch, we had our final sunbathe on the veranda. An early dinner over, we collected our cases, said goodbye to Madame and the Staff before boarding the coach for the station en-route for home.
Friday, April 13th.
mid-day. Arrived at Basle and received our packed meal, after which we climbed in the train for Calais and then by boat to Folkestone and so home. At 7 p.m. we arrived in Chelmsford, a tired but cheerful band of travellers, grateful to all who had helped to make this holiday so happy and successful.
Ann Salmon, 5.1.
published in The Midexian July 1956

More pictures can be found on    CVOSA Flickr

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