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Hollowford 2017 Day 3

Today we spent the day in our school group and with the children from Worlingworth Primary. As the other children set off to conquer Mam Tor, we headed down into Castleton for the altogether less challenging task of browsing the gift and sweet shops of this beautiful town. It is impressive to see how many gifts can be bought for just £10 whilst still leaving enough to buy giant gobstoppers, edible money, nerds, millions, flying saucers, chocolate rocks, toxic wastes and sugar mice from, what must be, the world’s most comprehensively stocked sweetshop.

We also climbed the steep slope to take a look at the ruins of Peveril Castle. The children loved the (slightly daunting) views of Mam Tor from the top and then distracted themselves by rolling down the grassy banks, taking photographs, waving at the sheep in the gorge below and visiting the keep.

That’s when Elsie C began her campaign: “I think I’m developing a bit of a temperature Mr Leicester, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to climb up Mam Tor… I’ve got a bit of a sore throat Mr Leicester, cough, cough… I really don’t think I should be going up there Mr Leicester, it would be considered cruelty to children if you forced me… it’s probably against the UN Convention for Children’s Rights, cough, cough.” The campaign continued throughout the final dash around the last souvenir shop, the jog back to the centre just in time for lunch, and throughout lunch itself. Cough, cough. At 1:30, as we gathered in the lounge with walking boots on, water bottles at the ready and covered with suncream to meet the guides, Elsie appeared – her face and hands covered with little red spots. Cough, cough. “You see Mr Leicester – I think I’ve got chicken pox.” She almost convinced some of the adults too, but not the wily Mr Leicester. The ‘pox’ seemed remarkably easy to rub off and Det. Inspector Bella informed us that she had seen a packet of felt tips on Elsie’s bed with the red sticking out! Dastardly!

Needless to say, all the children were fantastic on the walk – Elsie included. Declan deserves a special mention for soldiering on despite a sore knee, the results of a fall earlier in the day. Edward and Elsie F ran the last stretch, getting to the top in tied second place. Jodi kept me company as we walked and Mrs Sheldrake helped encourage some of the stragglers and we all – all – made it to the top: a fantastic achievement.

The descent was fuelled by the sweets the children had been allowed to bring with them from their morning shopping. It is interesting to observe the effects of the consumption of an entire stick of rock on an eleven year old, and both Erin and Katie were keen to demonstrate; see the photos if you’ve never witnessed it first-hand. Jessica A was certainly impressed – albeit slightly bemused. I think both girls were so full of energy they would have happily gone back up and done it all over again.

The evening saw the appearance of the Room Inspectors, and I am pleased to note that Erin, Katie, Amy, Grace, Jessica T and Jodi were joint winners of the tidiest room. Their greeting in French, the aroma of Grace’s perfume, the perfectly folded clothes and towels, neatly lined up shoes and immaculately made beds (with teddies tucked in, but arms over covers) helped them to a 19/20 (and another sweetie prize!).

And again, needless to say, I have insisted that all the children have brushed their teeth before going to bed.