Edward Gower, Senior Chorister, recalls his week in Canterbury
The view from the end of Decani
When we first arrived, the school seemed very big and we had to wait around outside while Dick worked out where everyone’s room was. There were stairs everywhere and the boys dormitory was right at the very top of the building, (of course!) but it was great because we were all together in one big room. The school had very good facilities and had a pool table, table tennis, table football as well a large green next to the nunnery where we played football.
Canterbury Cathedral is very large with lots of towers and there were loads of tourists. The robing room was not far from the Choir stalls but was very small. We had our pre-service drinks downstairs in the old cloisters. We had a really long Psalm to sing on the first Evensong and it was fun to sing from the steps at the top of the Nave for the Sunday morning service.
After the service we had a tour of the Cathedral read from the guide book by Dick. We saw where Thomas à Becket was murdered, walked through the Crypt and past the tomb of the Black Prince. There is a candle on the spot where Thomas’ tomb was before it was destroyed by Henry VIII. It was busy enough with modern day tourists but it must have been packed when all the pilgrims came to the see the tomb! There are lots of side chapels around the church.
We had some great trips. We visited to Dover Castle and saw the underground hospital that was used during the war, we visited an aircraft museum and sat in a real ejector seat (although not still working!) and we had a look at a Roman museum in Canterbury that contained the remains of a roman villa.
One day we went to the beach at Westgate. The played touch rugby on the beach and went swimming in the sea. The water was very cold. We built an enormous sand castle and watched while the incoming tide washed it away.
On Thursday afternoon, due to tired throats (and the odd broken bone!) the four senior boys went shopping with the Browns and the rest of the choir went for a swim at the pool in Whistable. On the Friday we went on a steam railway, of course. Although unlike other years this was a little one, only one third full size. It was the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway.
Our party took over 3 complete compartments and we bumped our way right out to Dungeness. Dungeness was a massive pebbled area next to the sea with a huge power station, a lighthouse, the railway station and load of tumble-down wooden shacks. We had our packed lunch on the one little bit of grass by the station and then climbed the 169 steps to the top of the lighthouse. It was very high but you could see all the way to Dover.
On the last evening it was raining and we had the barbecue indoors. The points were announced and Dec just won the shield by one point. It was the end to a great week and thanks to all who helped out.