On a blustery but bright 7th of March 21 Year 7 students set off for an opportunity to explore a landmark of the London cityscape. The imposing Town-class World War Two cruiser, HMS Belfast has been a permanent feature on the river Thames since it was saved for preservation in perpetuity in the 1970s. This metallic behemoth gave students an opportunity to explore the realities of day-to-day life in a warship from this era.
Having served on blockade, run the gauntlet of the Arctic convoys to bring the USSR vital supplies to the icebound northern port of Archangel in 1943, assisted at D-Day, and acted as a flagship during the Korean War, there was certainly plenty of history to get stuck in to!
Students explored the warren-like decks of the ship, from the cavernous below decks with its replicate munitions stores and colossal turbine engines to the highest point on observation decks and the bridge, offering a commanding position to survey the vista of central London.
Students were thrilled to see mannequin recreations of medical facilities, the cramped conditions of the brig and thoroughly enjoyed trying their hands at morse-code.
With a brief stroll over Tower Bridge, and a lunch break outside the Tower of London students enjoyed their action filled day and some sore feet returned to East Croydon in the afternoon.