Last month, I was lucky enough to accompany the children and parents from Marion Richardson School on a trip to the London Transport Museum.
Like many who have adopted London as their home, I was once pretty overwhelmed by the tube – such a jumbled knot of coloured lines and confusing names! Now, when I think about all the hours I have spent on TFL services, it’s quite staggering…
However, the children provided a totally new perspective on an aspect of my day I all too often take for granted – who knew commuting could ever be remotely interesting?
Along with another volunteer, I met the families at the school bright and early, as well as a couple of members of school staff. We hopped on the bus to head from Tower Hamlets to Covent Garden, and from the very beginning the journey was filled with running commentary on the city outside the window. In particular, one of the girls I was accompanying decided to rename Somerset House to be “Somersault House.” There was a lot of laughter and excitement as we approached our destination.
We arrived at the museum and collected our tickets from the front desk, before heading inside the main space to explore. The staff provided us with a game – a card with numbers on, matching different exhibits, where we could collect stamps showing various forms of transport from throughout London’s history. The family members and volunteers followed the still-laughing children as they competed to collect as many stamps as possible!
We checked out old tube carriages, tested the seats in the earliest trains, climbed onto horse-drawn omnibuses, and some of us even had a go at driving the new kind of bus we use on our roads today! We didn’t forget about travelling on the water either – we even tried out a mini Thames Clipper.
The children were very excited by how much the museum allowed them to actually experience – it’s a very hands-on look at TFL! One of the girls I was accompanying, Shamreen, even exclaimed, “this is the best trip I’ve ever been on!”
If you get the chance, I couldn’t recommend this trip more – it’s a uniquely fun way to spend time in one of London’s best museums. The young travellers from Apples & Pears will give you amusing new insights into something we all too often take for granted – the network of buses, tubes and trains that carry us around the capital every day. If the London Transport Museum doesn’t take your fancy, another Apples & Pears trip may well do – exploring our city with some of it’s younger residents is a really amazing way to get a refreshing new perspective on it, while at once supporting the community you’ve chosen as your home. If you’d be interested in joining Apples & Pears as a trips volunteer, we’re always looking for more friendly faces – get in touch!
(Trip Volunteer/Business Support Volunteer – Communications)